One of America's most acclaimed actors, John Lithgow has enjoyed an extraordinarily prolific career. Known for being an "actor's actor," his versatility is such that viewers might have a difficult time recognizing him from one role to the next were it not for his distinctive features and looming 6'4" frame. Over the years, Lithgow has amassed numerous credits and awards, including six Еmmy Аwаrdѕ аnd two Gоldеn Glоbеs.
In addition to his work in film and TV, he has also appeared on Broadway twenty-five times. Spare time in the Lithgow household is filled with writing, and so far, he has authored nine children's picture books, while his recordings for kids have landed him four Grammy nominations. Aside from his success as a performer, Lithgow is also a committed advocate for the humanities, having participated in numerous projects for public TV and radio.
It all started at Harvard for the award-winning actor. Throughout the years, Lithgow has always credited his alma mater with steering him into becoming an actor. A bright student, he arrived at Harvard on a scholarship, intending to pursue a course in graphic arts as he was passionate to become a fine artist. Soon though he began participating in student theatre, which included some acting. His performance in a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Utopia Limited won the hearts of the audience who lavished Lithgow with praise and the young man quickly turned his attention toward becoming a thespian. In 1967 he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, noting that his undergraduate years were "the most active and creative of my life."
To this day his alma mater continues to be a big part of Lithgow's life, as he's never stopped being a prominent figure in the Harvard arts community. Besides serving on the Board of Overseers for several years, he has also been a member of several visiting committees and is a past chair of the Committee to Visit the Loeb Drama Center. He was a moving force behind the creation of Arts First, the campus-wide celebration of the arts at Harvard that takes place each spring. Since the inception of Arts First in 1993, Lithgow has regularly served as the event’s host and as grand marshal of the Arts First parade.
Then in 2005 Lithgow broke new ground on the Cambridge campus as the first professional actor to ever speak at a Harvard Commencement.
"John Lithgow personifies Harvard's devotion to the creative arts,” said President Lawrence H. Summers, noting that Lithgow was receiving an honorary doctorate from the school as well. "He is not only an immensely talented and versatile performer, but also someone who has given a great deal of himself to the University."
Adding to his innumerable awards, Lithgow returned once again in 2017, when he became only the 24th recipient of the Harvard Arts Medal, an award given to a graduate who has contributed to education and public good through achievement in the arts. Considering all the success Lithgow has had as a performer and benefactor, and considering his deep connection to his alma mater, the award couldn't have been given to a more appropriate candidate.