About Helen Hayes MacArthur

"First Lady of the American Theater"
Helen Hayes MacArthur

Helen Hayes MacArthur, the “First Lady of the American Theater,” was appointed to the hospital’s Board of Visitors in 1944. So began a 49-year relationship in which this acclaimed actress served as a tireless champion and vocal advocate on the hospital’s behalf. In recognition of her efforts, the hospital was renamed in her honor in 1974.

In 1992, the Foundation established the Helen Hayes MacArthur Award to honor the achievements of individuals who help and inspire other people to live their lives to their fullest potential. Inspired by the roses in Mrs. MacArthur’s famous rose garden, the Award is a custom designed porcelain rose created by Edward Marshall Boehm, Inc.

The award was presented to Mrs. MacArthur posthumously in 1993, the year of her death. Her spirit continues to sustain HHH into its second century of care.

Helen Hayes MacArthur Award Winners


2008: Dr. Marjorie King and Caroline Zollar
2007: Dr. Cliff Wood and Ellen Burstyn
2006: Sister Mary Eileen O’Brien and Lieutenant John McLaughlin
2005: Dr. John T. Pellicone, Montel Williams and John R. Reynolds
2004: Dr. Richard King and CalMart Enterprises
2003: Dr. Martha MacGuffie and Dikembe Mutombo
2002: Tess McCormack-Raso and Aidan Quinn
2001: Dr. Antonia Novello and Jerry Donnellan
2000: Governor George Pataki and Jan and Niles M. Davies, Jr.
1999: Rosie O’Donnell and Dr. Barbara DeBuono
1998: Dr. Robert Lindsay and Phyllis Newman
1997: Christopher Reeve
1996: Lily Tomlin
1995: Carol Channing and John Hockenberry
1994: Edward James Olmos
1993: Helen Hayes MacArthur (posthumously)
1992: Governor Hugh Carey, Arthur Ashe and Dick Traum