The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Judith Light

b. February 9, 1949

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Judith Light until we are able to commission a full entry.

Judith Light.

Courtesy of TAO Management/Wikimedia Commons.

In her four decades as an Emmy- and Tony-winning actress, Judith Light has repeatedly taken on challenging and unconventional roles, from a housewife-turned-prostitute on One Life to Live to ex-wife of a transgender woman on the acclaimed Transparent. Light graduated Carnegie Mellon University and made her debut in 1970 in Richard III at the California Shakespeare Festival. After struggling to find theater roles, she joined One Life to Live from 1977–1983, winning Emmys in 1980 and 1981. From 1984–1992 she played a successful ad executive and mother on Who’s the Boss. After earning praise for her lead role in the off-Broadway production of Wit in 1999, she played a recurring role on Law & Order SVU from 2002–2010 and on Ugly Betty from 2006–2010. Nominated for a Tony for her performance in Lombardi in 2011, she won consecutive Tony awards in 2012 and 2013 for Other Desert Cities and The Assembled Parties before joining the cast of Transparent in 2014. An outspoken supporter of LGBT rights and AIDS activism, Light has served on the boards of the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Point Foundation, which offers financial support and leadership training for students who face discrimination for their sexual orientation or gender expression.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Judith Light." (Viewed on December 5, 2022) <>.


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