Fast Facts

  • Toured with the USO in a production of Guys and Dolls while still in college. 
  • In the early 1970s, performed with the Milwaukee Repertory and the Seattle Repertory Theatres.
  • Made her Broadway debut in a 1975 production of A Doll's House.
  • Garnered critical acclaim as housewife-turned-prostitute Karen Wolek on the soap One Life to Live, earning two consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards in 1980 and 1981.
  • Played the mother of a boy stricken with AIDS in the 1989 TV-biopic The Ryan White Story, which prompted her to become involved with several AIDS charities including Project Angel Food, Heart Strings and the Names Project.
  • Took voice lessons and shaved off her blonde tresses to play a cancer-stricken English professor in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit.
  • Along with her husband, Robert Desiderio, she was presented with the Making a Difference Award on behalf of the Matthew Shepard Foundation in 2006.
  • Along with her work for AIDS charities, Light is also an advocate for LGBT and human-rights organizations, including GLAAD and Human Rights Campaign.


  • 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2011, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
  • 2012, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Play): Winner
  • 2013, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Play): Winner
  • 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2015, Critics' Choice Television Awards — Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee


  • Robert Desiderio — Husband
  • Pearl Sue Licht — Mother
  • Sidney Licht — Father


  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA (BFA in Drama, 1971)


  • Birth Name: Judith Ellen Licht
  • Birth Place: Trenton, NJ
  • Birthday: February 9, 1949, Aquarius
  • Profession: Actor, Producer
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