The Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame was founded in 1998 by Theatre Tuscaloosa and Shelton State Community College to honor Alabamians, by birth or adoption, who have made significant contributions to film, television or theatre through their work.
Of course there are a great many Alabamians who have had international careers in the performing arts. When members of Theatre Tuscaloosa realized that while the state had "halls of fame" recognizing motor sports, music and business leaders, among others, it seemed absurd that there was not a hall of fame that memorialized contributions to the performing arts by Alabamians. As the Stage and Screen Hall of Fame matures, an archive or museum will be established on the campus of Shelton State Community College celebrating these people and their contributions.
A Stage and Screen Hall of Fame Selection Committee is charged with the task of selecting the honorees for each year. Representing various areas of the state, the committee is composed of representatives of theatre, film and arts organizations. The selection committee reviews lists of famous Alabamians as well as nominations that are received from throughout the state.
In April 1999, the Hall of Fame inducted its first class of honorees including the late actress Tallulah Bankhead, actress and author Fannie Flagg and philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. Winton M. Blount, who contributed over $21 million dollars for a new home for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
2000 honorees included the late actress Lois Wilson who appeared in more than 130 films from 1917 to 1965 as well as numerous Broadway and television appearances; Polly Holliday, perhaps best known for her role as "Flo" on the television show Alice, she has a long and distinguished career in movies and on stage; director John Badham who's movie Saturday Night Fever defined the disco era; and actress/singer Nell Carter who won a Tony Award for her performance in Ain't Misbehavin'.