History of The Home | Actors Fund

History of The Home

For more than 100 years, The Actors Fund has provided a home for retired entertainment and performing arts professionals.

Since 1882, The Actors Fund has been helping performing arts and entertainment professionals. In 1902, we opened our first retirement home in Staten Island, New York which moved to Englewood, New Jersey in 1928. Today, The Actors Fund Home continues this tradition
of care through our 149-bed facility which includes assisted living, skilled nursing, accredited dementia care, and our new short-stay rehabilitation center.

The Home is a gold standard for senior care and a recipient of both U.S. News and World Report’s coveted “Best Nursing Homes in America” as well as the highest rating of 5 Stars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Actors Fund Home has a proud history of caring for a wide variety of professionals in performing arts and entertainment, including designers, writers, sound technicians, musicians, dancers, administrators, directors, film editors, stagehands, actors and more.

Our residents have included fascinating individuals from the world of stage and screen, encompassing vaudevillians, Ziegfeld Follies dancers, comedians, band leaders, set designers and many more. Among the most famous residents were Joseph Sultzer and Charles Marks, better known as the comedy team of Smith and Dale, who were the inspiration for Neil Simon's hit play and movie The Sunshine Boys.

A short timeline of The Home's history:

  • On May 8, 1902, The Actors Fund opened a home for retired entertainers on Staten Island. In 1928, the City of New York took possession of the property to enlarge an adjacent park.
  • The Actors Fund Home moved to the former mansion of millionairess Hetty Green, located on a six-acre estate in Englewood, New Jersey. The mansion was demolished in 1959, and a modern, one-level structure was erected in its place in 1961.
  • In 1975, The Home merged with the Percy Williams Home, which had been located on Long Island, and the Percy Williams Wing was constructed at the Assisted Living Care Facility.
  • The facilities were expanded in 1988 with the addition of a 50-bed extended care nursing home. Also in 1988, the Edwin Forrest Wing was created at the nursing home after a merger with the Edwin Forrest Home of Philadelphia.
  • In 1993, a wing was named in honor of film and television star Natalie Schafer, who left over $1.5 million to The Actors Fund through her estate.
  • The Home was renamed for philanthropist Lillian Booth in 2007, in honor of her $2 million gift.
  • In 2009, The Home completed a $12 million renovation and expansion, adding more beds and a new rehabilitation wing.
  • In 2017, The Home opened The Shubert Pavilion, a new short-stay rehabilition center.
  • In 2019, The Home will open a new two-story building to house a 20 bed memory care unit and 7 assisted living beds, as well as a new medical suite, an arts studio, a dining room, a bistro and a memory care garden.