The Entertainment Industry Foundation uses the power of the entertainment community to raise awareness and funds for health, educational and social issues and programs.
Who: Until recently, Felicity Huffman was seen weekly on “Desperate Housewives,” and she’s starred on series like “Sports Night.” She also earned an Oscar nom for her role in 2005′s “Transamerica.” But her roots are really in the theater, and she’s racked up credits in multiple David Mamet productions, including “Speed the Plow” (her 1988 Broadway debut) and “The Cryptogram.” She’s married to actor William H. Macy and the pair earned a rare double star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March. Huffman is currently onstage in the Mamet production “November” at the Mark Taper Forum.
What: The 70-year-old Entertainment Industry Foundation is defined more specifically by its contributors in the entertainment community. Founded by a group of Hollywood leaders, including Humphrey Bogart and the Warner brothers, the EIF has raised nearly $900 million for its causes, including fighting cancer (“Stand Up to Cancer”), women’s health issues (EIF/Revlon Run Walk), veterans’ services (Rise and Honor) and education (the in-progress National Education Initiative).
Why: Huffman says she feels a personal connection to many of the issues the EIF focuses on, especially issues dealing with women’s health and cancer. “I’m one of seven girls in my family, and we all know someone who was touched with cancer,” she says. “I love the idea of a bunch of people coming together to wrangle the forces of the entertainment industry, which are sizeable.” Huffman grew up in Colorado and was working to preserve the wilderness from an early age — and says as an adult she was re-inspired by fellow “Housewives” star Eva Longoria: “When I saw how much philanthropy work she does, I realized ‘Hey, I can really do some good. I want to teach my children to give back.’ ”
What’s next: The EIF’s National Education Initiative, which is expected to launch this fall, is focused on making use of entertainment industry contributions and assets to focus the public’s attention on the needs of students, teachers and families around the U.S.