Smith made her film debut in East of Eden as a barmaid and has gone on to star in films, theater, Broadway and television. Most recently, she was Gran in HBO's True Blood and played Mable Murphy in Sam Shepard's play Heartless.
Sternhagen, like Smith, has had many roles in film, theater, Broadway and television. She may be best known for her roles as Esther Clavin on Cheers and Bunny MacDougal on Sex and the City. She's currently playing Rose in Liz Flahive's The Madrid.
Both women have previous won Obie awards. Sternhagen won the opening year in 1956 and then again in 1965 for roles in two Harold Pinter plays The Room and A Slight Ache. Smith won in 2006 for The Trip to Bountiful.
The Obie awards were created to acknowledge and honor the achievements in the off Broadway theater scene. Meryl Streep will present Smith and Sternhagen with the award during the Obies ceremony on May 20th.
Lois Smith and Frances Sternhagen to Share Obie Lifetime Achievement Award (The New York Times)