Broadway star Audra Mcdonald made history at the Tony Awards on Sunday night (08Jun14) when she became the most decorated actress on the New York stage. McDonald picked up her sixth Tony for portraying jazz and blues legend Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, putting her ahead of five-time winners Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris for the most competitive wins by a Broadway star.
The Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play win also gave McDonald the first Tony Awards grand slam - she has previously won gold as a best featured actress in a play (A Raisin in the Sun and Master Class), a best lead actress in a musical (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess) and a best featured actress in a musical (Ragtime and Carousel).
Meanwhile, Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston was at the beginning of his Tonys journey - he scored Sunday night's Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for his New York stage debut as President Lyndon B. Johnson in All The Way, which also picked up the Best Play Tony.
Former Tonys host Neil Patrick Harris was also a first-time winner - he walked away with the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his role as a gender-bending rocker in Hedwig & the Angry Inch.
Accepting his award, the gay star paid tribute to his partner David Burtka, stating, "I love you so much and I am so happy that we got to do this. Thank you for your sacrifices," and his kids Harper and Gideon, adding, "I'm so sorry that I haven't been able to spend as much time with you as I wish I could... I promise that as soon as this is done I'll be able to read books to you and put you to sleep."
The award marked a very special date in his family's history - Harris' parents were celebrating their wedding anniversary.
The actor's Broadway hit was the night's big winner, picking up a total of four awards. Hedwig also claimed the Best Revival of a Musical, Best Lighting and Lena Hall was honoured with the prize for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical.
A Raisin in the Sun and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder were triple winners.
A Raisin in the Sun claimed Best Revival of a Play, while Brit Sofie Okonedo and Kenny Leon claimed Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play and Best Direction titles, respectively, and Gentleman's Guide landed awards for Best Musical, Best Costume Design and Best Direction of a Musical (Darko Tresnjak).
The full list of 2014 Tony Awards winners is:
All the Way
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
Best Revival of a Play
A Raisin in the Sun
Best Revival of a Musical
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Best Book of a Musical
A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder - Robert L. Freedman
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
The Bridges of Madison County- Music & Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Bryan Cranston, All The Way
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Jessie Mueller, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Mark Rylance (Twelfth Night)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Sophie Okonedo, A Raisin in the Sun
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
James Monroe Iglehart, Aladdin
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Lena Hall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Beowulf Boritt, Act One
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Christopher Barreca, Rocky
Best Costume Design of a Play
Jenny Tiramani, Twelfth Night
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Linda Cho, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Natasha Katz, The Glass Menagerie
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Best Sound Design of a Play
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Best Sound Design of a Musical
Brian Ronan, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Best Direction of a Play
Kenny Leon, A Raisin in the Sun
Best Direction of a Musical
Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County
Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre - Jane Greenwood (casting designer)
Isabelle Stevenson Award for Humanitarian Efforts - Rosie O'Donnell
Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre - Joseph P. Benincasa, Joan Marcus & Charlotte Wilcox
Actor Allan Arbus, best known for his role as Dr. Sidney Freedman on M*A*S*H and, in real life, as the ex-husband of fashion photographer turned activist Diane Arbus, has died in his Los Angeles home. He was 95.
In dozens of episodes of M*A*S*H, Arbus mended psychological wounds with caustic zingers and a decidedly left-wing worldview that mirrored that of show creator Larry Gelbart. He's perhaps best known for his work tending to Alan Alda's Hawkeye in the series finale, "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen," then the highest rated U.S. broadcast of all time. In that epic 150-minute episode, Hawkeye finally had a nervous breakdown — after 11 seasons, mind you — because he witnessed a South Korean woman he was protecting smother her baby so that it wouldn't cry and reveal them to North Korean troops. It was a powerful episode, and demanded a lot from Freedman, who, like Hawkeye, may have realized that witty barbs can only keep the reality of war at bay for so long.
Though Arbus was best known for M*A*S*H, he had a previous claim to fame. Born in 1918, Arbus enrolled at New York's City College at the age of 15, but left a year later for a job at Russek's Department Store in Manhattan. There he met a young woman named Diane Nemerov, the daughter of the store's owners. They got married, and after they started a photography business together, Diane Arbus became world famous as a fashion photographer and, later, a documentarian of marginalized people. Arbus remains a major icon in the fashion world for her lush photo spreads in Vogue and Glamour from the '50s and '60s.
But her husband got tired of the photography world and closed his business to pursue a career in acting. He appeared in exploitation fare like the Pam Grier classic Coffy, before getting the call-up to M*A*S*H, and continued acting as recently as 2000. His final TV appearance came as Larry David's uncle on Season 1 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, an uncle who's falsely accused of sexually abusing Larry. But that mix of comedy, awkwardness, and outright pain? That's classic Allan Arbus, even at the end.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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