Four Black Actors Won Tony Awards Last Night – Only The Second Time In History

It was indeed a good night for black actors at the 2013 Tony Awards event, broadcast Sunday evening on CBS, with Neil Patrick Harris hosting once again, as a total of  five black artists took home trophies. Four wins by black actors happens to be the 2nd time in the Award’s 66-year history that that many black actors have taken home trophies in the same year – 2013 and 1982.

2013’s winners were:

– Cicely Tyson, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play (The Trip To Bountiful).

– Billy Porter, for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Kinky Boots).

– Patina Miller, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Pippin).

– Courtney B. Vance, for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play (Lucky Guy).

Last night’s fifth black winner was not an actor, but Ron Simons, one of the producers of – Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike – won the Tony Award for Best Play. This is Ron’s first nomination and win.

1982’s winners were:

– Ben Harney, Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical for Dreamgirls.

– Jennifer Holliday, Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical also for Dreamgirls.

– Cleavant Derricks, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical also for Dreamgirls.

– Zakes Mokae, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for Master Harold…and the Boys.

A little history there…

Regarding last night’s 4 major wins by black actors, Cicely Tyson, who returned to Broadway this season for the first time in 30 years, won her very first Tony Award. It’s also the first time she’s been nominated – so she’s one-for-one. The same goes for Billy Porter – first-time nominee, and win.

Sunday was Courtney B. Vance’s first win, although he’s been nominated twice before. Prior to 2013, he was nominated in 1991 for Six Degrees of Separation (Best Performance by an Actor in a Play), and in 1987 for Fences (Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play).

Patina Miller has been nominated twice, and last night’s win was her first. Previously, she was nominated in 2011 for her work in Sister Act, in the same category in which she was nominated for this year – Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical. The other nominees of African descent this year, who didn’t win in their individual categories are:

– Shalita Grant, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike).

– Condola Rashad, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (The Trip to Bountiful).

– Charl Brown, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Motown, The Musical).

– Valisia LeKae, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Motown The Musical).

 Keala Settle, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Hands on a Hardbody).

– George C. Wolfe, nominated for Best Direction of a Play (Lucky Guy).

article by Tambay A. Obenson via ShadowAndAct

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