African-American Tony nominees and winners

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This is a list of black Americans who have been nominated for a Tony Award for outstanding achievement in theater. Winners are listed in bold.

Facts and figures[edit]

  • As of 2014, at least one African-American has won in every category except one: Score

Multiple nominations[edit]

As of 2014 ceremony:

  • George C. Wolfe - 20
  • August Wilson - 9
  • Audra McDonald - 8
  • Gregory Hines - 5
  • Donald McKayle - 5
  • Lloyd Richards - 5
  • Bill T. Jones - 4
  • James Earl Jones - 4
  • Brian Stokes Mitchell - 4
  • Mbongeni Ngema - 4
  • Stew - 4
  • Hilton Battle - 3
  • Vinnette Carroll - 3
  • Viola Davis - 3
  • Savion Glover - 3
  • Micki Grant - 3
  • David Alan Grier - 3
  • Geoffrey Holder - 3
  • Tonya Pinkins - 3
  • Gilbert Price - 3
  • Courtney B. Vance - 3
  • Mary Alice - 2
  • Debbie Allen - 2
  • Gretha Boston - 2
  • Charles Brown - 2
  • André De Shields - 2
  • Cleavant Derricks - 2
  • Charles S. Dutton - 2
  • George Faison - 2
  • Laurence Fishburne - 2
  • Whoopi Goldberg - 2
  • Joshua Henry - 2
  • Linda Hopkins - 2
  • Lena Horne - 2
  • Ernestine Jackson - 2
  • Eartha Kitt - 2
  • LaChanze - 2
  • Adriane Lenox - 2
  • Kenny Leon - 2
  • Claudia McNeil - 2
  • S. Epatha Merkerson - 2
  • Patina Miller - 2
  • Zakes Mokae - 2
  • Josephine Premice - 2
  • Condola Rashad - 2
  • Phylicia Rashad - 2
  • Vivian Reed - 2
  • Roger Robinson - 2
  • Anika Noni Rose - 2
  • Diana Sands - 2
  • Ron Simons - 2
  • Anna Deavere Smith - 2
  • Ron Taylor - 2
  • Lynne Thigpen - 2
  • Tamara Tunie - 2
  • Leslie Uggams - 2
  • Ben Vereen - 2
  • Lillias White - 2
  • Dick Anthony Williams - 2
  • Jeffrey Wright - 2
  • Samuel E. Wright - 2

Multiple wins[edit]

As of 2014 ceremony:

  • Audra McDonald - 6
  • Hilton Battle - 3
  • Viola Davis - 2
  • Gregory Hines - 2
  • Bill T. Jones - 2
  • James Earl Jones - 2
  • Ron Simons - 2
  • George C. Wolfe - 2

Actor in a Musical[edit]

Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical
Year Nominee Show Result
1965 Sammy Davis Golden Boy Nominated
1968 Robert Hooks Hallelujah, Baby! Nominated
1970 Cleavon Little Purlie Won
1972 Clifton Davis Two Gentlemen of Verona Nominated
1973 Ben Vereen Pippin Won
1974 Joe Morton Raisin Nominated
1977 Robert Guillaume Guys and Dolls Nominated
1978 Gilbert Price Timbuktu! Nominated
1980 Gregory Hines Comin' Uptown Nominated
1981 Sophisticated Ladies Nominated
1982 Ben Harney Dreamgirls Won
1983 Al Green Your Arms Too Short to Box with God Nominated
Michael V. Smartt Porgy and Bess Nominated
1986 Cleavant Derricks Big Deal Nominated
Maurice Hines Uptown...It's Hot! Nominated
1992 Gregory Hines Jelly's Last Jam Won
1996 Savion Glover Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk Nominated
1998 Brian Stokes Mitchell Ragtime Nominated
2000 Kiss Me, Kate Won
2003 Man of La Mancha Nominated
2008 Stew Passing Strange Nominated
2010 Sahr Ngaujah Fela! Nominated
2011 Joshua Henry The Scottsboro Boys Nominated
2012 Norm Lewis The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess Nominated
2013 Billy Porter Kinky Boots Won

Actor in a Play[edit]

Best Performance by an Actor in a Play
Year Nominee Show Result Milestone
1960 Sidney Poitier A Raisin in the Sun Nominated
1969 James Earl Jones The Great White Hope Won First African-American winner in a play.
1976 Moses Gunn The Poison Tree Nominated
1980 Charles Brown Home Nominated
1987 James Earl Jones Fences Won
1990 Charles S. Dutton The Piano Lesson Nominated
1991 Courtney B. Vance Six Degrees of Separation Nominated
1993 K. Todd Freeman The Song of Jacob Zulu Nominated
2001 Brian Stokes Mitchell King Hedley II Nominated
2002 Jeffrey Wright Topdog/Underdog Nominated
2005 James Earl Jones On Golden Pond Nominated
2008 Laurence Fishburne Thurgood Nominated
2010 Denzel Washington Fences Won
2012 James Earl Jones Gore Vidal's The Best Man Nominated

Actress in a Musical[edit]

Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical
Year Nominee Show Result Milestone
1958 Lena Horne Jamaica Nominated
1962 Diahann Carroll No Strings Won First African-American winner in a lead role.
1968 Leslie Uggams Hallelujah, Baby! Won
1972 Jonelle Allen Two Gentlemen of Verona Nominated
1974 Virginia Capers Raisin Won
1975 Lola Falana Doctor Jazz Nominated
1976 Vivian Reed Bubbling Brown Sugar Nominated
1977 Clamma Dale Porgy and Bess Nominated
Ernestine Jackson Guys and Dolls Nominated
1978 Eartha Kitt Timbuktu! Nominated
1982 Jennifer Holliday Dreamgirls Won
Sheryl Lee Ralph Nominated
1983 Lonette McKee Show Boat Nominated
1984 Rhetta Hughes Amen Corner Nominated
1986 Debbie Allen Sweet Charity Nominated
1989 Ruth Brown Black and Blue Won
Linda Hopkins Nominated
1997 Tonya Pinkins Play On Nominated
2000 Heather Headley Aida Won
Audra McDonald Marie Christine Nominated
2002 Vanessa L. Williams Into the Woods Nominated
2004 Tonya Pinkins Caroline, or Change Nominated
2006 LaChanze The Color Purple Won
2007 Audra McDonald 110 in the Shade Nominated
2010 Montego Glover Memphis Nominated
2011 Patina Miller Sister Act Nominated
2012 Audra McDonald The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess Won With this win, first African-American to win 5 Tonys.
2013 Patina Miller Pippin Won
Valisia LeKae Motown: The Musical Nominated

Actress in a Play[edit]

Best Performance by an Actress in a Play
Year Nominee Show Result
1960 Claudia McNeil A Raisin in the Sun Nominated
1963 Tiger Tiger Burning Bright Nominated
1965 Beah Richards The Amen Corner Nominated
Diana Sands The Owl and the Pussycat Nominated
1994 Anna Deavere Smith Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 Nominated
1995 Mary Alice Having Our Say Nominated
2001 Leslie Uggams King Hedley II Nominated
2004 Phylicia Rashād A Raisin in the Sun Won
2005 Gem of the Ocean Nominated
2008 S. Epatha Merkerson Come Back, Little Sheba Nominated
2010 Viola Davis Fences Won
2013 Cicely Tyson The Trip to Bountiful Won
2014 LaTanya Richardson Jackson A Raisin in the Sun Nominated
Audra McDonald Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill Won

Best Musical[edit]

Best Musical
Year Nominee Show Result
1996 George C. Wolfe (as producer) Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk Nominated
2000 The Wild Party Nominated
2002 Whoopi Goldberg (as producer) Thoroughly Modern Millie Won
2004 George C. Wolfe (as producer) Caroline, or Change Nominated
2006 Oprah Winfrey (as producer), Quincy Jones (as producer) The Color Purple Nominated
2007 Tamara Tunie (as producer) Spring Awakening Won
2010 Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter (as producer), Will Smith (as producer), Jada Pinkett Smith (as producer) Fela! Nominated
2011 Whoopi Goldberg (as producer) Sister Act Nominated
2014 Wynton Marsalis (as producer) After Midnight Nominated
Ron Simons (as producer) A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder Won

Best Play[edit]

Best Play
Year Nominee Show Result
1960 Lorraine Hansberry (as playwright) A Raisin in the Sun Nominated
1974 Joseph A. Walker (as playwright) The River Niger Won
1977 Ntozake Shange (as playwright) For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf Nominated
1980 Samm-Art Williams (as playwright) Home Nominated
1985 August Wilson (as playwright) Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Nominated
1987 Fences Won
1988 Joe Turner's Come and Gone Nominated
1990 The Piano Lesson Nominated
1992 Two Trains Running Nominated
1993 Tug Yourgrau (as playwright) The Songs of Jacob Zulu Nominated
1994 George C. Wolfe (as producer) Angels in America: Perestroika Won
Anna Deavere Smith (as playwright), George C. Wolfe (as producer) Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 Nominated
1996 August Wilson (as playwright) Seven Guitars Nominated
1998 George C. Wolfe (as producer) Golden Child Nominated
2000 The Ride Down Mt. Morgan Nominated
2001 August Wilson (as playwright) King Hedley II Nominated
2002 Suzan-Lori Parks (as playwright), George C. Wolfe (as producer) Topdog/Underdog Nominated
2003 George C. Wolfe (as producer) Take Me Out Won
2005 August Wilson (as playwright) Gem of the Ocean Nominated
2007 August Wilson (as playwright), Tamara Tunie (as producer) Radio Golf Nominated
2013 Ron Simons (as producer) Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Won

Book of a Musical[edit]

Best Book of a Musical
Year Nominee Show Result
1973 Micki Grant Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope Nominated
1977 Vinnette Carroll Your Arms Too Short to Box with God Nominated
1992 George C. Wolfe Jelly's Last Jam Nominated
1996 Reg E. Gaines Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk Nominated
1999 Ron Taylor, Lita Gaithers, Charles Bevel It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues Nominated
2000 George C. Wolfe The Wild Party Nominated
2008 Stew Passing Strange Won
2010 Bill T. Jones Fela! Nominated

Choreography[edit]

Best Choreography
Year Nominee Show Result
1965 Donald McKayle Golden Boy Nominated
1974 Raisin Nominated
1975 Doctor Jazz Nominated
George Faison The Wiz Won
1976 Billy Wilson Bubbling Brown Sugar Nominated
1977 Talley Beatty Your Arms Too Short to Box with God Nominated
1981 Donald McKayle Sophisticated Ladies Nominated
1983 George Faison Porgy and Bess Nominated
1988 Ndaba Mhlongo and Mbongeni Ngema Sarafina! Nominated
1992 Hope Clarke, Ted L. Levy, and Gregory Hines Jelly's Last Jam Nominated
1996 Savion Glover Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk Won
2004 Bill T. Jones Spring Awakening Won
2010 Fela! Won

Costume Design[edit]

Best Costume Design
Year Nominee Show Result
1975 Geoffrey Holder The Wiz Won
1978 Timbuktu! Nominated

Costume Design of a Musical[edit]

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Year Nominee Show Result
2010 Paul Tazewell Memphis Nominated
2012 ESosa The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess Nominated

Director of a Musical[edit]

Best Director of a Musical
Year Nominee Show Result
1973 Vinnette Carroll Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope Nominated
1974 Donald McKayle Raisin Nominated
1975 Geoffrey Holder The Wiz Won
1977 Vinnette Carroll Your Arms Too Short to Box with God Nominated
1988 Mbongeni Ngema Sarafina! Nominated
1992 George C. Wolfe Jelly's Last Jam Nominated
1996 Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk Won
2004 Caroline, or Change Nominated
2010 Bill T. Jones Fela! Nominated

Director of a Play[edit]

Best Director of a Play
Year Nominee Show Result
1960 Lloyd Richards A Raisin in the Sun Nominated
1987 Mbongeni Ngema Asinamali! Nominated
1987 Lloyd Richards Fences Won
1988 Joe Turner's Come and Gone Nominated
1990 The Piano Lesson Nominated
1993 George C. Wolfe Angels in America: Millennium Approaches Won
1994 Angels in America: Perestroika Nominated
1996 Lloyd Richards Seven Guitars Nominated
2010 Kenny Leon Fences Nominated
2011 George C. Wolfe The Normal Heart Nominated
2013 George C. Wolfe Lucky Guy Nominated
2014 Kenny Leon A Raisin in the Sun Won

Featured Actor in a Musical[edit]

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
Year Nominee Show Result Milestone
1954 Harry Belafonte John Murray Anderson's Almanac Won First African-American male winner
1958 Ossie Davis Jamaica Nominated
1972 Ben Vereen Jesus Christ Superstar Nominated
1973 Gilbert Price Lost in the Stars Nominated
1974 Ralph Carter Raisin Nominated
1975 Ted Ross The Wiz Won
Gilbert Price The Night That Made America Famous Nominated
1977 Larry Marshall Porgy and Bess Nominated
1979 Gregory Hines Eubie! Nominated
1981 Hinton Battle Sophisticated Ladies Won
1982 Cleavant Derricks Dreamgirls Won
Obba Babatundé Nominated
David Alan Grier The First Nominated
1984 Hinton Battle The Tap Dance Kid Won With this win, first African-American to win 2 Tonys.
Samuel E. Wright The Tap Dance Kid Nominated
1985 Ron Richardson Big River Won
1989 Bunny Briggs Black and Blue Nominated
Savion Glover Black and Blue Nominated
1991 Hinton Battle Miss Saigon Won With this win, first African-American to win 3 Tonys.
Gregg Burge Oh, Kay! Nominated
1992 Keith David Jelly's Last Jam Nominated
1995 Michel Bell Show Boat Nominated
Victor Trent Cook Smokey Joe's Café Nominated
1997 Chuck Cooper The Life Won
André DeShields Play On! Nominated
1998 Samuel E. Wright The Lion King Nominated
1999 Desmond Richardson Fosse Nominated
Ron Taylor It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues Nominated
2001 André DeShields The Full Monty Nominated
2003 Corey Reynolds Hairspray Nominated
2006 Brandon Victor Dixon The Color Purple Nominated
2008 Daniel Breaker Passing Strange Nominated
2011 Colman Domingo The Scottsboro Boys Nominated
Forrest McClendon Nominated
2012 David Alan Grier The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess Nominated
Phillip Boykin Nominated
2013 Charl Brown Motown: The Musical Nominated
2014 Joshua Henry Violet Nominated
James Monroe Iglehart Aladdin Won

Featured Actor in a Play[edit]

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
Year Nominee Show Result
1965 Clarence Williams III Slow Dance on the Killing Ground Nominated
1974 Douglas Turner Ward The River Niger Nominated
Dick Anthony Williams What the Wine-Sellers Buy Nominated
1975 Black Picture Show Nominated
1978 Morgan Freeman The Mighty Gents Nominated
1980 Earle Hyman The Lady from Dubuque Nominated
1982 Zakes Mokae Master Harold...and the Boys Won
1985 Charles S. Dutton Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Nominated
1987 Frankie Faison Fences Nominated
Courtney B. Vance Nominated
1988 Delroy Lindo Joe Turner's Come and Gone Nominated
1992 Laurence Fishburne Two Trains Running Won
Roscoe Lee Browne Nominated
1993 Zakes Mokae The Song of Jacob Zulu Nominated
1994 Jeffrey Wright Angels in America: Perestroika Won
1996 Ruben Santiago-Hudson Seven Guitars Won
Roger Robinson Nominated
2001 Charles Brown King Hedley II Nominated
2003 Thomas Jefferson Byrd Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Nominated
Daniel Sunjata Take Me Out Nominated
2007 Anthony Chisholm Radio Golf Nominated
John Earl Jelks Nominated
2009 Roger Robinson Joe Turner's Come and Gone Won
2010 David Alan Grier Race Nominated
Stephen McKinley Henderson Fences Nominated
Jon Michael Hill Superior Donuts Nominated
2013 Courtney B. Vance Lucky Guy Won

Featured Actress in a Musical[edit]

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Year Nominee Show Result Milestone
1950 Juanita Hall South Pacific Won First African-American Tony winner.

First African-American Tony female winner.

1958 Josephine Premice Jamaica Nominated
1967 A Hand Is on the Gate Nominated
1968 Lillian Hayman Hallelujah, Baby! Won
1970 Melba Moore Purlie Won
1972 Linda Hopkins Inner City Won
Beatrice Winde Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death Nominated
1974 Ernestine Jackson Raisin Nominated
1975 Dee Dee Bridgewater The Wiz Won
1977 Delores Hall Your Arms Too Short to Box with God Won
1978 Nell Carter Ain't Misbehavin' Won
Charlayne Woodard Nominated
1980 Debbie Allen West Side Story Nominated
1981 Phyllis Hyman Sophisticated Ladies Nominated
Lynne Thigpen Tintypes Nominated
1983 Karla Burns Show Boat Nominated
1984 Martine Allard The Tap Dance Kid Nominated
1985 Leilani Jones Grind Won
1988 Leleti Khumalo Sarafina Nominated
1991 LaChanze Once on This Island Nominated
1992 Tonya Pinkins Jelly's Last Jam Won
Vivian Reed The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club Nominated
1994 Audra Ann McDonald Carousel Won
1995 Gretha Boston Show Boat Won
Brenda Braxton Smokey Joe's Café Nominated
B.J. Crosby Nominated
1996 Ann Duquesnay Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk Won
1997 Lillias White The Life Won
1998 Audra McDonald Ragtime Won With this win, first African-American so win twice in this category.
Tsidii Le Loka The Lion King Nominated
1999 Gretha Boston It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues Nominated
Valerie Pettiford Fosse Nominated
2000 Eartha Kitt The Wild Party Nominated
2004 Anika Noni Rose Caroline, or Change Won
2006 Felicia P. Fields The Color Purple Nominated
Elisabeth Withers-Mendes Nominated
2008 De'Adre Aziza Passing Strange Nominated
2010 Karine Plantadit Come Fly Away Nominated
Lillias White Fela! Nominated
2011 Nikki M. James The Book of Mormon Won
2012 Da'Vine Joy Randolph Ghost the Musical Nominated
2014 Adriane Lenox After Midnight Nominated

Featured Actress in a Play[edit]

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Year Nominee Show Result Milestone
1964 Diana Sands Blues for Mister Charlie Nominated
1973 Maya Angelou Look Away Nominated
1974 Roxie Roker The River Niger Nominated
1977 Trazana Beverley For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf Won
1978 Starletta DuPois The Mighty Gents Nominated
1985 Theresa Merritt Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Nominated
1987 Mary Alice Fences Won
1988 L. Scott Caldwell Joe Turner's Come and Gone Won
Kimberleigh Aarn Nominated
Kimberly Scott Nominated
1990 S. Epatha Merkerson The Piano Lesson Nominated
1992 Cynthia Martells Two Trains Running Nominated
1996 Audra McDonald Master Class Won With this win, first African-American to win in both musical and play categories.
Viola Davis Seven Guitars Nominated
Michele Shay Nominated
1997 Lynne Thigpen An American Daughter Won
2001 Viola Davis King Hedley II Won
2004 Audra McDonald A Raisin in the Sun Won With this win first African American to win 4 Tonys.

With this win, first African-American to win twice in this category

Sanaa Lathan Nominated
2005 Adriane Lenox Doubt Won
2012 Condola Rashad Stick Fly Nominated
2013 Shalita Grant Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Nominated
Condola Rashad The Trip to Bountiful Nominated
2014 Sophie Okonedo A Raisin in the Sun Won
Anika Noni Rose Nominated

Orchestrations[edit]

Best Orchestrations
Year Nominee Show Result
2008 Stew Passing Strange Nominated
2010 Daryl Waters (shared with David Bryan) Memphis Won

Regional Theatre Award[edit]

Regional Theatre Award
Year Nominee Result
1999 Crossroads Theatre Won

Best Revival of a Play[edit]

Best Revival of a Play
Year Nominee Show Result
2004 Susan Batson (as producer) A Raisin in the Sun Nominated
2013 Kevin Liles (as producer), Stephen C. Byrd (as producer), Alia M. Jones (as producer) The Trip to Bountiful Nominated

Score (Music and/or Lyrics)[edit]

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Year Nominee Show Result
1973 Micki Grant Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope Nominated
1978 Working Nominated
1988 Mbongeni Ngema and Hugh Masekela Sarafina! Nominated
1996 George C. Wolfe Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk Nominated
2008 Stew Passing Strange Nominated
2010 Branford Marsalis Fences Nominated

Special Awards[edit]

Special Tony Awards
Year Nominee Show Result
1968 Pearl Bailey Won
1981 Lena Horne Lena Home: The Lady and Her Music Won
2006 Sarah Jones Bridge & Tunnel Won

Special Theatrical Event[edit]

Best Special Theatrical Event
Year Nominee Show Result
2002 George C. Wolfe (as producer) Elaine Stritch at Liberty Won

References[edit]

http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/index.html