Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play

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Tony Award
for Best Featured Actress in a Play
Awarded for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Location New York City, United States
Presented by American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League
Currently held by Sophie Okonedo for A Raisin in the Sun
Official website

The Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play is an honor presented at the Tony Awards, a ceremony established in 1947 as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre, to actresses for quality supporting roles in a Broadway play. The awards are named after Antoinette Perry, an American actress who died in 1946. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the Tony Award Productions, a joint venture of The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, to "honor the best performances and stage productions of the previous year."[1]

Originally called the Tony Award for Actress, Supporting or Featured (Dramatic), the award was first presented to Patricia Neal at the 1st Tony Awards for her portrayal of Regina Hubbard in Lillian Hellman's Another Part of the Forest.[2] Before 1956, nominees' names were not made public;[3] the change was made by the awards committee to "have a greater impact on theatregoers".[4] The award was renamed in 1976, with Shirley Knight becoming the first winner under the new title for her role as Carla in Robert Patrick's Kennedy's Children.[5]

Six actresses (Christine Baranski, Judith Ivey, Swoosie Kurtz, Audra McDonald, Frances Sternhagen and Judith Light) hold the record for having the most wins in this category, each with a total of two. Ruth in A Raisin in the Sun is the only role to win in this category more than once, with two victories. Supporting actresses in two of three plays in Neil Simon's Eugene trilogy (Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound) were nominated for the Tony, whereas featured actresses in six parts of August Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle have also been nominated for the award.

Winners and nominees[edit]


Year Actress Play Character Ref
1st Tony Awards
Patricia Neal Another Part of the Forest Regina Hubbard [2]
2nd Tony Awards
3rd Tony Awards
Shirley Booth Goodbye, My Fancy Grace Woods [6]


Year Actress Play Character Ref
4th Tony Awards
5th Tony Awards
Maureen Stapleton The Rose Tattoo Serafina Delle Rose [7]
6th Tony Awards
Marian Winters I Am a Camera Natalia Landauer [8]
7th Tony Awards
Beatrice Straight The Crucible Elizabeth Proctor [9]
8th Tony Awards
Jo Van Fleet The Trip to Bountiful Jessie Mae Watts [10]
9th Tony Awards
Patricia Jessel Witness for the Prosecution Romaine Vole [11]
10th Tony Awards
Una Merkel The Ponder Heart Edna Earle Ponder [12]
Diane Cilento Tiger at the Gates Helen of Troy
Anne Jackson Middle of the Night The Daughter
Elaine Stritch Bus Stop Grace Hoylard
11th Tony Awards
Peggy Cass Auntie Mame Agnes Gooch [13]
Anna Massey The Reluctant Debutante Jane Broadbent
Beryl Measor Separate Tables Miss Cooper
Mildred Natwick The Waltz of the Toreadors Mme. St Pé
Phyllis Neilson-Terry Separate Tables Mrs. Railton-Bell
Diana Van der Vlis The Happiest Millionaire Cordelia Biddle
12th Tony Awards
Anne Bancroft Two for the Seesaw Gittel Mosca [14]
Brenda De Banzie The Entertainer Phoebe
Joan Blondell The Rope Dancers Mrs. Farrow
Mary Fickett Sunrise at Campobello Eleanor Roosevelt
Eileen Heckart The Dark at the Top of the Stairs Lottie Lacey
13th Tony Awards
Julie Newmar The Marriage-Go-Round Katrin Sveg [15]
Maureen Delany God and Kate Murphy Carrie Donovan
Dolores Hart The Pleasure of His Company Jessica Poole
Nan Martin J.B. Sarah
Bertice Reading Requiem for a Nun Nancy Mannigoe


Year Actress Play Character Ref
14th Tony Awards
Anne Revere Toys in the Attic Anna Berniers [16]
Leora Dana The Best Man Alice Russell
Jane Fonda There Was a Little Girl Toni Newton
Sarah Marshall Goodbye, Charlie Rusty Mayerling
Juliet Mills Five Finger Exercise Pamela Harrington
15th Tony Awards
Colleen Dewhurst All the Way Home Mary Follet [17]
Eileen Heckart Invitation to a March Deedee Grogan
Tresa Hughes The Devil's Advocate Nina Sanduzzi
Rosemary Murphy Period of Adjustment Dorothea Bates
16th Tony Awards
Elizabeth Ashley Take Her, She's Mine Mollie Michaelson [18]
Zohra Lampert Look, We've Come Through Jennifer Lewison
Janet Margolin Daughter of Silence Anna Albertini
Pat Stanley Sunday in New York Eileen Taylor
17th Tony Awards
Sandy Dennis A Thousand Clowns Sandra Markowitz [19]
Melinda Dillon Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Honey
Alice Ghostley The Beauty Part Various Characters
Zohra Lampert Mother Courage and Her Children Kattrin
18th Tony Awards
Barbara Loden After the Fall Maggie [20]
Rosemary Murphy Any Wednesday Dorothy Cleves
Kate Reid Dylan Caitlin Thomas
Diana Sands Blues for Mister Charlie Juanita
19th Tony Awards
Alice Ghostley The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window Mavis Parodus Bryson [21]
Rae Allen Traveller Without Luggage Juliette
Alexandra Berlin All in Good Time Violet Fitton
Carolan Daniels Slow Dance on the Killing Ground Rosie
20th Tony Awards
Zoe Caldwell Slapstick Tragedy Polly[IV] [22]
Glenda Jackson Marat/Sade Charlotte Corday
Mairin D. O'Sullivan Philadelphia, Here I Come! Madge Mulhern
Brenda Vaccaro Cactus Flower Toni
21st Tony Awards
Marian Seldes A Delicate Balance Julia [23]
Camila Ashland Black Comedy Miss Furnival
Brenda Forbes The Loves of Cass McGuire Trilbe Costello
Maria Tucci The Rose Tattoo Rosa Delle Rose
22nd Tony Awards
Zena Walker A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Sheila [24]
Pert Kelton Spofford Mrs. Punck
Ruth White The Birthday Party Meg
Eleanor Wilson Weekend Mrs. Andrews
23rd Tony Awards
Jane Alexander The Great White Hope Eleanor Bachman [25]
Diane Keaton Play It Again, Sam Linda Christie
Lauren Jones Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? Linda
Anna Manahan Lovers Ms. Wilson


Year Actress Play Character Ref
24th Tony Awards
Blythe Danner Butterflies Are Free Jill Tanner [26]
Alice Drummond The Chinese and Dr. Fish Mrs. Lee
Eileen Heckart Butterflies Are Free Mrs. Baker
Linda Lavin Last of the Red Hot Lovers Elaine Navazio
25th Tony Awards
Rae Allen And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little Fleur Stein [27]
Lili Darvas Les Blancs Madame Neilsen
Joan Van Ark The School for Wives Agnes
Mona Washbourne Home Kathleen
26th Tony Awards
Elizabeth Wilson Sticks and Bones Harriet [28]
Cara Duff-MacCormick Moonchildren Shelly
Mercedes McCambridge The Love Suicide at Schofield Barracks Lucy Lake
Frances Sternhagen The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window Mavis Parodus Bryson
27th Tony Awards
Leora Dana The Last of Mrs. Lincoln Elizabeth Edwards [29]
Maya Angelou Look Away Elizabeth Keckley
Katherine Helmond The Great God Brown Margaret
Penelope Windust Elizabeth I Elizabeth I
28th Tony Awards
Frances Sternhagen The Good Doctor Various Characters[V] N/A
Regina Baff Veronica's Room Susan
Fionnula Flanagan Ulysses in Nighttown Various Characters
Charlotte Moore Chemin de Fer Sophie
Roxie Roker The River Niger Mattie Williams
29th Tony Awards
Rita Moreno The Ritz Googie Gomez [30]
Linda Miller Black Picture Show Jane
Geraldine Page Absurd Person Singular Marion
Carole Shelley Absurd Person Singular Jane
Elizabeth Spriggs London Assurance Lady Gay Spanker
Frances Sternhagen Equus Dora Strang
30th Tony Awards
Shirley Knight Kennedy's Children Carla [5]
Mary Beth Hurt Trelawny of the 'Wells' Miss Rose Trelawny
Lois Nettleton They Knew What They Wanted Amy
Meryl Streep 27 Wagons Full of Cotton / A Memory of Two Mondays Flora Meighan / Patricia
31st Tony Awards
Trazana Beverley For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf Lady in Red [31]
Patricia Elliott The Shadow Box Beverly
Rose Gregorio The Shadow Box Agnes
Mary McCarty Anna Christie Marthy Owen
32nd Tony Awards
Ann Wedgeworth Chapter Two Faye Medwick [32]
Starletta DuPois The Mighty Gents Rita
Swoosie Kurtz Tartuffe Mariane
Marian Seldes Deathtrap Myra Bruhl
33rd Tony Awards
Joan Hickson Bedroom Farce Delia [33]
Laurie Kennedy Man and Superman Violet Robinson
Susan Littler Bedroom Farce Kate
Mary-Joan Negro Wings Amy


Year Actress Play Character Ref
34th Tony Awards
Dinah Manoff I Ought to be in Pictures Libby Tucker [34]
Maureen Anderman The Lady from Dubuque Carol
Pamela Burrell Strider Viazapurikha / Mathieu / Marie
Lois de Banzie Morning's at Seven Myrtle Brown
35th Tony Awards
Swoosie Kurtz Fifth of July Gwen Landis [35]
Maureen Stapleton The Little Foxes Birdie Hubbard
Jessica Tandy Rose Rose's Mother
Zoë Wanamaker Piaf Toine
36th Tony Awards
Amanda Plummer Agnes of God Agnes [36]
Judith Anderson Medea Nurse
Mia Dillon Crimes of the Heart Babe Botrelle
Mary Beth Hurt Crimes of the Heart Meg MaGrath
37th Tony Awards
Judith Ivey Steaming Josie [37]
Elizabeth Franz Brighton Beach Memoirs Kate Jerome
Roxanne Hart Passion Play Kate
Margaret Tyzack All's Well That Ends Well The Countess of Rossillion
38th Tony Awards
Christine Baranski The Real Thing Charlotte [38]
Jo Henderson Play Memory Ruth MacMillan
Dana Ivey Heartbreak House Lady Utterword
Deborah Rush Noises Off Brooke Ashton
39th Tony Awards
Judith Ivey Hurlyburly Bonnie [39]
Joanna Gleason A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Pam
Theresa Merritt Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Ma Rainey
Sigourney Weaver Hurlyburly Darlene
40th Tony Awards
Swoosie Kurtz The House of Blue Leaves Bananas Shaughnessy [40]
Stockard Channing The House of Blue Leaves Bunny Flingus
Bethel Leslie Long Day's Journey into Night Mary
Zoë Wanamaker Loot Fay
41st Tony Awards
Mary Alice Fences Rose Maxson [41]
Annette Bening Coastal Disturbances Holly Dancer
Phyllis Newman Broadway Bound Blanche
Carole Shelley Stepping Out Maxine
42nd Tony Awards
L. Scott Caldwell Joe Turner's Come and Gone Bertha Holly [42]
Kimberleigh Aarn Joe Turner's Come and Gone Mattie Campbell
Kate Nelligan Serious Money Various Characters
Kimberly Scott Joe Turner's Come and Gone Molly Cunningham
43rd Tony Awards
Christine Baranski Rumors Chris Gorman [43]
Joanne Camp The Heidi Chronicles Various Characters
Tovah Feldshuh Lend Me a Tenor Maria Merelli
Penelope Ann Miller Our Town Emily Webb


Year Actress Play Character Ref
44th Tony Awards
Margaret Tyzack Lettice and Lovage Lotte Schoen [44]
Polly Holliday Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Big Mama Pollitt
S. Epatha Merkerson The Piano Lesson Berniece
Lois Smith The Grapes of Wrath Ma Joad
45th Tony Awards
Irene Worth Lost in Yonkers Grandma Kurnitz [45]
Amelia Campbell Our Country's Good Various Characters
Kathryn Erbe The Speed of Darkness Mary
J. Smith-Cameron Our Country's Good William Faddy / Dabby Bryant
46th Tony Awards
Brid Brennan Dancing at Lughnasa Agnes Mundy [46]
Rosaleen Linehan Dancing at Lughnasa Kate Mundy
Cynthia Martells Two Trains Running Risa
Dearbhla Molloy Dancing at Lughnasa Maggie Mundy
47th Tony Awards
Debra Monk Redwood Curtain Geneva Riordan [47]
Kathleen Chalfant Angels in America: Millennium Approaches Various Characters
Marcia Gay Harden Angels in America: Millennium Approaches Harper Pitt and Martin Heller
Anne Meara Anna Christie Marthy Owen
48th Tony Awards
Jane Adams An Inspector Calls Sheila Birling [48]
Debra Monk Picnic Rosemary Sydney
Jeanne Paulson The Kentucky Cycle Various Characters
Anne Pitoniak Picnic Helen Potts
49th Tony Awards
Frances Sternhagen The Heiress Lavinia Penniman [49]
Suzanne Bertish The Molière Comedies Lisette / Sganerelle's Wife
Cynthia Nixon Indiscretions Madeleine Ozeray
Mercedes Ruehl The Shadow Box Beverly
50th Tony Awards
Audra McDonald Master Class Sharon Graham [50]
Viola Davis Seven Guitars Vera
Michele Shay Seven Guitars Louise
Lois Smith Buried Child Halie
51st Tony Awards
Lynne Thigpen An American Daughter Judith Kaufman [51]
Helen Carey London Assurance Lady Gay Spanker
Dana Ivey The Last Night of Ballyhoo Boo Levy
Celia Weston The Last Night of Ballyhoo Reba Reitag
52nd Tony Awards
Anna Manahan The Beauty Queen of Leenane Mags Folan [52]
Enid Graham Honour Sophie
Linda Lavin The Diary of Anne Frank Petronella Van Daan
Julyana Soelistyo Golden Child Ma / Eng Ahn
53rd Tony Awards
Elizabeth Franz Death of a Salesman Linda Loman [53]
Claire Bloom Electra Clytemnestra
Samantha Bond Amy's View Amy Thomas
Dawn Bradfield The Lonesome West Girleen


Year Actress Play Character Ref
54th Tony Awards
Blair Brown Copenhagen Margrethe Bohr [54]
Frances Conroy The Ride Down Mt. Morgan Theo
Amy Ryan Uncle Vanya Sonya Serebryakova
Helen Stenborg Waiting in the Wings Sarita Myrtle
Sarah Woodward The Real Thing Charlotte
55th Tony Awards
Viola Davis King Hedley II Tonya [55]
Johanna Day Proof Claire
Penny Fuller The Dinner Party Gabrielle Buonocelli
Marthe Keller Judgment at Nuremberg Mme. Bertholt
Michele Lee The Tale of the Allergist's Wife Lee Green
56th Tony Awards
Katie Finneran Noises Off Brooke Ashton [56]
Kate Burton The Elephant Man Madge Kendal
Elizabeth Franz Morning's at Seven Aaronetta Gibbs
Estelle Parsons Morning's at Seven Cora Swanson
Frances Sternhagen Morning's at Seven Ida Bolton
57th Tony Awards
Michele Pawk Hollywood Arms Louise [57]
Christine Ebersole Dinner at Eight Millicent Jordan
Linda Emond Life x 3 Inez
Kathryn Meisle Tartuffe Elmire
Marian Seldes Dinner at Eight Carlotta Vance
58th Tony Awards
Audra McDonald A Raisin in the Sun Ruth Younger [58]
Essie Davis Jumpers Dotty
Sanaa Lathan A Raisin in the Sun Beneatha Younger
Margo Martindale Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Big Mama Pollitt
Daphne Rubin-Vega Anna in the Tropics Conchita
59th Tony Awards
Adriane Lenox Doubt: A Parable Mrs. Muller [59]
Mireille Enos Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Honey
Heather Goldenhersh Doubt: A Parable Sister James
Dana Ivey The Rivals Mrs. Malaprop
Amy Ryan A Streetcar Named Desire Stella Kowalski
60th Tony Awards
Frances de la Tour The History Boys Dorothy Lintott [60]
Tyne Daly Rabbit Hole Nat
Jayne Houdyshell Well Ann Kron
Alison Pill The Lieutenant of Inishmore Mairead
Zoë Wanamaker Awake and Sing! Bessie Berger
61st Tony Awards
Jennifer Ehle The Coast of Utopia Various Characters N/A
Xanthe Elbrick Coram Boy Alexander Ashbrook / Aaron
Dana Ivey Butley Edna Shaft
Jan Maxwell Coram Boy Mrs. Lynch
Martha Plimpton The Coast of Utopia Various Characters
62nd Tony Awards
Rondi Reed August: Osage County Mattie Fae Aiken [61]
Sinéad Cusack Rock 'n' Roll Eleanor / Esme
Mary McCormack Boeing-Boeing Gretchen
Laurie Metcalf November Clarice Bernstein
Martha Plimpton Top Girls Pope Joan / Angie
63rd Tony Awards
Angela Lansbury Blithe Spirit Madame Arcati [62]
Hallie Foote Dividing the Estate Mary Jo Gordon
Jessica Hynes The Norman Conquests Annie
Marin Ireland reasons to be pretty Steph
Amanda Root The Norman Conquests Sarah


Year Actress Play Character Ref
64th Tony Awards
Scarlett Johansson A View from the Bridge Catherine [63]
Maria Dizzia In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) Mrs. Daldry
Rosemary Harris The Royal Family Fanny Cavendish
Jessica Hecht A View from the Bridge Beatrice Carbone
Jan Maxwell Lend Me a Tenor Maria Merelli
65th Tony Awards
Ellen Barkin The Normal Heart Dr. Emma Brookner [64]
Edie Falco The House of Blue Leaves Bananas Shaughnessy
Judith Light Lombardi Marie Lombardi
Joanna Lumley La Bête The Princess
Elizabeth Rodriguez The Motherf**ker With the Hat Veronica
66th Tony Awards
Judith Light Other Desert Cities Silda Grauman [65]
Linda Emond Death of a Salesman Linda Loman
Spencer Kayden Don't Dress for Dinner Suzette
Celia Keenan-Bolger Peter and the Starcatcher Molly Aster
Condola Rashād Stick Fly Cheryl
67th Tony Awards
Judith Light The Assembled Parties Faye N/A
Carrie Coon Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Honey
Shalita Grant Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Cassandra
Judith Ivey The Heiress Lavinia Penniman
Condola Rashād The Trip to Bountiful Thelma
68th Tony Awards
Sophie Okonedo A Raisin in the Sun Ruth Younger [66]
Sarah Greene The Cripple of Inishmaan Helen McCormick
Celia Keenan-Bolger The Glass Menagerie Laura Wingfield
Anika Noni Rose A Raisin in the Sun Beneatha Younger
Mare Winningham Casa Valentina Rita

Win total[edit]

2 Wins

Nomination total[edit]

Character win total[edit]

2 Wins
  • Ruth Younger from A Raisin in the Sun

Character nomination total[edit]

3 Nominations
  • Honey from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
2 Nominations
  • Marthy Owen from Anna Christie
  • Bananas Shaughnessy from The House of Blue Leaves
  • Charlotte from The Real Thing
  • Brooke Ashton from Noises off
  • Linda Loman from Death of a Salesman
  • Maria Merelli from Lend Me a Tenor
  • Big Mama Pollitt from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • Mavis Parodus Bryson from The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window
  • Beverly from The Shadow Box
  • Lavinia Penniman from The Heiress
  • Lady Gay Spanker from London Assurance
  • Ruth Younger from A Raisin in the Sun
  • Beneatha Younger from A Raisin in the Sun

See also[edit]


^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Tony Awards held that year.
^[II] The "Ref." cites the role the winning actor portrayed in the work; the award winners and nominees are referenced by the general reference.
^[III] The Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play was not presented in 1948 or 1950.
^[IV] Slapstick Tragedy, written by Tennessee Williams, is a double-bill featuring two one act plays: The Mutilated and The Gnädiges Fräulein; Caldwell played "Polly" in The Gnädiges Fräulein.[67]
^[V] Sternhagen plays multiple roles in The Good Doctor;[68] as described by its author, the play is composed of "sketches, Vaudeville scenes, if you will, written with my non-consenting collaborator, Anton Chekhov".[69]
^[VI] The Coast of Utopia is broken into three parts. Ehle played Liubov in "Voyage" (part one), Natalie Herzen in "Shipwreck" (part two), and Malwida von Meysenbug in "Salvage" (part three).[70]


  • "Search Past Winners". American Theatre Wing. Retrieved December 4, 2011.  Note: User must select the "Actress (Featured Role–Play)" category as the award under the search feature.
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  2. ^ a b Corliss, Richard (August 11, 2010). "A Life of Tragedy and Triumph: Patricia Neal (1926–2010)". Time (Time Inc). Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ Simons, Linda Keir (1994). The Performing Arts: a Guide to the Reference Literature. ABC-CLIO. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-87287-982-9. 
  4. ^ Gelb, Arthur (April 1, 1956). "Popularizing the Tony Awards". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2011.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ a b Patrick, Robert (1976). Kennedy's Children: a play in two acts. Samuel French, Inc. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-573-61126-1. 
  6. ^ Kanin, Fay (1976). Goodbye, My Fancy: a comedy in three acts. Samuel French, Inc. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-573-60950-3. 
  7. ^ Williams, Tennessee (1951). The Rose Tattoo: play in 3 acts. Dramatists Play Service. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-8222-0971-3. 
  8. ^ Druten, John Van (1955). I Am a Camera: a play in three acts. Dramatists Play Service. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-8222-0545-6. 
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