Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play

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Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play
Awarded for Quality supporting roles in a Broadway play
Country United States
Presented by Tony Award Productions (American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League)
First awarded 1947
Currently held by Sophie Okonedo (2014)
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]

The category was originally called the Tony Award for Actress, Supporting or Featured (Dramatic). Patricia Neal won the first award at the inception of the ceremony 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, when Shirley Knight became the first winner under the new title for her role as Carla in Robert Patrick's Kennedy's Children.[5] Its most recent recipient is Sophie Okonedo, for the role of Ruth Younger, in A Raisin in the Sun.[6]

Six actresses (Christine Baranski, Judith Ivey, Judith Light, Swoosie Kurtz, Audra McDonald, and Frances Sternhagen) hold the record for most awards in this category, each with a total of two. Portrayals of Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun have won twice, for Audra McDonald and Sophie Okonedo. Supporting actresses in two of three plays in Neil Simon's Eugene trilogy (Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound) were nominated for the Tony, and featured actresses in six parts of August Wilson's The Pittsburgh Cycle have also been nominated for the award.


A black-and-white picture of Patricia Neal in a striped collared shirt
1947 award winner Patricia Neal
Anne Bancroft
1958 award winner Anne Bancroft
A black-and-white headshot of Elizabeth Ashley
1962 award winner Elizabeth Ashley
A color photograph of Swoosie Kurtz, a woman with blue eyes and brown-red hair, in a green sweater
Two-time award winner Swoosie Kurtz
Audra McDonald in a black dress against a white background
Two-time award winner Audra McDonald
A color headshot of Blair Brown at a microphone
2000 award winner Blair Brown
Viola Davis, wearing a leather jacket, against a black background
2001 award winner Viola Davis
Scarlett Johansson against a light blue background
2010 award winner Scarlett Johansson
Year[I] Actress Role Work Nominees Ref.[II]
1947 Neal, PatriciaPatricia Neal Regina Hubbard Another Part of the Forest [2]
1949 Booth, ShirleyShirley Booth Grace Woods Goodbye, My Fancy [7]
1951 Stapleton, MaureenMaureen Stapleton Serafina Delle Rose The Rose Tattoo [8]
1952 Winters, MarianMarian Winters Natalia Landauer I Am a Camera [9]
1953 Straight, BeatriceBeatrice Straight Elizabeth Proctor The Crucible [10]
1954 Fleet, Jo VanJo Van Fleet Jessie Mae Watts The Trip to Bountiful [11]
1955 Jessel, PatriciaPatricia Jessel Romaine Vole Witness for the Prosecution [12]
1956 Merkel, UnaUna Merkel Edna Earle Ponder The Ponder Heart [13]
1957 Cass, PeggyPeggy Cass Agnes Gooch Auntie Mame [14]
1958 Bancroft, AnneAnne Bancroft Gittel Mosca Two for the Seesaw [15]
1959 Newmar, JulieJulie Newmar Katrin Sveg The Marriage-Go-Round [16]
1960 Revere, AnneAnne Revere Anna Berniers Toys in the Attic [17]
1961 Dewhurst, ColleenColleen Dewhurst Mary Follet All the Way Home [18]
1962 Ashley, ElizabethElizabeth Ashley Mollie Michaelson Take Her, She's Mine [19]
1963 Dennis, SandySandy Dennis Sandra Markowitz A Thousand Clowns [20]
1964 Loden, BarbaraBarbara Loden Maggie After the Fall [21]
1965 Ghostley, AliceAlice Ghostley Mavis Parodus Bryson The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window [22]
1966 Caldwell, ZoeZoe Caldwell Polly[IV] Slapstick Tragedy [23]
1967 Seldes, MarianMarian Seldes Julia A Delicate Balance [24]
1968 Walker, ZenaZena Walker Sheila A Day in the Death of Joe Egg [25]
1969 Alexander, JaneJane Alexander Eleanor Bachman The Great White Hope [26]
1970 Danner, BlytheBlythe Danner Jill Tanner Butterflies Are Free [27]
1971 Allen, RaeRae Allen Fleur Stein And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little [28]
1972 Wilson, ElizabethElizabeth Wilson Harriet Sticks and Bones [29]
1973 Dana, LeoraLeora Dana Elizabeth Edwards The Last of Mrs. Lincoln [30]
1974 Sternhagen, FrancesFrances Sternhagen Various Characters[V] The Good Doctor
1975 Moreno, RitaRita Moreno Googie Gomez The Ritz [31]
1976 Knight, ShirleyShirley Knight Carla Kennedy's Children [5]
1977 Beverley, TrazanaTrazana Beverley Lady in Red For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf [32]
1978 Wedgeworth, AnnAnn Wedgeworth Faye Medwick Chapter Two [33]
1979 Hickson, JoanJoan Hickson Delia Bedroom Farce [34]
1980 Manoff, DinahDinah Manoff Libby Tucker I Ought to be in Pictures [35]
1981 Kurtz, SwoosieSwoosie Kurtz Gwen Landis Fifth of July [36]
1982 Plummer, AmandaAmanda Plummer Agnes Agnes of God [37]
1983 Ivey, JudithJudith Ivey Josie Steaming [38]
1984 Baranski, ChristineChristine Baranski Charlotte The Real Thing [39]
1985 Ivey, JudithJudith Ivey Bonnie Hurlyburly [40]
1986 Kurtz, SwoosieSwoosie Kurtz Bananas Shaughnessy The House of Blue Leaves [41]
1987 Alice, MaryMary Alice Rose Maxson Fences [42]
1988 Caldwell, L. ScottL. Scott Caldwell Bertha Holly Joe Turner's Come and Gone [43]
1989 Baranski, ChristineChristine Baranski Chris Gorman Rumors [44]
1990 Tyzack, MargaretMargaret Tyzack Lotte Schoen Lettice and Lovage [45]
1991 Worth, IreneIrene Worth Grandma Kurnitz Lost in Yonkers [46]
1992 Brennan, BridBrid Brennan Agnes Dancing at Lughnasa [47]
1993 Monk, DebraDebra Monk Geneva Riordan Redwood Curtain [48]
1994 Adams, JaneJane Adams Sheila Birling An Inspector Calls [49]
1995 Sternhagen, FrancesFrances Sternhagen Lavinia Penniman The Heiress [50]
1996 McDonald, AudraAudra McDonald Sharon Graham Master Class [51]
1997 Thigpen, LynneLynne Thigpen Dr. Judith B. Kaufman An American Daughter [52]
1998 Manahan, AnnaAnna Manahan Mags Folan The Beauty Queen of Leenane [53]
1999 Franz, ElizabethElizabeth Franz Linda Loman Death of a Salesman [54]
2000 Brown, BlairBlair Brown Margrethe Bohr Copenhagen [55]
2001 Davis, ViolaViola Davis Tonya King Hedley II [56]
2002 Finneran, KatieKatie Finneran Brooke Ashton Noises Off [57]
2003 Pawk, MicheleMichele Pawk Louise Hollywood Arms [58]
2004 McDonald, AudraAudra McDonald Ruth Younger A Raisin in the Sun [59]
2005 Lenox, AdrianeAdriane Lenox Mrs. Muller Doubt: A Parable [60]
2006 Tour, Frances de laFrances de la Tour Mrs. Lintott The History Boys [61]
2007 Ehle, JenniferJennifer Ehle Multiple[VI] The Coast of Utopia
2008 Reed, RondiRondi Reed Mattie Fae Aiken August: Osage County [62]
2009 Lansbury, AngelaAngela Lansbury Madame Arcati Blithe Spirit [63]
2010 Johansson, ScarlettScarlett Johansson Catherine A View from the Bridge [64]
2011 Barkin, EllenEllen Barkin Dr. Emma Brookner The Normal Heart [65]
2012 Light, JudithJudith Light Silda Grauman Other Desert Cities [66]
2013 Light, JudithJudith Light Faye The Assembled Parties [67]
2014 Okonedo, SophieSophie Okonedo Ruth Younger A Raisin in the Sun [6]
2015 -, -- - - - [6]

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]

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.[68]
^[V] Sternhagen plays multiple roles in The Good Doctor;[69] as described by its author, the play is composed of "sketches, Vaudeville scenes, if you will, written with my non-consenting collaborator, Anton Chekhov".[70]
^[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).[71]


  • "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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  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. 
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  17. ^ Hellman, Lillian (1960). Toys in the Attic: a drama in three acts. Dramatists Play Service. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-8222-1163-1. 
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  22. ^ Hansberry, Lorraine (1986). The sign in Sidney Brustein's window: a drama in two acts. Samuel French, Inc. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-573-61541-2. 
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  28. ^ Arkatov, Janice (November 24, 1991). "'Miss Reardon' Director Plays Different Role : Rae Allen puts her own imprint on a revival of a show in which she appeared on Broadway". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 11, 2012. 
  29. ^ Rabe, David (1979). Sticks and Bones: a play in two acts. Samuel French, Inc. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-573-61583-2. 
  30. ^ Prideaux, James (1973). The Last of Mrs. Lincoln: a play in two acts. Dramatists Play Service. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-8222-0638-5. 
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External links[edit]