Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play
|Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play|
|Awarded for||Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play|
|Location||United States New York City|
|Presented by||American Theatre Wing The Broadway League|
|Currently held by||Tracy Letts for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?|
The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor 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 actors for quality leading 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." Despite the award first being presented in 1947, there were no nominees announced until 1956.
1st Tony Awards
|José Ferrer||Cyrano de Bergerac||Cyrano de Bergerac|
|Fredric March||Years Ago||Clinton Jones|
2nd Tony Awards
|Henry Fonda||Mister Roberts||Lieutenant Roberts|
|Paul Kelly||Command Decision||Brigadier General K.C. Dennis|
|Basil Rathbone||The Heiress||Dr. Austin Sloper|
3rd Tony Awards
|Rex Harrison||Anne of the Thousand Days||Henry VIII|
64th Tony Awards
|Denzel Washington||Fences||Troy Maxson|
|Alfred Molina||Red||Mark Rothko|
|Liev Schreiber||A View from the Bridge||Eddie|
|Christopher Walken||A Behanding in Spokane||Carmichael|
65th Tony Awards
|Mark Rylance||Jerusalem||Johnny "Rooster" Byron|
|Brian Bedford||The Importance of Being Earnest||Lady Bracknell|
|Bobby Cannavale||The Motherfucker with the Hat||Jackie|
|Joe Mantello||The Normal Heart||Ned Weeks|
|Al Pacino||The Merchant of Venice||Shylock|
66th Tony Awards
|James Corden||One Man, Two Guvnors||Francis Henshall|
|James Earl Jones||The Best Man||President Art Hockstader|
|Philip Seymour Hoffman||Death of a Salesman||Willy Loman|
|Frank Langella||Man and Boy||Gregor Antonescu|
|John Lithgow||The Columnist||Joseph Alsop|
67th Tony Awards
|Tracy Letts||Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?||George|
|Tom Hanks||Lucky Guy||Mike McAlary|
|Nathan Lane||The Nance||Chauncey|
|David Hyde Pierce||Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike||Vanya|
- Alan Bates (two)
- Brian Dennehy (two)
- José Ferrer (two)
- Judd Hirsch (two)
- James Earl Jones (two)
- Fredric March (two)
- Mark Rylance (two)
- Jason Robards was nominated seven times for this award, but he won just once (in 1959).
- Brian Bedford was nominated seven times for this award, with one win (in 1971).
- Donald Pleasence was nominated four times, but he never won this award.
- Hume Cronyn was nominated four times, but he never won this award.
- James Earl Jones has been nominated four times for this award.
- Ben Gazzara was nominated three times for this award.
- Donald Moffat was nominated for two different plays in 1967, but he did not win this award for either one of them.
- The lead role of George in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has earned the Tony Award for the three different actors who have performed the character:
- Other male roles have produced multiple Tony Award winners: Henry in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing
- James Tyrone, Sr., in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night
- Troy Maxson in August Wilson's Fences
- In addition, Stephen Spinella won the Tony Award in 1994 for Angels in America: Perestroika one year after winning the award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for the same character in Angels in America: Millennium Approaches.
- Actors have won Tony Awards for both Best Actor in a Play and Best Actor in a Musical for playing Cyrano de Bergerac: Jose Ferrer in Cyrano de Bergerac and Christopher Plummer in Cyrano.
- The youngest winner in this acting category was Harvey Fierstein (age 31). The oldest was Frank Langella (age 69).