Now that the dust has settled from the excitement of the newly nominated 2014 Tony Award recipients Tuesday morning, it’s time for some fact-finding. A number of actors and productions have made their own history on this day. One actress could make history by winning all four acting categories, over a career, from both musicals and plays.
Several actors nominated in musicals and plays have an Oscar nominated counterpart. Tony Shalhoub could become the first Tony to win a Tony Award. Get ready to be entertained and educated in the fascinating world of the Antoinette Perry or better known as the Tonys.
Audra McDonald now has a near record-breaking eight Tony nominations. Her eighth is for “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” as the legendary jazz singer, Billy Holiday. One other Broadway actress, Julie Harris, still holds the record at 10 nominations.
Audra is now the fifth person to be nominated in all acting categories for plays and musicals, best actress and featured actress. Angela Lansbury is the only other actress. If Audra wins in June she’ll be the first actress to win all performance categories. She will also break the record with the most acting wins from Lansbury and Harris (who are presently tied at five).
Bryan Cranston is only the fourth Tony nominated actor to portray an American president. He’s currently nominated for best actor in a play titled “All The Way.’ Cranston is Lyndon Johnson during his first year as president. Other Broadway actors who’ve been nominated as U.S. presidents include Ralph Bellamy as Franklin D. Roosevelt in “Sunrise at Campobello” (1958); Sam Waterston as Abraham Lincoln in “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” (1994); and more recently Frank Langella as Richard Nixon in “Frost/Nixon” (2007).
Bryan is one of 21 first-time Tony Award nominees. Others include Neil Patrick Harris, Woody Allen, Mare Winnigham, Sophie Okonedo, Chris O’Dowd, and Lena Hall to name a few.
Many of the musicals and one play feature Tony nominated actors whose film counterparts were also nominated for Oscars in the same roles. Best actor in a play nominee Mark Rylance for “Richard III” had Laurence Olivier from “Richard III” released in 1953. Ramin Karimloo for best actor in a musical as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” had Hugh Jackman (and the 2014 Tony Award host) in 2012’s “Les Miserables.”
Andy Karl in “Rocky” had Sylvester Stallone in 1976. Nick Cordero’s nomination for best featured actor in a musical of “Bullets Over Broadway” was Chazz Palminteri in the 1994 film version. Finally, Kelli O’Hara, a favorite to win her first Tony for best actress in a musical “The Bridges of Madison County” had Meryl Streep nominated for an Oscar in the film’s 1995 release.
Actors with the name of Tony who’ve been previously nominated include Tony Shalhoub (1992, 2013, and 2014), Tony Randall (1958), Tony Roberts (1968), Tony Azito (1981), Tony Lo Bianco (1983), Antony (Tony) Sher (1997), and Tony Sheldon (2011).