Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical


Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical

The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical is awarded to the actor who was voted as the best actor in a musical play, whether a new production or a revival. The award has been announced since 1948, but the nominees who did not win have only been announced since 1956.

Award winners

1940s

* 1948 Paul Hartman in "Angel in the Wings" as "Horace" / "Mr. Blodgett" / "George" / "Dr. Hutchinson, W.T." / "The Stranger"
* 1949 Ray Bolger in "Where's Charley?" as "Charley Wykeham"

1950s

* 1950 Ezio Pinza in "South Pacific" as "Emile De Beque"
* 1951 Robert Alda in "Guys and Dolls" as "Sky Masterson"
* 1952 Phil Silvers in "Top Banana" as "Jerry Biffle"
* 1953 Thomas Mitchell in "Hazel Flagg" as "Dr. Downer"
* 1954 Alfred Drake in "Kismet" as "Hajj"
* 1955 Walter Slezak in "Fanny" as "Panisse"

* 1956 Ray Walston in "Damn Yankees" as "Mr. Applegate"
**Stephen Douglass in "Damn Yankees" as "Joe Hardy"
**William Johnson in "Pipe Dream" as "Doc"

* 1957 Rex Harrison in "My Fair Lady" as "Henry Higgins"
**Fernando Lamas in "Happy Hunting" as "Duke of Granada"
**Robert Weede in "The Most Happy Fella" as "Tony"

* 1958 Robert Preston in "The Music Man" as "Harold Hill"
**Ricardo Montalban in "Jamaica" as "Koli"
**Eddie Foy, Jr. in "Rumple" as "Rumple"
**Tony Randall in "Oh, Captain!" as "Captain Henry St. James"

* 1959 Richard Kiley in "Redhead" as "Tom Baxter"
**Larry Blyden in "Flower Drum Song" as "Sammy Fong"

1960s

* 1960 Jackie Gleason in "Take Me Along" as "Sid Davis"
**Robert Morse in "Take Me Along" as "Richard Miller"
**Walter Pidgeon in "Take Me Along" as "Nat Miller"
**Andy Griffith in "Destry Rides Again" as "Destry"

* 1961 Richard Burton in "Camelot" as "Arthur"
**Phil Silvers in "Do Re Mi" as "Hubert Cram"
**Maurice Evans in "Tenderloin" as "Reverend Brock"

* 1962 Robert Morse in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" as "J. Pierrepont Finch"
**Ray Bolger in "All-American" as "Professor Fodorski"
**Alfred Drake in "Kean" as "Edmund Kean"
**Richard Kiley in "No Strings" as "David Jordan"

* 1963 Zero Mostel in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" as "Pseudolus"
**Sid Caesar in "Little Me" as "Fred Poitrine" / "Mr. Pinchley" / "Noble Eggleston" / "Noble Junior" / "Otto Schnitzler" / "Prince Cherney" / "Val du Val"
**Anthony Newley in "Stop the World - I Want to Get Off" as "Littlechap"
**Clive Revill in "Oliver!" as "Fagin"

* 1964 Bert Lahr in "Foxy" as "Foxy"
**Sydney Chaplin in "Funny Girl" as "Nick Arnstein"
**Bob Fosse in "Pal Joey" as "Joey Evans"
**Steve Lawrence in "What Makes Sammy Run?" as "Sammy Glick"

* 1965 Zero Mostel in "Fiddler on the Roof" as "Tevye"
**Sammy Davis, Jr. in "Golden Boy" as "Joe Wellington"
**Cyril Ritchard in "The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd" as "Sir"
**Tommy Steele in "Half a Sixpence" as "Arthur Kipps"

* 1966 Richard Kiley in "Man of La Mancha" as "Don Quixote" / "Cervantes"
**Jack Cassidy in "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman" as "Max Mencken"
**John Cullum in "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" as "Dr. Mark Bruckner"
**Harry Secombe in "Pickwick" as "Pickwick"

* 1967 Robert Preston in "I Do! I Do!" as "Michael"
**Alan Alda in "The Apple Tree" as "Adam" / "Captain Sanjar" / "Flip, the Prince Charming"
**Jack Gilford in "Cabaret" as "Herr Schultz"
**Norman Wisdom in "Walking Happy" as "Will Mossop

* 1968 Robert Goulet in "The Happy Time" as "Jacques Bonnard"
**Robert Hooks in "Hallelujah, Baby!" as "Clem"
**Tony Roberts in "How Now, Dow Jones" as "Charley"
**David Wayne in "The Happy Time" as "Grandpere Bonnard"

* 1969 Jerry Orbach in "Promises, Promises" as "Chuck Baxter "
**Herschel Bernardi in "Zorba" as "Zorba"
**Jack Cassidy in "Maggie Flynn" as "The Clown"
**Joel Grey in "George M!" as "George M. Cohan"

1970s

* 1970 Cleavon Little in "Purlie" as "Purlie"
**Len Cariou in "Applause" as "Bill Sampson"
**Robert Weede in "Cry for Us All" as "Edward Quinn"

* 1971 Hal Linden in "The Rothschilds" as "Mayer Rothschild"
**David Burns in "Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentleman" as "Col. Wainwright Purdy III"
**Larry Kert in "Company" as "Bobby"
**Bobby Van in "No, No Nanette" as "Billy Early"

* 1972 Phil Silvers in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" as "Pseudolus"
**Clifton Davis in "Two Gentlemen of Verona" as "Valentine"
**Barry Bostwick in "Grease" as "Danny Zuko"
**Raúl Juliá in "Two Gentlemen of Verona" as "Proteus"

* 1973 Ben Vereen in "Pippin" as "The Leading Player"
**Len Cariou in "A Little Night Music" as "Frederick Egerman"
**Robert Morse in "Sugar" as "Jerry"
**Brock Peters in "Lost in the Stars" as "Stephen Kumalo"

* 1974 Christopher Plummer in "Cyrano" as "Cyrano de Bergerac"
**Alfred Drake in "Gigi" as "Honore Lachailles"
**Joe Morton in "Raisin" as "Walter Lee Younger"
**Lewis J. Stadlen in "Candide" as "Dr. Pangloss" / "Governor" / "Host" / "Sage"/ "Voltaire"

* 1975 John Cullum in "Shenandoah" as "Charlie Anderson"
**Joel Grey in "Goodtime Charley" as "Charley"
**Raúl Juliá in "Where's Charley?" as "Charley Wykeham"
**Eddie Mekka in "The Lieutenant" as "Lieutenant"
**Robert Preston in "Mack & Mabel" as "Mack Sennett"

* 1976 George Rose in "My Fair Lady" as "Alfred P. Doolittle"
**Makoto Iwamatsu in "Pacific Overtures" as "Jonathan Goble" / "Reciter" / "Shogun"
**Jerry Orbach in "Chicago" as "Billy Flynn"
**Ian Richardson in "My Fair Lady" as "Henry Higgins"

* 1977 Barry Bostwick in "The Robber Bridegroom" as "Jamie Lockhart"
**Robert Guillaume in "Guys and Dolls" as "Nathan Detroit"
**Raúl Juliá in "Threepenny Opera" as "Macheath"
**Reid Shelton in "Annie" as "Oliver Warbucks"

* 1978 John Cullum in "On the Twentieth Century" as "Oscar Jaffee"
**Eddie Bracken in "Hello, Dolly!" as "Horace Vandergelder"
**Barry Nelson in "The Act" as "Dan Conners"
**Gilbert Price in "Timbuktu!" as "The Mansa of Mali"

* 1979 Len Cariou in "" as "Sweeney Todd"
**Vincent Gardenia in "Ballroom" as "Alfred Rossi"
**Joel Grey in "The Grand Tour" as "S. L. Jacobowsky"
**Robert Klein in "They're Playing Our Song" as "Vernon Gersch"

1980s

* 1980 Jim Dale in "Barnum" as "P. T. Barnum"
**Gregory Hines in "Comin' Uptown" as "Scrooge"
**Mickey Rooney in "Sugar Babies" as "Mickey"
**Giorgio Tozzi in "The Most Happy Fella" as "Tony"

* 1981 Kevin Kline in "The Pirates of Penzance" as "The Pirate King"
**Gregory Hines in "Sophisticated Ladies" as "Performer"
**George Rose in "The Pirates of Penzance" as "Major-General Stanley"
**Martin Vidnovic in "Brigadoon" as "Tommy Albright"

* 1982 Ben Harney in "Dreamgirls" as "Curtis Taylor Jr."
**Herschel Bernardi in "Fiddler on the Roof" as "Tevye"
**Victor Garber in "Little Me" as "Fred Poitrine" / "Noble Eggleston" / "Noble Junior" / "Val du Val"
**Raúl Juliá in "Nine" as "Guido Contini"

* 1983 Tommy Tune in "My One and Only" as "Captain Billy Buck Chandler"
**Al Green in "Your Arms Too Short to Box with God" as "Performer"
**George Hearn in "A Doll's Life" as "Actor" / "Johan" / "Torvald"
**Michael V. Smartt in "Porgy and Bess" as "Porgy"

* 1984 George Hearn in "La Cage aux Folles" as "Albin"
**Gene Barry in "La Cage aux Folles as "Georges'
**Ron Moody in "Oliver!" as "Fagin"
**Mandy Patinkin in "Sunday in the Park with George" as "George"

* 1985 -"no awards"
* 1986 George Rose in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" as "Mayor Thomas Sapsea" / "William Cartwright"
**Don Correia in "Singin' in the Rain" as "Don Lockwood"
**Cleavant Derricks in "Big Deal" as "Charley"
**Maurice Hines in "Uptown…It's Hot!" as "Performer"

* 1987 Robert Lindsay in "Me and My Girl" as "Bill Snibson"
**Roderick Cook in "Oh Coward!" as "Performer"
**Terrence Mann in "Les Misérables" as "Inspector Javert"
**Colm Wilkinson in "Les Misérables" as "Jean Valjean"

* 1988 Michael Crawford in "The Phantom of the Opera" as "The Phantom"
**Scott Bakula in "Romance/Romance" as "Alfred Von Wilmers" / "Sam"
**David Carroll in "Chess" as "Anatoly"
**Howard McGillin in "Anything Goes" as "Billy Crocker"

* 1989 Jason Alexander in "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" as "Cigar" / "Emcee" / "Floy" / "Pa" / "Pseudolus" / "Tevye" / "The Settler"
**Gabriel Barre in "Starmites" as "Trinkulus"
**Brian Lane Green in "Starmites" as "Spacepunk"
**Robert La Fosse in "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" as "3rd Dancer" / "Gaby" / "Tony" / "Company Member of '...Forum'"

1990s

* 1990 James Naughton in "City of Angels" as "Stone"
**David Carroll in "Grand Hotel" as "Felix Von Gaigern"
**Gregg Edelman in "City of Angels" as "Stine"
**Bob Gunton in "" as "Sweeney Todd"

* 1991 Jonathan Pryce in "Miss Saigon" as "The Engineer"
**Keith Carradine in "The Will Rogers Follies" as "Will Rogers"
**Paul Hipp in "Buddy" as "Buddy Holly"
**Topol in "Fiddler on the Roof" as "Tevye"

* 1992 Gregory Hines in "Jelly's Last Jam" as "Jelly Roll Morton"
**Harry Groener in "Crazy for You" as "Bobby Child"
**Nathan Lane in "Guys and Dolls" as "Nathan Detroit"
**Michael Rupert in "Falsettos" as "Marvin"

* 1993 Brent Carver in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" as "Molina"
**Tim Curry in "My Favorite Year" as "Alan Swann"
**Con O'Neill in "Blood Brothers" as "Mickey"
**Martin Short in "The Goodbye Girl" as "Elliot"

* 1994 Boyd Gaines in She Loves Me" as "Georg Nowack"'
**Victor Garber in "Damn Yankees" as "Mr. Applegate"
**Terrence Mann in "Beauty and the Beast" as "The Beast"
**Jere Shea in "Passion" as "Giorgio"

* 1995 Matthew Broderick in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" as "J. Pierrepont Finch"
**Alan Campbell in "Sunset Boulevard" as "Joe Gillis"
**Mark Jacoby in "Show Boat" as "Gaylord Ravenal"
**John McMartin in "Show Boat" as "Cap'n Andy"

* 1996 Nathan Lane in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" as "Pseudolus"
**Savion Glover in "Bring in 'da Noise/Bring in 'da Funk" as "'da Beat" / "Lil' Dahlin'"
**Adam Pascal in "Rent" as "Roger Davis"
**Lou Diamond Phillips in "The King and I" as "The King of Siam"

* 1997 James Naughton in "Chicago" as "Billy Flynn"
**Robert Cuccioli in "Jekyll and Hyde" as "Dr. Henry Jekyll" / "Edward Hyde"
**Jim Dale in "Candide" as "2nd Gambler" / "Businessman"/ "Dr. Pangloss" / "Governor" / "Sage" / "Voltaire"
**Daniel McDonald in "Steel Pier" as "Bill Kelly"

* 1998 Alan Cumming in "Cabaret" as "The Master of Ceremonies"
**Peter Friedman in "Ragtime" as "Tateh"
**Brian Stokes Mitchell in "Ragtime" as "Coalhouse Walker, Jr."
**Douglas Sills in "The Scarlet Pimpernel" as "Percy Blakeney"

* 1999 Martin Short in "Little Me" as "Noble Eggleston" / "Amos Pinchley" / "Benny Buchsbaum" / "Val du Val" / "Fred Poitrine" / "Otto Schnitzler" / "Prince Cherney" / "The Drunk"
**Brent Carver in "Parade" as "Leo Frank"
**Adam Cooper in "Swan Lake" as "Dancer"
**Tom Wopat in "Annie Get Your Gun" as "Frank Butler"

2000s

* 2000 Brian Stokes Mitchell in "Kiss Me, Kate" as "Fred Graham" / "Petruchio"
**Craig Bierko in "The Music Man" as "Harold Hill"
**George Hearn in "Putting It Together" as "The Husband"
**Mandy Patinkin in "The Wild Party" as "Burrs"
**Christopher Walken in "The Dead" as "Gabriel Conroy"

* 2001 Nathan Lane in "The Producers" as "Max Bialystock"
**Matthew Broderick in "The Producers" as "Leo Bloom"
**Kevin Chamberlin in "Seussical" as "Horton the Elephant"
**Tom Hewitt in "The Rocky Horror Show" as "Frank N Furter"
**Patrick Wilson in "The Full Monty" as "Jerry Lukowski"

* 2002 John Lithgow in "Sweet Smell of Success" as "J.J. Hunsecker"
**Gavin Creel in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" as "Jimmy Smith"
**John McMartin in "Into the Woods" as "Narrator" / "Mysterious Man"
**Patrick Wilson in "Oklahoma!" as "Curly"
**John Cullum in "Urinetown The Musical" as "Caldwell B. Cladwell"

* 2003 Harvey Fierstein in "Hairspray" as "Edna Turnblad"
**Antonio Banderas in "Nine, The Musical" as "Guido Contini"
**Malcolm Gets in "Amour" as "Dusoleil"
**Brian Stokes Mitchell in "Man of La Mancha" as "Don Quixote" / "Cervantes"
**John Selya in "Movin' Out" as "Eddie"

* 2004 Hugh Jackman in "The Boy from Oz" as "Peter Allen"
**Hunter Foster in "Little Shop of Horrors" as "Seymour"
**Alfred Molina in "Fiddler on the Roof" as "Tevye"
**Euan Morton in "Taboo" as "George"
**John Tartaglia in "Avenue Q" as "Princeton" / "Rod"

* 2005 Norbert Leo Butz in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" as "Freddy Benson"
**Hank Azaria in "Monty Python's Spamalot" as "Sir Lancelot" / "The French Taunter" / "Knight of Ni" / "Tim the Enchanter"
**Gary Beach in "La Cage aux Folles" as "Albin"
**Tim Curry in "Monty Python's Spamalot" as "King Arthur"
**John Lithgow in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" as "Lawrence Jameson"

* 2006 John Lloyd Young in "Jersey Boys" as "Frankie Valli"
**Michael Cerveris in "" as "Sweeney Todd"
**Harry Connick, Jr. in "The Pajama Game" as "Sid Sorokin"
**Stephen Lynch in "The Wedding Singer" as "Robbie Hart"
**Bob Martin in "The Drowsy Chaperone" as "Man in Chair"

* 2007 David Hyde Pierce in "Curtains" as "Lieutenant Frank Cioffi"
**Michael Cerveris in "LoveMusik" as "Kurt Weill"
**Raúl Esparza in "Company" as "Robert"
**Jonathan Groff in "Spring Awakening" as "Melchior"
**Gavin Lee in "Mary Poppins" as "Bert"

*2008 Paulo Szot in "South Pacific" as "Emile de Becque"
**Daniel Evans in "Sunday in the Park with George" as "Georges Seurat" / "George"
**Lin-Manuel Miranda in "In the Heights" as "Usnavi"
**Stew in "Passing Strange" as "Narrator"
**Tom Wopat in "A Catered Affair" as "Tom Hurley"

Award records

Winners

;2 Wins"'
*John Cullum
*Richard Kiley
*Nathan Lane
*Zero Mostel
*James Naughton
*Robert Preston
*George Rose
*Phil Silvers

Nominees

;4 nominations"'
*John Cullum
*Raúl Juliá

;3 nominations"'
*Len Cariou
*Alfred Drake
*Joel Grey
*George Hearn
*Gregory Hines
*Richard Kiley
*Nathan Lane
*Robert Morse
*Robert Preston
*George Rose
*Phil Silvers
*Brian Stokes Mitchell

2 Nominations
*Herschel Bernardi
*Ray Bolger
*Barry Bostwick
*Matthew Broderick
*David Carroll
*Brent Carver
*Jack Cassidy
*Michael Cerveris
*Tim Curry
*Jim Dale
*Victor Garber
*John Lithgow
*Terrence Mann
*John McMartin
*Zero Mostel
*James Naughton
*Jerry Orbach
*Mandy Patinkin
*Martin Short
*Robert Weede
*Patrick Wilson
*Tom Wopat

Trivia

* The lead role of Pseudolus in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" has earned the Tony Award for the three different actors who have performed the character:
** 1963 – Zero Mostel
** 1972 – Phil Silvers
** 1996 – Nathan Lane
*In 1989, Jason Alexander won the award for portraying several characters in "Jerome Robbins' Broadway", amongst them, the role of Pseudolus.
*Two other male roles have produced multiple Tony Award winners: J. Pierrepont Finch in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying":
** 1962 – Robert Morse
** 1995 – Matthew Broderick
*and Emile de Beque in South Pacific:
** 1950 - Ezio Pinza
** 2008 - Paulo Szot
*Two actors have won for their performances in "My Fair Lady", each for a different character:
** 1957 – Rex Harrison, playing Henry Higgins
** 1976 – George Rose, playing Alfred P. Doolitle
** Ian Richardson, who played Henry Higgins in 1976, was also nominated.
*The lead role with most nominations is Tevye, in "Fiddler on the Roof". Four actors have been nominated for their portrayals, with one win:
** 1965 – Zero Mostel (winner)
** 1982 – Herschel Bernardi
** 1991 – Chaim Topol
** 2004 – Alfred Molina
*In 1989, Jason Alexander won for portraying several characters in Jerome Robbins' Broadway, including the role of Tevye.
*Three actors were nominated in this category for roles that had previously been classified as Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. George Rose won the 1976 Best Actor Award for playing Alfred P. Doolitle in "My Fair Lady" whereas Stanley Holloway was nominated in the featured category for playing the part in 1956. Similarly, Lou Diamond Phillips was nominated for Best Actor for playing the King of Siam in "The King and I" in 1996 while Yul Brynner won the Best Featured Actor Tony for the same role in 1951. Also, Alan Cumming won for his role as the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret in 1998, which Joel Grey won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor for in 1966.
*Harvey Fierstein is the only actor to win the award by portraying a female character, for his 2003 performance as Edna Turnblad in "Hairspray".
* There have never been consecutive victories, and only four actors have managed, over the decades, to score consecutive nominations: Gregory Hines (1980/1981), George Hearn (1983/1984), Patrick Wilson (2001/2002) and Michael Cerveris (2006/2007).


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