Fierceness, thy name is Cicely Tyson. After a 30 year absence from Broadway, the iconic actress made history last night as the oldest person to ever win a Tony Award for her starring role as Miss Carrie Watts in The Trip to Bountiful. Ms. Tyson has won two Emmy Awards and has been nominated for the Academy Award. She also received the "longest standing ovation" of the night, reported The New York Times.
Watch her acceptance speech, a clip from the critically-acclaimed production and much more AFTER THE JUMP ...
In addition to Ms. Tyson and Billy Porter's win for the hit musical Kinky Boots, it was a "huge" night for Black talent at the Tony Awards, notes The New York Times. "At a time when only 15 to 20 percent of actors on Broadway are Black, half of the major acting awards went to African-Americans.
Cicely Tyson, at age 88, won her first Tony for best actress in a play as a neglected mother in “The Trip to Bountiful”; Patina Miller, best actress in a musical as the Leading Player in “Pippin;” Mr. Porter, best actor in a musical as the drag queen Lola in “Kinky Boots”; and Courtney B. Vance, best featured actor in a play as a newspaper editor in “Lucky Guy.”
In Ms. Miller’s case, it was also the first time that a woman and a man have won a Tony for playing the same role, according to a spokesman for “Pippin.” Ben Vereen won the Tony in 1973 as the Leading Player in Bob Fosse’s original production of the musical.
Courtney B. Vance is seen above. Ms. Miller is below.
A fifth award went to a Black producer, reports IndieWire's Shadow and Act. "Ron Simons [won for] Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which won the Tony Award for Best Play. This is Ron's first nomination and win."
This apparently is only the second time in the Tony Award's 66-year history that 4 black actors "have taken home trophies in the same year," adds Shadow and Act. The last time was 1982 when Jennifer Holliday, Cleavant Derricks and Ben Harney won for Dreamgirls. Zakes Mokae also won for Master Harold and the Boys.
It was only three years ago that Black performers made Tony Award history when they won Best Actor and Best Actress in a play for the same theater season. Two time Oscar-winner Denzel Washington and Viola Davis triumphed for Fences, the 1987 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner by August Wilson.
Watch acceptance speeches and performance clips from Cicely Tyson, Courtney B. Vance and Patina Miller AFTER THE JUMP ....