First wins for Daniel Radcliffe and Angelina Jolie at Tony Awards

17 June 2024, 09:28 | Updated: 17 June 2024, 12:29

Daniel Radcliffe has won his first Tony Award and admitted it was "one of the best experiences" of his life at a ceremony in New York which saw big wins for The Outsiders and Stereophonic.

The 34-year-old star of the Harry Potter movies picked up the award at the 77th annual event, which recognises excellence in Broadway theatre, for his role in the revival of Merrily We Roll Along.

After performing with the cast of the show on stage at the Lincoln Centre's David H Koch Theatre, Radcliffe appeared shocked to win the award for best actor in a featured role in a musical.

"This has been one of the best experiences of my life," Radcliffe said.

He thanked the late George Furth and Stephen Sondheim "for writing this unbelievable show" in 1981, the songs of which he described as "a gift to get to sing every night".

He also said it was an "honour" to share the stage with co-stars Lindsay Mendez and Jonathan Groff in the musical, which charts the turbulent relationship between three lifelong friends.

The Outsiders, based on the SE Hinton book about rival gangs in 1960s Oklahoma, won three awards including best new musical - and landed producer Angelina Jolie her first Tony.

Stereophonic, the play about a Fleetwood Mac-like band recording an album over a turbulent year, won best new play and scooped the night's most total awards with five.

The star-studded ceremony also saw Nick Jonas, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Hudson, Idina Menzel, and Cynthia Erivo among the attendees, while there was a surprise performance from Alicia Keys and Jay-Z.

Radcliffe's Merrily We Roll Along co-star Groff won best actor in a musical - while British director Maria Friedman collected the gong for best revival of a musical alongside her producer sister Sonia.

The ceremony kicked off with a first-time win for Succession's Jeremy Strong, who triumphed in the best actor in a play category for An Enemy Of The People.

Sarah Paulson won best actress in a play for her role in Appropriate, a dark family drama-turned-comedy from playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

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Theatre veteran Kecia Lewis picked up her first Tony for best featured actress in musical Hell's Kitchen.

In an emotional speech, Lewis recalled how she "walked into the Imperial Theatre to begin my Broadway career at 18 years old".

She added: "This moment is the one I dreamed for most of those 40 years, so I say to everyone who can hear my voice - don't give up."

To win a Tony - short for Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre - means a winner is a quarter of the way towards becoming among the few to gain an EGOT, the so-called "grand slam" of American show business, achieved by those who also win an Oscar, Emmy and Grammy.

The West End of London's equivalent awards are the Olivier Awards, which were presented this year in April.