AceShowbiz - Lois Smith has just set a new record. At the 74th annual Tony Awards, "The Inheritance" actress won her first trophy and became the oldest person to win an acting accolade at the award show.
The 90-year-old actress took home best actress in a featured role in a play for her work as Margaret in "The Inheritance". During her speech at the event held on Sunday night, September 26, the "Marjorie Prime" actress said, "I love the processes of the live theater."
"I first worked on 'The Inheritance' in a workshop where Matthew Lopez was finishing a play about the AIDS plague," Lois continued. She went on saying, "It was partly based on E.M. Forster's book 'Howards End', which had been my favorite novel for as long as I can remember."
Lois then concluded her speech by quoting wise words in "Howards End". "E.M. Forster gave us, there's a famous two-word message from 'Howards End', which is so apt, I think, tonight for all of us who are here celebrating the importance, the functions, of live theater, 'Only connect,' " she shared.
Lois, in fact, is the only female actor in "The Inheritance". In an interview with Variety back in March 2020, she acknowledged that her performance schedule in "The Inheritance" was pretty, well, cushy. She doesn't appear onstage until late in the play, which was performed in two parts. So she only performed three times per week.
"I think to myself, 'Now what's going to happen to me?' This may be the end of me," Lois said at the time. "Suppose somebody asks me to do eight shows a week, what am I going to say? It's hard to imagine at this point!"
Previously, Lois was nominated at the Tonys for "Buried Child" in 1996 and "The Grapes of Wrath" in 1990. She is also known for her big-screen performances in movies like "Twister", "Lady Bird" and "Minority Report", as well as memorable TV shows like "True Blood", "The Americans" and "Ray Donovan".
At the two-hour awards ceremony streamed on Paramount Plus, "Moulin Rouge! The Musical" was the big winner with ten wins from its 14 nominations. In the meantime, "Jagged Little Pill" picked up two Tonys, including one for Diablo Cody for best book of a musical.
In play categories, "A Christmas Carol" led with five wins, mostly in craft categories, while Matthew Lopez's "The Inheritance" took home best play. "The Inheritance" cast member Andrew Burnap and director Stephen Daldry won Tony as well.
In addition, Aaron Tveit won the award for best leading actor in a musical for "Moulin Rouge! The Musical". He thanked a long list of people, including his parents, brother, agents, manager and the cast and crew. "We are so privileged to get to do this," he said, tearing up. "Because what we do changes peoples' lives." Aaron's co-star Danny Burstein also took home Tony for featured actor.
Adrienne Warren, on the other hand, won the Tony for best leading actress in a musical for her electric turn as Tina Turner in "Tina - The Tina Turner Musical". Mary-Louise Parker took home her second best actress Tony, winning for playing a tenured Yale professor in "The Sound Inside". Also winning a Tony award was "A Soldier's Play" for best play revival and cast member David Alan Grier won as featured actor.
The full list of 2021 Tony Awards winners is as follows: