Popular actor of stage and screen, Kevin Spacey, has been selected to host the 71st Annual Tony Awards. A Tony-winner himself, Spacey won for Best Featured Actor in a Play in 1991, appearing in Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers. The Tony Awards will be presented live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday, June 11 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT). Presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, The Tony Awards are presented every spring as a celebration of excellence in Broadway Theatre.
“We are thrilled to have Kevin, who has mastered the Broadway stage, the big and small screens and the West End, host this year’s Tony Awards! His spirit and passion for live theatre makes him the perfect host, and we can’t wait to see the energy he brings to Radio City on Tony night!” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing
Spacey is best-known for his myriad award-winning portrayal of fictional President Frank Underwood on the Netflix Series House of Cards. He has won two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor in the 1995 film The Usual Suspects as the mysterious Roger Kint, and one for Best Actor for his portrayal of the mid-life crisis-plagued Lester Burnham in the 1999 film American Beauty (Directed by Sam Mendes).
Kevin Spacey is no stranger to the legitimate stage, having appeared on Broadway and in the West End in Long Day’s Journey Into Night starring Jack Lemmon and toured in Richard III (also directed by Sam Mendes). He was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by Her Majesty the Queen for his services to theatre. His performance as Hickey in The Iceman Cometh garnered Spacey both Evening Standard and Oliver Awards for Best Actor.
Spacey is also well-respected for his initiatives to help young people get their start in film and theatre. Inspired by Jack Lemmon, he has succeeded at launching many promising careers with The Kevin Spacey Foundation, which offers support for young writers, actors, directors and producers.
In 2003, Spacey was named the director of London’s Old Vic Theatre, where he served for a decade. Most recently, he was presented with an Honorary Knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen, bestowed the honor for his work at the Old Vic, education, and philanthropy.
Spacey quipped about his selection as host, “I was their 2nd choice for Usual Suspects, 4th choice for American Beauty and 15th choice to host this year’s Tony Awards. I think my career is definitely going in the right direction,” said Spacey. “Maybe I can get shortlisted to host the Oscars if everyone else turns it down.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theatre and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.