Attention Paid 'Salesman'

Broadway’s battle of giants — in both the acting and playwright categories — favored Arthur Miller’s 50-year-old “Death of a Salesman” at last night’s 53rd annual Tony Awards. In the tightest race, Brian Dennehy (who plays Willy Loman in the “Salesman” revival) won over Kevin Spacey (who stars in the red-hot, sold-out revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh,” which was a Tony shut-out). Even Dennehy admitted his surprise at the outcome of the Tony votes: “I was very detached from this award,” he told reporters immediately after his win, clutching the Tony in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other — and refusing to let go of either. “I thought Spacey was going to win. But when (presenter Laurence) Fishburne said, ‘The big man’ . . . your heart stops for awhile.” Then raising his glass, Dennehy, 60, said: I’ve been in this business 40 years. This is what as a kid I dreamed about. It’s still a dream.”

  • Besides Dennehy and his co-star Elizabeth Franz (who won the Featured Actress Tony for playing Willy’s long-suffering wife, Linda), “Salesman” won for Roberts Falls’s direction and was named Best Revival of a Play. With four awards it was the major winner of the night. “Salesman” playwright Arthur Miller, 83, also won a special Lifetime Achievement Tony. The Best Musical, “Fosse,” won three Tonys (also for Orchestration and Lighting). Best Play was Warren Leight’s “Side Man.”
  • Other top winners were Judi Dench, Leading Actress in David Hare’s “Amy’s View”; Martin Short, Musical Actor in the revival of “Little Me”; and Bernadette Peters, Musical Actress in the newly revised “Annie Get Your Gun,” which was also named Best Revival. For The PEOPLE Daily’s special coverage of the Tonys, click here.
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