Celebrity Attention Paid 'Salesman' By People Staff Published on February 23, 1999 12:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email 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.