Lois Smith has become the oldest-ever winner of a Tony Award
The 90-year-old star won the gong for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role as Margaret in 'The Inheritance, and Lois' success means she's set a new record at the annual awards show
29 September 2021
Reflecting on her triumph in New York on Sunday (26.09.21), she said:
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"I love the processes of the live theatre. I first worked on 'The Inheritance' in a workshop where Matthew López was finishing a play about the AIDS plague, and it was partly based on E.M. Forster's book Howards End, which had been my favourite novel for as long as I can remember."
Lois plays one of only two female characters in the play, which is spread over two three-hour parts.
In her speech, she added: "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 theatre: 'Only connect.'"
The play focuses on the lives of a group of gay men in New York during the AIDS crisis.
The production enjoyed a successful run at the Noel Coward Theatre in London's West End, winning Best Play at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018 before opening at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway in 2019.
Writer Matthew Lopez said at the time: "The only way I knew to write this was specifically, the world I knew, the community that I belonged to and the men who have come in and out of my life as friends, as partners, as lovers, over the years.
"To my great delight and astonishment really, people have been expressing to me how universal they feel the play is."