Meet the 2017 Tony Awards Nominees: Best Actress in a Musical

Best Actress in a Musical 2017 Tony Award Nominees

The Best Actress in a Musical category is filled with powerhouse performances by some of the greatest Broadway legends and newcomers. Before the Tony Award winner is announced on June 11th, get to know these phenomenal ladies!

Best Actress in a Musical

Denee Benton Best Actress in a Musical

Meet Denée Benton

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Hometown: Winter Park, Florida

Training: Carnegie Mellon University

Big Break: Having to skip her Carnegie Mellon BFA Senior Showcase, she played Nabulungi in the West End and US Tour of “The Book of Mormon” (2014). She also played Ruby Carter in “UnREAL” (2016). This is her Broadway debut.

Fun Fact: Attending a highly academic high school, it wasn’t until the summer before her senior year that she decided that she wanted to go to college to study acting. She made a PowerPoint presentation with a full cost/benefit analysis to convince her parents that it was a good idea.

Christine Ebersole Best Actress in a Musical

Meet Christine Ebersole

War Paint

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Training: MacMurray College, AADA

Big Break: A long history on Broadway, she made her Broadway debut in 1975 in "Angel Street." Some other memorable Broadway credits include "On the Twentieth Century" (1978), "Okahoma!" (1979), "Camelot" (1980), and "Steel Magnolias" (2005). She won Tony Awards for her work in "42nd Street" (2001) and "Grey Gardens" (2006). You also may recognize her from classic films like "Tootsie" (1982), "Amadeus" (1984), and "My Favorite Martian" (1999) or the TV show "Royal Pains."

Fun Fact: She was a cast member on SNL from 1981-1982.

Patti LuPone Best Actress in a Musical

Meet Patti LuPone

War Paint

Hometown: Northport, New York

Training: The Juilliard School

Big Break: A living MT legend, she has been a leading lady on Broadway for over 40 years. Making her Broadway debut in "The Three Sisters" in 1973, she received her first Tony Award nomination for "The Robber Bridegroom" in 1975 and won her first Tony Award in 1979 for her career-defining Eva Peron in "Evita." Some of her Broadway highlights include "Anything Goes" (1987; Tony nomination), "Sweeney Todd" (2005; Tony nomination),"Gypsy" (2nd Tony Award; 2008), and "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (Tony nomination; 2010). On television, she starred in "Life Goes On" (1989-1993), "American Horror Story: Coven" (2013), and "Penny Dreadful" (2014-2016).

Fun Fact: She only lives in Manhattan on nights before matinees; she has a driver who drives her two hours home to Litchfield County, Connecticut after most performances.

Bette Midler Best Actress in a Musical

Meet Bette Midler

Hello Dolly!

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii

Training: University of Hawaii at Manoa

Big Break: Making her Broadway debut as Tzeitel in “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1966, she released her first album in 1972,“The Divine Miss M,” which earned her a Grammy and launched her singing career and international popularity. Her major film credits include “The Rose” (1979), “Beaches,” (1988), “Hocus Pocus” (1993), and “The Stepford Wives” (2004). She won a Tony Award in 1974 for “Adding Lustre to the Broadway Season.” This is her first Best Actress Tony nomination.

Fun Fact: Growing up in an extremely poor family, she learned about ballet, theater, and opera by reading books at the public library!