39th Tony Awards
The 39th Annual Tony Awards was broadcast by CBS television on June 2, 1985, from the Shubert Theatre. Instead of a formal host, there was a group of performers/presenters. Some paid tribute to the songs of Jule Styne, Cy Coleman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, with these composers ending the broadcast by playing songs from their respective new shows. Mary Martin introduced the Special Award for Yul Brynner.
|39th Tony Awards|
|Date||June 2, 1985|
|Location||Shubert Theatre, New York City, New York|
|Hosted by||Tony Bennett|
For the first time in the history of the Tony Awards, awards were not presented for the lead actor and actress in a musical and choreography. According to The New York Times, "Theater historians and Tony administrators say they cannot recall an instance when one category was dropped from the awards, much less three."
As Ken Mandelbaum noted: "1985: Things get bad enough musically to require the elimination of the Best Musical Actor and Actress categories, as well as the choreography prize." The Associated Press wrote: "For the first time in the Tony's 39-year history, awards in three categories - best actor and actress in a musical and best choreography - were scrapped because of a lack of candidates." In a further report, the Associated Press noted: "The award for best actress, musical was eliminated this season because there was only one eligible candidate. The nominating committee declined to give nominations in the leading actor in a musical and choreography categories because they did not consider any of the performances or choreography outstanding or excellent."
- Big River ("Muddy Water"/" River in the Rain"- Daniel Jenkins, Ron Richardson and Company)
- Grind ("This Must Be the Place" - Ben Vereen and Company)
- Leader of the Pack ("I Wanna Love Him So Bad/Do Wah Diddy" - Company)
Presenters and Performers: Danny Aiello, Susan Anton, Hinton Battle, Deborah Bauers, Deborah Burrell, Terry Burrell, Jim Dale, Loretta Devine, Jackie Gleason, Julie Harris, Rex Harrison, George Hearn, Van Johnson, Raul Julia, Rosetta LeNoire, Mary Martin, Millicent Martin, Maureen McGovern, Rita Moreno, Mike Nichols, Stefanie Powers, Juliet Prowse, Tony Randall, Lee Roy Reams, Lynn Redgrave, Chita Rivera, Wanda Richert, Tony Roberts, Rex Smith, Leslie Uggams, Dick Van Dyke, Ben Vereen, Tom Wopat
Winners and nomineesEdit
Winners are in bold
- O'Connor, John J. "TV Reviews;'Tony Awards' On CBS, Live From Shubert", New York Times, June 4, 1985, p.C13
- Freedman, Samuel G. " 'Biloxi' And 'Big River' Win Top Tony Awards", The New York Times, June 3, 1985, p.C15, accessed June 1, 2016
- Freedman, Samuel G. "Two More Tony Categories Dropped", The New York Times, May 7, 1985, accessed June 1, 2016
- Mandelbaum, Ken. "Ken Mandelbaum's Aisle View: Tony Highs And Lows" Playbill, May 11, 1997, accessed June 2, 2016
- Kuchwara, Michael, "Neil Simon Wins First Best Play Tony; 'Big River' Captures Seven Awards", The Associated Press, June 3, 1985, Domestic News (no page number)
- (no author). "List of Winners of 1985 Tony Awards", The Associated Press, June 3, 1985, Domestic News (no page number)
- Winship, Frederick M. "'Big River,' 'Biloxi Blues' win Tony Awards" UPI (archives), June 3, 1985
- "Ceremony, 1985" tonyawards.com, accessed June 2, 2016
- "1985 Tony Awards, Winners" infoplease.com, accessed June 1, 2016