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Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play is an annual award presented by Drama Desk in recognition of achievements in the theatre among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions. The awards were established in 1955, with acting awards being given without making distinctions between roles in plays and musicals, or actors and actresses. The new award categories were later created in the 1975 ceremony.

Drama Desk Award
for Outstanding Featured Actress
Awarded forOutstanding Featured Actress in a Play
LocationUnited States
Presented byDrama Desk
Currently held byCelia Keenan-Bolger for To Kill a Mockingbird (2019)

† – indicates the performance won the Tony Award
‡ – indicates the performance was also nominated for the Tony Award

Winners and nomineesEdit


Year Actress Play Character
Frances Sternhagen Equus Dora Strang ‡
Polly Adams London Assurance Grace Harkaway
Maureen Anderman Seascape Sarah
Caroline Lagerfelt The Constant Wife Marie-Louise Durham
Carole Shelley Absurd Person Singular Jane ‡
Elizabeth Spriggs London Assurance Lady Gay Spanker ‡
Marcia Wallace Avon Lady Avon Lady
Rachel Roberts Habeas Corpus Mrs. Wicksteed
Toni Darnay The Heiress Mrs. Montgomery
Alice Drummond A Memory of Two Mondays Agnes
June Havoc Habeas Corpus Mrs. Swabb
Kaiulani Lee Kennedy's Children Rona
Lynn Ann Leveridge Yentl Hadass
Rosemary De Angelis The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie Mother
Joyce Ebert The Shadow Box Maggie
Rose Gregorio The Shadow Box Agnes ‡
Cecilia Hart Dirty Linen Maddie
Patricia Roe The Oldest Living Graduate Maureen Kinkaid
Meryl Streep The Cherry Orchard Dunyasha
Gretchen Wyler Sly Fox Miss Fancy
Eileen Atkins The Night of the Tribades Marie Caroline David
Martha Gaylord The Elusive Angel Bo-Peep Braxton
Carol Kane The Effect of Gamma Rays Matilda "Tillie" Hunsdorfer
Swoosie Kurtz Uncommon Women and Others Rita Altabel
Pamela Reed Curse of the Starving Class Emma
Pamela Reed Getting Out Arlie
Dixie Carter Fathers and Sons Martha "Calamity Jane" Canary
Frances Foster Nevis Mountain Dew Everalda Philibert Griffin
Joan Hickson Bedroom Farce Delia †
Laurie Kennedy Man and Superman Violet Robinson ‡
Susan Littler Bedroom Farce Kate ‡


Year Actress Play Character
Lois de Banzie Morning's at Seven Myrtle Brown ‡
Pamela Brook Goodbye Fidel Peggy Sinclair
Frances Conroy Othello Desdemona
Mia Dillon Once a Catholic Mary Mooney
Dianne Wiest The Art of Dining Elizabeth Barrow Colt
Swoosie Kurtz Fifth of July Gwen Landis †
Fran Brill Knuckle Jenny
Carrie Nye The Man Who Came to Dinner Lorraine Sheldon
Jean Smart Last Summer at Bluefish Cove Lil
Jessica Tandy Rose Rose's Mother ‡
Zoë Wanamaker Piaf Tione ‡
Amanda Plummer Agnes of God Agnes †
Pauline Flanagan Medea The First Woman of Corinth
Estelle Getty Torch Song Trilogy Mrs. Beckoff
Cheryl Giannini Grown Ups Louise
E. Katherine Kerr Cloud Nine Ellen / Mrs. Saunders
Aideen O'Kelly Othello Emilia
Judith Ivey Steaming Josie †
Maureen Anderman You Can't Take It with You Alice Sycamore
Dana Ivey Present Laughter Monica Reed
Quartermaine's Terms Melanie Garth
Kate McGregor-Stewart Beyond Therapy Charlotte
Anne Twomey Vieux Carré Jane
Christine Baranski The Real Thing Charlotte †
Lisa Banes Isn't it Romantic Harriet Cornwall
Dody Goodman Ah, Wilderness! Essie Miller
Jo Henderson Isn't it Romantic Lillian Cornwall
Amy Irving Heartbreak House Ellie Dunn
Dianne Wiest Serenading Louie Gabby
Other Places Deborah
Judith Ivey Hurlyburly Bonnie †
Sudie Bond The Foreigner Betty Meeks
Joanna Gleason A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Pam ‡
Nancy Marchand The Octette Bridge Club Connie Emerson
Anne Pitoniak The Octette Bridge Club Martha McDermitt
Margaret Tyzack Tom and Viv Rose Robinson Haigh-Wood
Joanna Gleason Social Security Trudy Heyman
It's Only a Play Virginia Noyes
Elizabeth Berridge Cruise Control Suze
Wrestlers Angie
Kathryn Grody The Marriage of Betty and Boo Emily Brennan
Zoë Wanamaker Loot Fay ‡
Ann Wedgeworth A Lie of the Mind Meg
Mary Alice Fences Rose Maxson †
Suzanne Burden Dangerous Liaisons Madame de Tourvel
Jane Carr The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Various Characters
Janet Eilber Stepping Out Andy
Christine Estabrook North Shore Fish Florence Rizzo
Vickilyn Reynolds The Colored Museum Lawanda / Mama
Christine Estabrook The Boys Next Door Sheila
Kimberleigh Aarn Joe Turner's Come and Gone Mattie Cambell ‡
Frances McDormand A Streetcar Named Desire Stella Kowalski ‡
Kimberly Scott Joe Turner's Come and Gone Molly Cunningham ‡
Tovah Feldshuh Lend Me a Tenor Maria Merelli ‡
Joanne Camp The Heidi Chronicles Fran / Molly / Betsy / April ‡
Margaret Colin Aristocrats Alice
Penelope Ann Miller Our Town Emily Webb ‡
Alice Playten Spoils of War Emma
Holland Taylor The Cocktail Hour Nina


Year Actress Play Character
Frances Conroy The Secret Rapture Marion French
Jayne Atkinson The Art of Success Sarah Sprackling
Kate Burton Some Americans Abroad Betty McNeil
Marcia Jean Kurtz When She Danced Miss Belzer
Stephanie Roth Artist Descending a Staircase Sophie
Irene Worth Lost in Yonkers Grandma Kurnitz †
Jane Adams I Hate Hamlet Deirdre McDavey
Tracey Ellis Our Country's Good Lieutenant George Johnston
Julie Halston Red Scare on Sunset Pat Pilford
Deirdre O'Connell Love and Anger Sarah Downey
Christine Baranski Lips Together, Teeth Apart Chloe Haddock
Lisa Emery Marvin's Room Lee
Harriet Harris Bella, Bell of Byelorussia Ludmilla / Waitress
Laura Linney Sight Unseen Grete
Nancy Marchand The End of the Day Rosamund Brackett / Jocelyn Massey
Madeline Kahn The Sisters Rosensweig Gorgeous Teitlebaum
Kathleen Chalfant Angels in America: Millennium Approaches Various Characters ‡
Marcia Gay Harden Angels in America: Millennium Approaches Various Characters ‡
Harriet Harris Jeffrey Ann Marwood Bartle
Kathryn Meisle As You Like It Rosalind
Jane Adams An Inspector Calls Sheila Biring †
Frances Conroy In the Summer House Mrs. Constable
Hope Davis Pterodactyls Emma
Marcia Gay Harden Angels in America: Perestroika Various Characters
Kristen Johnston The Lights Rose
Tara FitzGerald Hamlet Ophelia
Hallie Foote The Horton Foote Plays Performer
Penny Fuller Three Viewings Virginia
Camryn Manheim Missing Persons Gemma
J. Smith-Cameron The Naked Truth Sissy Bermiss Darnley
Sheila Tousey Iphigenia and Other Daughters Electra
Elaine Stritch A Delicate Balance Claire
Viola Davis Seven Guitars Vera ‡
Eileen Heckart Northeast Local Mair
Donna Murphy Twelve Dreams Dorothy Trowbridge
Roberta Wallach The Model Apartment Debby
Amy Wright Mrs. Klein Paula
Dana Ivey Sex and Longing Bridget McCrea
The Last Night of Ballyhoo Boo Levy ‡
Kathleen Chalfant Nine Armenians Marie
Linda Emond Nine Armenians Armine
Melissa Errico The Importance of Being Earnest Gwendolen Fairfax
Allison Janney Present Laughter Liz
Celia Weston The Last Night of Ballyhoo Aunt Reba ‡
Allison Janney A View from the Bridge Beatrice Carbone
Patricia Clarkson The Maiden's Prayer Libby
Linda Lavin The Diary of Anne Frank Mrs. Van Daan ‡
Patti LuPone The Old Neighborhood Jolly
Marian Seldes Ivanov Zinaida Savishna
Caroline Seymour Goose-Pimples Jackie
Anna Friel Closer Alice Ayers
Viola Davis Everybody's Ruby Ruby McCollum
Kristine Nielsen Betty's Summer Vacation Mrs. Siezmagraff
Natasha Richardson Closer Anna
Marian Seldes Ring Round the Moon Madame Desmermortes
Mary Louise Wilson Bosoms and Neglect Henny


Year Actress Play Character
Marylouise Burke Fuddy Meers Gertie
Jillian Armenante The Cider House Rules, Part One Melony
Seana Kofoed An Experiment with an Air Pump Isobel Bridie
Phyllis Newman The Moment When Paula
Cigdem Onat The Time of the Cuckoo Signora Fioria
Amy Sedaris The Country Club Froggy
Viola Davis King Hedley II Tonya †
Anita Durst The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant Marlene
Barbara Jefford Coriolanus Volumnia
Marthe Keller Judgment at Nuremberg Mrs. Bertholt ‡
Marian Seldes The Butterfly Collection Margaret
Robin Weigert Madame Melville Ruth
Katie Finneran Noises Off Brooke Ashton †
Jennifer Coolidge The Women Edith / Mrs. Phelps Potter
Kathleen Doyle Kilt Mary
Linda Emond Homebody/Kabul The Homebody
Elizabeth Franz Morning's at Seven Aaronetta Gibbs ‡
Kathleen Widdoes Franny's Way Marjorie
Lynn Redgrave Talking Heads Miss Fozzard
Christine Ebersole Talking Heads Irene ‡
Jan Maxwell My Old Lady Chloe Giffard
Helen McCrory Uncle Vanya Elena
Nancy Opel Polish Joke Various Characters
Jeanine Serralles Hold Please Jessica
Audra McDonald A Raisin in the Sun Ruth Younger †
Jayne Houdyshell Well Ann Kron
Mikel Sarah Lambert The Daughter-in-Law Mrs. Gascoyne
Margo Martindale Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Big Mama ‡
Jan Maxwell Sixteen Wounded Sonya
Mary Louise Wilson The Beard of Avon Queen Elizabeth I
Adriane Lenox Doubt Mrs. Miller †
Julie Halston White Chocolate Vivian Beale Somerset
Portia McReele Opal
Lily Rabe Steel Magnolias Annelle
Lee Roy Rogers Orson's Shadow Vivien Leigh
Mary Testa String of Pearls Various Characters
Frances de la Tour The History Boys Mrs. Lintott †
Lisa Emery Abigail's Party Susan
Judith Hawking A Soldier's Wife Florence
Michele Pawk The Paris Letter Katie
Lynn Redgrave The Constant Wife Mrs. Culver
Marian Seldes Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams Annabelle Willard
Martha Plimpton The Coast of Utopia Various Characters ‡
Myriam Acharki Woyzeck Marie
Xanthe Elbrick Coram Boy Alexander Ashbrook / Aaron ‡
Sarah Nina Hayon Rearviewmirror Inez
Jan Maxwell Coram Boy Mrs. Lynch ‡
Andrea Riseborough The Pride Sylvia
Rita Wolf The American Pilot Sarah
Linda Lavin The New Century Helene Nadler
Elizabeth Ashley Dividing the Estate Stella
Johanna Day Peter and Jerry Ann
Zoe Kazan 100 Saints You Should Know Abby
Rondi Reed August: Osage County Mattie Fae Aiken †
Marisa Tomei Top Girls Isabella Bird / Joyce / Mrs. Kidd
Angela Lansbury Blithe Spirit Madame Arcati †
Rebecca Hall The Cherry Orchard Varya
Zoe Kazan The Seagull Masha
Andrea Martin Exit the King Juliette
Carey Mulligan The Seagull Nina
Condola Rashād Ruined Sophie


Year Actress Play Character
Viola Davis Fences Rose Maxson †
Victoria Clark When the Rain Stops Falling Older Gabrielle York
Xanthe Elbrick Candida Prosperine Garnett
Mary Beth Hurt When the Rain Stops Falling Older Elizabeth Law
Scarlett Johansson A View from the Bridge Catherine Carbone †
Andrea Riseborough The Pride Sylvia
Edie Falco The House of Blue Leaves Bananas Shaughnessy ‡
Lisa Emery The Collection and A Kind of Alaska Deborah
Julie Halston The Divine Sister Sister Acacius
Sarah Nina Hayon A Bright New Boise Anna
Celia Keenan-Bolger Peter and the Starcatcher Molly‡
Linda Lavin Other Desert Cities Silda Grauman
Judith Light Lombardi Marie Lombardi ‡
Judith Light Other Desert Cities Silda Grauman †
Stephanie J. Block By the Way, Meet Vera Stark Gloria Mitchell
Anna Camp All New People Kim
Kimberly Hebert Gregory By the Way, Meet Vera Stark Lottie
Lisa Joyce The Ugly One Fanny
Joaquina Kalukango Hurt Village Cookie
Angela Lansbury The Best Man Sue Ellen Gamadge
Judith Light The Assembled Parties Faye †
Tasha Lawrence The Whale Mary
Kellie Overbey Sleeping Rough Joanna
Maryann Plunkett Sorry Barbara Apple
Condola Rashād The Trip to Bountiful Thelma ‡
Laila Robins Sorry Marian Apple
Celia Keenan-Bolger The Glass Menagerie Laura Wingfield ‡
Betty Buckley The Old Friends Gertrude Hayhurst Sylvester Ratliff
Julia Coffey London Wall Miss Janus
Diane Davis The Model Apartment Debby
Jan Maxwell The Castle Skinner
Sophie Okonedo A Raisin in the Sun Ruth Younger †
Annaleigh Ashford You Can't Take It with You Essie Carmichael †
Beth Dixon The City of Conversation Jean Swift
Julie Halston You Can't Take It with You Gay Wellington
Paola Lázaro-Muñoz To the Bone Lupe
Lydia Leonard Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two Anne Boleyn
Julie White Airline Highway Tanya ‡
Saycon Sengbloh Eclipsed Helena ‡
Brooke Bloom Cloud 9 Edward / Betty
Megan Hilty Noises Off Brooke Ashton ‡
Kellie Overbey Women Without Men Miss Connor
Jeanine Serralles Gloria Gloria
Cynthia Nixon The Little Foxes Birdie Hubbard
Jayne Houdyshell A Doll's House, Part 2 Anne-Marie ‡
Randy Graff The Babylon Line Frieda Cohen
Marie Mullen The Beauty Queen of Leenane Mag Folan
Emily Skinner Picnic Rosemary
Kate Walsh If I Forget Holly
Jamie Brewer Amy and the Orphans Amy
Jocelyn Bioh In the Blood The Welfare Lady
Barbara Marten People, Places and Things Doctor and Mum
Deirdre O'Connell Fulfillment Center Suzan
Constance Shulman Bobbie Clearly Darla London
Celia Keenan-Bolger To Kill a Mockingbird Scout Finch †
Harriett D. Foy The House That Will Not Stand Makeda
Megan Hill Eddie and Dave Dave
Ruth Wilson King Lear Cordelia / Fool ‡
Alison Wright Othello Emilia



  • "Drama Desk Award for Featured Actress in a Play". Internet Broadway Database. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-21.

External linksEdit