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Deirdre O'Connell Wins the Tony for Dana H. After First Career Nomination

O'Connell's extensive stage career finally earns her Broadway recognition.

Deirdre O'Connell
(© Tricia Baron)

Deirdre O'Connell won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play for her performance in Lucas Hnath's Dana H. The role marked O'Connell's first Tony nomination, following a decades-long career onstage as well as in television and film.

In Dana H., O'Connell lip-synced interviews with the playwright's mother, Dana Higgenbotham, a former prison chaplain who is kidnapped and taken on a journey by a white supremacist. She was nominated alongside Gabby Beans (The Skin of Our Teeth), LaChanze (Trouble in Mind), Ruth Negga (Macbeth), and Mary-Louise Parker (How I Learned to Drive).

O'Connell has previously performed on Broadway in Magic/Bird and The Front Page, and has nearly two dozen off-Broadway credits to her name, earning four Drama Desk Award nominations throughout her stage career, including an Outstanding Ensemble Performance win in 2010 for Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation. Her many film credits also include Hearts in Atlantis, Imaginary Heroes, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, What Happens in Vegas, Synecdoche, New York, among others.

She is currently starring in Will Arbery's new play Corsicana off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons.