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After Six Nominations, The King and I's Kelli O'Hara Wins Her First Tony

O’Hara’s notable losses included performances in ”The Bridges of Madison County”, ”South Pacific”, and ”The Light in the Piazza”.

Kelli O'Hara stars in The King and I at Lincoln Center Theater.
Kelli O'Hara stars in The King and I at Lincoln Center Theater.
(© Paul Kolnik)

Kelli O'Hara, current star of Lincoln Center's The King and I, has just been presented with her first Tony Award. The beloved performer's win is particularly notable because it comes on the heals of five previous nominations.

O'Hara's string of nominations began in 2005, when she was nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for The Light in the Piazza. She went on to be recognized for her work in The Pajama Game, South Pacific, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and The Bridges of Madison County — all for Best Actress in a Musical — and each time O'Hara has lost a Tony, she's done it in style. She's been runner-up to the likes of LaChanze (The Color Purple), Patti LuPone (Gypsy), and now six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess).

In Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical The King and I, O'Hara plays Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher hired by the King of Siam (played by Ken Watanabe) as a tutor for his many wives and children. During each performance, directed by Bartlett Sher, O'Hara lends her soaring soprano to musical favorites such as "Getting to Know You" and "Shall We Dance?"

"I'll never stop hoping to win," O'Hara admitted in a recent interview with TheaterMania.

We're delighted to announce that hoping is behind us. Congratulations, Kelli! Here's to a ton more Tonys!

For more information and tickets to The King and I, click here.

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