Theater News

Lois Smith Earns First Career Tony Award at 90

Smith earned the long-awaited honor for her performance in ”The Inheritance”.

Lois Smith with Samuel H. Levine in The Inheritance.
Lois Smith with Samuel H. Levine in The Inheritance.
(© Matthew Murphy)

With a stage career that has spanned eight decades, Lois Smith has earned her first Tony Award at the age of 90 for her featured performance in Matthew López's The Inheritance.

Smith nabbed the win for her brief but mighty role as Margaret, a woman who appears in the second act of the second part of López's two-part epic about a community of gay men in modern-day New York. The performance earned her the 2020 Drama Desk Award for Featured Actress in a Play as well.

Smith, who has appeared in 11 Broadway productions throughout her career, earned Tony nominations twice before — in 1990 for her performance as Ma in Frank Galati's adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath, and in 1996 for her performance as Halie in Sam Shepard's Buried Child.

In 2007, Smith was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame, and in 2013, she was given a Lifetime Achievement Obie Award in honor of her extensive work off-Broadway, including her 2006 Drama Desk Award-winning performance in The Trip to Bountiful.

Directed by Stephen Daldry and inspired by E.M. Forster's novel Howards End, The Inheritance ran at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre from November 17, 2019 to March 11, 2020. The production earned a total of 10 Tony nominations.