Oscars Flashback: A Look Back at the Nine Actors Who Have Won an Oscar and Tony for the Same Role
With the 87th annual Academy Awards just two days away, Hollywood stars seem to be on everyone's mind. Who will win? Who will beat Meryl Streep? Will host Neil Patrick Harris take a star-studded selfie? And most importantly, which Broadway stars will take home a statue? Many stars through the years have earned both a Tony and an Oscar, and as we know from Robert Lopez's win last year, there are some industry professionals with the coveted EGOT- Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony. But did you know nine stars in history have won two awards for the same role? That is, they won a Tony for their Broadway portrayal and an Oscar for the film version. Below, take a look back at the actors who have earned this rare honor!
José Ferrer, CYRANO DE BERGERAC (Cyrano: 1947 Tony, 1950 Oscar)
José Ferrer has the distinction of being the first actor to ever win an Oscar and Tony Award for the same role. With the title role in Cyrano de Bergerac, Ferrer won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play in 1947 and the Oscar in 1950. Fun fact: this Puerto Rican-born actor was in about a zillion Broadway shows from 1935 to 1979 and won all five TONY AWARDS for which he was nominated, three of which were for directing. His film career was even more extensive, garnering two other Oscar nominations.
Shirley Booth, COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA (Lola: 1950 Tony, 1953 Oscar)
Her Tony Award for COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA marked the second of three Tonys in the career of stage and screen actress Shirley Booth (no relation to the now infamous acting family). In addition, Booth graced the Broadway stage in many shows from 1925-1970. Fun fact: the year she won her Oscar for COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA, she also won a Tony for THE TIME OF THE CUCKOO, one of only five individuals to win an Oscar and Tony in the same year.
Yul Brynner, THE KING AND I (The King of Siam: 1952 Tony, 1956 Oscar)
This Russian-born star of the stage and screen has the distinction of actually winning three awards for this one role. After winning his initial Oscar and Tony for his performances on Broadway and in Hollywood, Brynner went on to play the King of Siam in two subsequent Broadway revivals, the latter of which won him a Special Tony Award, honoring his 4,525 performances in the role. Fun fact: though he won awards for the same role on the stage and screen, his Tony was for Best Featured Actor, whereas the Oscar was for Best Leading Actor.
Rex Harrison, MY FAIR LADY (Henry Higgins: 1957 Tony, 1964 Oscar)
Harrison's Tony Award for MY FAIR LADY was his second of three in his career, and the Oscar he earned as Henry Higgins turned out to be his only one. Interestingly, his Broadway co-star Julie Andrews was replaced by Audrey Hepburn for the film because Warner Bros. wanted a star to lead the Hollywood version. Ironically, this freed Andrews to lead MARY POPPINS that same season, for which she won an Oscar. Thus, original MY FAIR LADY Broadway stars won Oscars on the same night, but for different films. In his acceptance speech, you'll see Harrison thanks his "two fair ladies," Andrews and Hepburn.
Anne Bancroft, THE MIRACLE WORKER (Annie Sullivan: 1960 Tony, 1962 Oscar)
Famous for the 1967 film, The Graduate, Anne Bancroft led a prolific screen career with only a few Broadway appearances, but she made the most of them. She received TONY AWARDS for her first two Broadway shows and a nomination for a later play. With extensive film credits to her name, THE MIRACLE WORKER ended up being Bancroft's only Oscar, though she was nominated for four more.
With a film and London stage career spanning almost 50 years, it seems that Scofield likely had no real need for the Broadway stage. But I suppose if you can earn a Tony for your only Broadway appearance, you must be doing just fine. The British actor also received many nominations for his film work across various awards organizations in his career, including one more Oscar nomination for QUIZ SHOW in 1994.
Jack Albertson, THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES (John Cleary: Tony 1965, Oscar 1968)
Known to all '70s/'80s/'90s kids as the grandfather from WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, Jack Albertson enjoyed a screen career of over 40 years, garnering two consecutive Emmy Awards. His Broadway career was less prolific, though in addition to his Tony for THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES, he received a Tony nomination and Drama Desk Award for THE SUNSHINE BOYS in 1973. Fun fact: Albertson is one of the few actors to be nominated for two Emmys in the same year.
Joel Grey, CABARET (The Master of Ceremonies: Tony 1967, Oscar 1973)
Grey distinguished himself on Broadway and on the silver screen through his portrayal of the MC, a role which, much like Brynner, he reprised in a Broadway revival 20 years later. But that was not the only role that he played on both the stage and screen. He played the title role in GEORGE M! on Broadway in 1968 and then played it again in a TV movie version in 1970. Though the Broadway version earned him a Tony nomination, he did not receive award recognition for the film. Fun fact: he appeared on the first episode of The Muppets and sang- what else?- "Willkommen" with the cast. Grey is now also the only living actor to have won an Oscar and Tony for the same role.
Lila Kedrova, ZORBA THE GREEK (Madame Hortense: 1964 Oscar, 1984 Tony)
Kedrova is the only person to win an Oscar for a role followed by a Tony for the same role, instead of the other way around. The awards came exactly 20 years apart, making her also the person with the longest time between winning an Oscar and Tony for the same role. ZORBA THE GREEK ended up being her only Broadway role, though the Russian actress had many screen appearances, often in foreign films.
It has now been just over 30 years since an actor has won a Tony and an Oscar for the same role, and though movie musicals are becoming more and more prolific, they rarely star the same actors from the Broadway version. The last actor who had the opportunity to have such an honor was John Lloyd Young, who won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Frankie Valli in JERSEY BOYS and reprised his role in the film, but unfortunately received no Oscar nomination.
So who do you think might be the next to get a double win for their performances?