The first list of bold-faced names presenting at the 62nd annual Tony Awards has been released and includes Oscar, Emmy and, yes, even Tony Award winners among them. However, the big catch for the Tonycast is Daniel Radcliffe, who took time off from "Harry Potter" moviemaking for his West End debut last year in "Equus." The young actor, who set tongues wagging, if not hanging, when he stripped off for a nude scene, is coming to America with the production in the fall.
The rundown of presenters to date is as follows:
Alec Baldwin, a 1992 lead actor in a play Tony nominee ("A Streetcar Named Desire"), picked up the first of his six Emmy Award nods for the 1995 TV version of this Tennessee Williams classic. Baldwin, who was a 2003 supporting actor Oscar nominee ("The Cooler"), has yet to win any of these key kudos. Perhaps his luck could change if he is nominated again this year for lead actor in a comedy series for "30 Rock."
Kristin Chenoweth, the 1999 Tony Award winner for featured actress in a musical ("You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown"), is hoping for an Emmy nod for her supporting turn on "Pushing Daisies."
Glenn Close may be a five-time Oscar loser but she is one of only a handful of actors to win Tony Awards for performances in both plays ("The Real Thing," 1984; "Death and the Maiden," 1992) and musicals ("Sunset Boulevard," 1995). Close won her only Emmy Award (out of 10 nods) in 1995 for lead actress in a mini-series or special for "Serving in Silence." She is likely to be a lead actress in a drama series nominee this year for "Damages."
Richard Griffiths may be best known to movie audiences as Harry Potter's unctuous uncle but he is also the 2006 Tony Award winner for lead actor in a play ("The History Boys"). And he returns to the Rialto next fall, reprising his role in "Equus" alongside Daniel Radcliffe who will join him in presenting at this year's Tony Awards.
Laura Linney may have lost her third Oscar nod this year and been snubbed by the Tony Awards, after two previous nominations, for her current star turn in "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" but she is a good sport. After all, she can go home and polish up her two Emmys ("Wild Iris," 2002; and "Frasier," 2004) and make room for another TV trophy should she win for "John Adams."
John Lithgow is a two-time Tony Award winner (1973 featured actor in a play for "The Changing Room" and 2002 lead actor in a musical for "Sweet Smell of Success") and he is returning to Broadway this fall in a revival of "All My Sons" with two-time Oscar winner Dianne Weist and the third Mrs. Tom Cruise, a.k.a. Katie Holmes. While Lithgow lost his two Oscar bids, he has four Emmy Awards –- three for lead actor in a comedy series for "Third Rock From the Sun" (1996, 1997, 1999) and a guest actor in a drama series win for "Amazing Stories" (1986).
Liza Minnelli is only one Grammy Award away from joining the exclusive grand-slam club of artists who have won all four major show business awards –- the Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy. Tonycast host Whoopi Goldberg is just one of 10 to pull off this feat. For Minnelli, 1973 was a very good year as she won the Academy Award for best actress ("Cabaret") and an Emmy Award for her special "Liza With a Z." She also has two lead actress in a musical Tony Awards ("Flora, the Red Menace," 1965; "The Act," 1978) as well as a 1974 honorary award for stepping into "Chicago" for a limited run. And sorry folks, her 1990 Grammy Legend Award doesn’t count toward the grand slam.
Mary-Louise Parker is a 2001 Tony Award winner for lead actress in a play ("Proof") and a 2004 Emmy Award winner for supporting actress in a mini-series or movie for "Angels in America," which began life as two Tony Award winning plays in 1993 and 1994. Parker could well be an Emmy nominee again this year for lead actress in a comedy series for "Weeds."
Brooke Shields has not been nominated for any of the major show business awards but she has five People Choices awards not to mention three Razzie Awards for her sometimes dubious efforts.
And finally, Marisa Tomei may have been snubbed by the Tony Awards this year for "Top Girls" but she will always have her 1992 supporting actress Oscar for "My Cousin Vinny" to keep her company.