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Supporting actors are stars backstage

June 15, 2008 |  5:50 pm

Good sport award goes to Laura Linney who was snubbed for "Les Liaisons Dangereuses." While her costar Ben Daniels got a nod, the two-time past Tony nominee was passed over for a role that earned Lindsay Duncan a nomination in 1985.

Linney presented featured actor in a play. The winner was Jim Norton for "The Seafarer." As the blind man, with a blind-drunk brother, Norton had won the Olivier Award last season for the same role.


"Two for the price of one," he told us, beaming backstage in the press room. As he explained, the Olivier Awards are much more low-key. "But here people are shouting support at me in the street." Norton said he had recorded many books for the blind in the past and asked questions of many of the people with those projects. He is currently appearing in another Conor McPherson play, "Port Authority," at the off Broadway Atlantic Theater. He has appeared in five of McPherson's plays and is to appear in the author's upcoming film.

Rondi Reed, a longtime member of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater, made her Broadway debut with that company's winning production of "Grapes of Wrath" in 1990. She returned to the Rialto in a play about another Plains family in crisis -– "August: Osage County."

As the interfering sister-in-law, she was the voice of reason in a house that had gone mad. Backstage, she told the press that she had resisted the role, turning down her pal actor-turned-playwright Tracy Letts four times. As she explained, she was happily ensconced in the Chicago company of "Wicked." However, when an unexpected break in her schedule came up, she jumped at the chance to feature in the acclaimed Chicago run last summer. Today marked her last appearance in the show -– she returns to "Wicked" for a while and then hopes to join the "August" company in London.

(L.A. Times photo by Tom O'Neil)