Glenn Close boasts a spectacular Tony success rate, with three Best Actress wins spanning both plays (The Real Thing and Death and the Maiden) and musicals (Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, plus a featured actress nomination for Barnum). The versatile Close, who just finished a third season as charismatic lawyer Patty Hewes on Damages (which has earned her two Emmys to go with her Tonys), has also even hosted the awards ceremony. Here she recalls her first victory, which she shared with Tony-winning co-stars Jeremy Irons and Christine Baranski.
Which year did you win your first Tony?
For which role and show?
Annie in The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard
Where were the awards held?
The Shubert Theater? It's all a blur.
Don't remember….how embarrassing.
What did you wear?
A dress…a long dress.
Who was sitting next to you?
A guy in a tux.
Who did you think would win your category?
Kate Nelligan for A Moon for the the Misbegotten
What was the first thing that ran through your mind when they said your name?
That I owed our prop master $50.
Did you forget to thank anyone?
Yes!!! Because I was so sure that I wouldn't win, I hadn't prepared a speech. When my name was announced, I was literally struck dumb to the point that I failed to thank our director, Mike Nichols, our writer, Tom Stoppard, and our producer, Manny Azenberg. When I got off stage and realized my terrible mistake, I came close to throwing up. I'm nauseous just thinking about it.
Did you cry?
If you could relive that night, would you change anything?
I would get down on my knees and thank Mike Nichols, Tom Stoppard and Manny Azenberg!
Who were you most surprised to hear from after your win?
The prop man who refused my $50.
Did winning a Tony change your life? How?
I can't say it did, but it was the cherry on the cake for one of the great experiences of my career.
What's your biggest memory of the night?
The great after-after party given for us all by Mike and Manny. It was thrilling that we won so many awards that night [five Tonys, including Best Play]. It was a great celebration with people I'd grown to love very much.
What's the best piece of advice you can offer for getting through Tony night?
Party till you drop.
Where do you keep your Tony?
On a shelf in my library.