NEW YORK: Phylicia Rashad, who made her name by playing opposite comedian Bill Cosby in his television â€˜Cosby Showâ€™, late Sunday became the first black to win a Tony award for best actress. She received the award for her portrayal of a matriarch of a black family in the play â€˜A Raisin in the Sunâ€™. The play tells the story of an African-American family struggling to survive under one roof in the rough-and-tumble South Side of Chicago in the 1950s. Jefferson Mays won the best actor award for his performance in the play â€˜I Am My Own Wifeâ€™, which also took the best play award. Based on a true story and written by Doug Wright, â€˜I Am My Own Wifeâ€™ tells the tale of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a real-life German transvestite who survived both the onslaught of the Nazis and the repressive Communist regime that followed after World War II.
Australian heart-throb Hugh Jackman, who has starred in Hollywood hits like â€˜X-Menâ€™ and most recently â€˜Van Helsingâ€™, hosted the show, riding on the critical accolades for his performance in Broadwayâ€™s â€˜The Boy from Ozâ€™. Jackman was also nominated for best actor in a musical for his portrayal of Peter Allen, Australian performer and songwriter. â€” AFP