NEW YORK: Phylicia Rashad, who made her name by playing opposite comedian Bill Cosby in his television ‘Cosby Show’, 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 ‘A Raisin in the Sun’. 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 ‘I Am My Own Wife’, which also took the best play award. Based on a true story and written by Doug Wright, ‘I Am My Own Wife’ 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 ‘X-Men’ and most recently ‘Van Helsing’, hosted the show, riding on the critical accolades for his performance in Broadway’s ‘The Boy from Oz’. Jackman was also nominated for best actor in a musical for his portrayal of Peter Allen, Australian performer and songwriter. — AFP