The 66th annual Tony Awards — hosted by the delightful Neil Patrick Harris — were full of surprises Sunday night in New York, especially for Aussie actor Hugh Jackman who was stunned when his wife presented him with a special Tony Award for his contributions to the Broadway community, and in particular, his fundraising on behalf of Equity Fights AIDS.
Jackman knew he was receiving the award, he just didn’t know his notoriously shy wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, would be doing the honors.
“She’s never kept a secret her entire life,” Jackman joked on stage after kissing his wife. He then added that she had told him, “I’m just off to the loo” right before he was to receive the award.
“I know how much you hate public speaking. This is probably the greatest thing you’ve ever done for me,” he told Furness on stage. “Really, it means the world to me.”
This is not the first Tony Jackman has taken home. In 2004, he won Best Actor in a Musical for his dazzling turn in The Boy from Oz. He’s also hosted the Tony Awards three times.
Once was the night’s big winner — capturing eight awards including Best Musical and Best Actor for Steve Kazee.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess took home Best Revival of a Musical, while its star, Audra McDonald won Best Actress — her fifth Tony win for acting, tying the record held by Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris.
Clybourne Park won Best Play, and Death of a Salesman won Best Revival of a Play.