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Revealed: Why the Tony Awards slapped Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe Tony Award nominations newsJust one year after the Tony Awards enthusiastically embraced Hollywood stars in an unprecedented fashion, they coldly snubbed a galaxy of Tinseltown celebs when nominations were announced Tuesday. Why?

Best guess: It's a take-back of Broadway's top prize by New Yorkers fed up with last year's invasion of West Coasters.

It's outrageous that Daniel Radcliffe wasn't nominated for best actor in a musical. Hollywood's boy wizard had received rapturous reviews from Entertainment Weekly and USA Today, though the New York Times found him at best to be a "game, engaged" performer, for "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying," which was nominated for best musical revival. And the role had serious Tonys pedigree: Robert Morse (1962) and Matthew Broderick (1995) won for performing the part in the past.

Also missing from the list of Tony nominees were the following Hollywood film celebs: James Earl Jones ("Driving Miss Daisy"), Kathleen Turner ("High"), Ben Stiller ("House of Blue Leaves") and Robin Williams ("Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo").

Granted, some famous names made the cut, like Al Pacino ("The Merchant of Venice") and Vanessa Redgrave ("Driving Miss Daisy"), but they were unavoidable. The high-profile omissions mean something and the message, if being read correctly, is fascinating.

Usually, it's tough for film stars to be taken seriously by Tony voters, but Scarlett Johansson ("A View from the Bridge"), Catherine Zeta-Jones ("A Little Night Music"), Denzel Washington ("Fences") all won last year, shocking onlookers. The reason: The Tonys had just changed their voting system, booting out most theater critics from the electorate. In the past, the critics had added a high-brow element to the selection process. Without them, Tony voters got crazily star-struck when picking winners.

But Tony nominees aren't chosen by the whole voting body. They're picked by a select committee of Broadway insiders (see list) who obviously decided to remove the celebrity temptations from this year's nominee list before handing over the final ballot to 700 voters.

If true, that means Radcliffe was denied a shot at this year's Tony simply because too many other film stars won last year.

RELATED

Tony Awards: Daniel Radcliffe and 'Bengal Tiger' among snubs in 2011 nominations

Tony Awards: 'The Book of Mormon' leads with 14 nominations

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Rose Hemingway and Daniel Radcliffe in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Credit: Ari Mintz

Comments () | Archives (9)

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Daniel is just starting out on Broadway, And awards are great, but all these award shows have there favorite people they nominate. And at times I wonder why these people win. And there are many, many, actors and actress, who have been in movies and broadway for years, and never wins.
And never get nominated. But the fan following is big for them. Daniel is wonderful, I loved the harry potter movies and watched him grow up, on it. And now he is a man. I do hope he does more movies. As well as broadway.
I do hope IF JK Rowlings does write another book, and it goes to movie that Daniel will consider doing it.

IDK, there still seem to be a lot of "outsiders" (those better known for their work off the stage) recognized among the nominees, including Emmy winners (in addition to Pacino and Redgrave) Bobby Cannavale, Ellen Barkin, Edie Falco, John Larroquette, and Tammy Blanchard. Throw in Daytime Emmys and you have Donna Murphy and Judith Light too, not to mention Emmy nominees Frances McDormand and Patti LuPone and those more recognizable for other work like Billy "Almost Famous" Crudup and Joanna "AbFab" Lumley. As much as any of these performers might have theater "cred," the starstruck general electorate may still find reasons other than the performances to award certain individuals this year.

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Pacino and Ms. Redgrave are not just famous names/film stars they are both Tony Award recipients with lengthy B'way credentials. That also has sway with the Tony committee.

While I think that Daniel Radcliffe's non-nomination is a disgrace and ranks up there with the egregious snubs to Julie Andrews in Victor, Victoria or Nathan Lane in Love, Valour, Compassion (or even The Addams Family) it may not just be a "Hollywood" back lash situation.

Another possible explanation for Daniel Radcliffe being inexplicably left off the Tony list: Dan has received nods from every other award body out there for the NY stage: the Outer Critics Circle, The Drama League, The Drama Desk and even The Fred Astaire award for his dancing alone! All of these groups do not separate Off B'way and on B'way productions; all are eligible. Since The Scottsboro Boys started Off-B'way last season and was recognized for these other awards at that time. It was not eligible again this season when it moved to B'way; except for the Tony award where it was brand new. Joshua Henry's nod for "Scottsboro" may have taken a Tony slot away from Daniel.

Another thought; the Book of Mormon wave lifted two Best Actor nominees into the category when Andrew Rannells is the stronger of the two.

Dan's youth may also have been a factor, lame a one as it would be, in his being overlooked. Both Morse and Broderick were in their 30's when they won their Tonys for "How to Succeed"...

Regardless what irrationality or quirk of fate lurks behind this outcome Radcliffe is a true stage talent, be it in a play or musical. At just 21! he has proven himself without reservation and will have the opportunity to return to Broadway many, many times and will certainly pick up a Tony nod and award at some point in what looks like it will be an illustrious career.

P.S. If I had to guess the front runner right now is Tony Sheldon.

@theatre fan: it's rare but i am pretty certain there are actors out there who are equally adept in film and stage. to disassociate celebrity with quality is a tad narrow-minded.

that having been said, the winner's circle last year was quite hollywood heavy. however, that probably has more to do with the availability of stage work versus film work. it's unfortunate but names tend to pack out a house more easily than talent. that is not to say that names can not be synonymous with talent, but a name more often than not will win out.

it's sad. there's a lot of unknown talent out there and a lot of names with about as much talent as a rock.

Pacino and Ms. Redgrave are not just famous names/film stars they are both Tony Award recipients with lengthy B'way credentials.

While I think that Daniel Radcliffe's non-nomination is a disgrace and ranks up there with the egregious snubs to Julie Andrews in Victor, Victoria or Nathan Lane in Love, Valour, Compassion (or even The Addams Family) it may not just be a back lash situation.

Another possible explanation for Daniel Radcliffe being inexplicably left off the Tony list: Dan has received nods from every other award body out there for the NY stage: the Outer Critics Circle, The Drama League, The Drama Desk and even The Fred Astaire award for his dancing alone! All of these groups do not separate Off B'way and on B'way productions; all are eligible. Since The Scottsboro Boys started Off-B'way last season and was recognized for these other awards at that time they were not eligible again this season when it moved to B'way; except for the Tony award where it was brand new. Joshua Henry, “The Scottsboro Boys" may have taken Daniel's Tony slot.

Another thought the Book of Mormon wave lifted two Best Actor nominees into the category when Andrew Rannells, nod is the stronger of the two.

Dan's youth may also have been a factor, lame a one as it would be, in his being overlooked. Both Morse and Broderick were in their 30's when they won Tonys for "How to Succeed"...

Regardless what irrationality or quirk of fate lurks behind this outcome Radcliffe is a true stage talent, be it in a play or musical. At just 21! he has proven himself without reservation. He will have the opportunity to return to Broadway many, many times and will certainly pick up a Tony nod and award at some point in what looks like it will be an illustrious lengthy career.

P.S. If I had to guess the front runner right now is Tony Sheldon.

I agree with Theatre Fan. Its not about his celebrity status, its about the quality of his performance. I mean, Daniel Radcliffe puts on a very good performance but he's no Matthew Broderick or Robert Morse WHO WERE LONG TIME BROADWAY ACTORS BEFORE HIM!!! Daniel just needs more Broadway experience before he gain to Tony nomation status...

This article is terrible by the way..it sounds like a teenage girl wrote it...sorry..

The only "message" is that the Tonys are more interested in quality than celebrity. They typically nominate a handful of famous names along with experiences stage actors who haven't gained that level of fame because their careers have typically been devoted to the theatre and its smaller audiences. But just because they didn't consider Radcliffe at quite the level to be a nominee is hardly a "snub" and doesn't require any in-depth analysis. The voters simply preferred the performances they nominated over his. There's no shame in that.

Actors giving each other awards. Incestuous tripe.



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