The 71st Annual Tony Awards were held on June 11, 2017, to recognize achievement in Broadway productions during the 2016–17 season. The ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and was broadcast live by CBS. Kevin Spacey served as host.
The musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 led the nominations with 12, while the play with the most nominations was A Doll's House, Part 2, with eight. At the ceremony, Dear Evan Hansen won six awards, including Best Musical, becoming the winningest production of the season. The Bette Midler-led revival of Hello, Dolly! won four awards, and The Great Comet won two. The productions of plays The Little Foxes, Indecent, and Oslo each won two awards.
Kevin Spacey Fowler (born July 26, 1959), better known as Kevin Spacey, is an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, and singer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s before obtaining supporting roles in film and television. He gained critical acclaim in the early 1990s that culminated in his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the neo-noir crime thriller The Usual Suspects (1995), and an Academy Award for Best Actor for midlife crisis-themed drama American Beauty (1999).
His other starring roles have included the comedy-drama film Swimming with Sharks (1994), psychological thriller Seven (1995), the neo-noir crime film L.A. Confidential (1997), the drama Pay It Forward (2000), the science fiction-mystery film K-PAX (2001), and the role of Lex Luthor in the superhero film Superman Returns (2006).
In Broadway theatre, Spacey won a Tony Award for his role in Lost in Yonkers. He was the artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London from 2004 until stepping down in mid-2015. Since 2013, Spacey has played Frank Underwood in the Netflix political drama series House of Cards. For his role as Underwood, he has won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama and two consecutive Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.
James Earl Jones (born January 17, 1931) is an American actor. His career has spanned more than 60 years, and he has been described as "one of America's most distinguished and versatile" actors and "one of the greatest actors in American history." Since his Broadway debut in 1957, Jones has won many awards, including a Tony Award and Golden Globe Award for his role in The Great White Hope. Jones has won three Emmy Awards, including two in the same year in 1991, and he also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the film version of The Great White Hope. He is also known for his voice roles as Darth Vader in the Star Wars film series and Mufasa in Disney's The Lion King as well as many other film, stage, and television roles.
Jones has been said to possess "one of the best-known voices in show business, a stirring basso profundo that has lent gravel and gravitas to" his projects, including live-action acting, voice acting, and commercial voice-overs.
As a child Jones had a stutter. In his episode of Biography, he said he overcame the affliction through poetry, public speaking, and acting, although it lasted for several years. A pre-med major in college, he went on to serve in the United States Army during the Korean War before pursuing a career in acting.