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James Corden scoops best leading actor gong at Tony Awards in New York

The comedy star was celebrating winning a Tony Award – New York theatre’s equivalent of the Oscars – for his performance as musician-cum-minder Francis Henshall in One Man, Two Guvnors, the National Theatre’s smash hit comedy, which has repeated its phenomenal West End success on Broadway. Corden, 33, won Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, beating a strong field consisting of more established American actors including Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was favourite to win for his performance in Death of a Salesman. Corden’s star turn in Richard Bean’s reworking of Carlo Goldini’s 18th century farce The Servant of Two Masters has catapulted him to stardom in America where previously he was a relative unknown. CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE TONY AWARD STARSAccepting the award at Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre, Corden paid an emotional tribute to his fiancee Julia Carey, mother of his baby son Max. He said: “She’s my baby mama and I can’t wait to marry her. Seriously I would not be holding this if it wasn’t for her.  She makes me say ‘us’ instead of ‘I’ and ‘we’ instead of me’ and I love her. “ Corden said afterwards he was stunned to win the award. He said: “ I’m thrilled beyond words. “I’d been saying all week, to an annoying extent, that I wasn’t going to win it because when you’re on a list like that you just don’t expect to. “It would be incredibly arrogant to think I can win over [fellow nominees] James Earl Jones, Frank Langella, John Lithgow and Philip Seymour Hoffman who are pretty much four of the finest actors alive.” He paid particular tribute to Seymour Hoffman who he called the  “finest actor alive. For me seeing someone who you would always think is a character actor break through and be playing those leading roles was nothing but inspiring to a young boy from High Wycombe who hoped that that might be something they would be able to do one day. “It’s ridiculous that I would win this and he would be sitting there watching this.”He added: ”There are  alot of people who will tell you that you are too small or too big or too funny looking or all of these things. The very fact I am holding this should tell you none of that matters.”Corden’s co-star Oliver Chris, who plays foppish guvnor Stanley Stubbers, tweeted after his victory: “@JKCorden is a genius and anyone who says he isn’t is an idiot.” But Londoner Andrew Garfield, who had been a strong favourite to win Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play for his acclaimed performance as Biff Loman in Death of a Salesman, went home empty-handed. Garfield, a former Evening Standard Theatre Award winner and soon to be seen on screen as the new Spiderman, lost out to Christian Borle in Peter Pan re-working Peter and the Starcatcher.  Another highly fancied Brit, Tracie Bennett, nominated for Best Actress in Leading Role in a Play for her performance as Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow, was beaten to the Tony by Nina Arianda for her performance in Venus in Fur opposite Hugh Dancy. But other English Tony winners included John Tiffany, who won Best Direction of a Musical, for Once, the stage adaptation of the 2007 Irish musical drama film Once.Tiffany said: “I’m so glad I worked in a medium that can’t be digitalised, As theatremakers we need to explore and exploit that sense of live experience.” London-based Martin Lowe won Best Orchestration for Once which picked up eight Tony Awards in total. The night’s other big victors included Peter and the Starcatcher which landed five Tony’s and Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris’s racial drama which played the Royal Court and West End before coming to Broadway, for Best Play. Winners of the 2012 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards.:: Choreography: Christopher Gattelli, Newsies.:: Orchestration: Martin Lowe, Once.:: Book of a Musical: Enda Walsh, Once:: Sound Design of a Musical: Clive Goodwin, Once.:: Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It.:: Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It.:: Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Christian Borle, Peter And The Starcatcher.:: Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Judith Light, Other Desert Cities.:: Sound Design of a Play: Darron L West, Peter And The Starcatcher.:: Direction of a Musical: John Tiffany, Once.:: Direction of Play: Mike Nichols, Death Of A Salesman.:: Costume Design of a Play: Paloma Young, Peter And The Starcatcher.:: Costume Design of a Musical: Gregg Barnes, Follies.:: Scenic Design Play: Donyale Werle, Peter And The Starcatcher.:: Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre: Newsies.:: Scenic Design of a Musical: Bob Crowley, Once.:: Revival of a Play: Death Of A Salesman.:: Lighting Design of a Musical: Natasha Katz, Once.:: Best Play: Clybourne Park.:: Lighting Design of a Play: Jeff Croiter, Peter And The Starcatcher.:: Revival of a Musical: The Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess.:: Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Steve Kazee, Once.:: Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Audra McDonald, The Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess.:: Best Musical: Once.:: Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors.:: Performance by an Actress in Leading Role in a Play: Nina Arianda, Venus In Fur.

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