California Natives Have Dominated Tony Awards Since 2013

Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Hollywood makes California the unquestioned movie capital of the world, so it’s not unreasonable to think some of the best actors in the world also call California home.

However, what might be surprising is the number of great Broadway actors born and raised on the opposite coast.

On June 11, the 76th annual Tony Awards show recognized achievement in the theatrical arts. Using the Tony Award Winner Masterlist,, which is home to coverage of California sports betting issues, determined how many Best Actor/Actress (in Leading, Feature, Musical, and Play subcategories) award winners hailed from each state between 2013-2023.

Tony Award Winners By State Since 2013

State No. of Winners
New York8
New Jersey5
South Carolina2
North Carolina1
New Mexico1
Rhode Island1

When betting becomes legal in the state, will be home to California sportsbook promos.

California is Runaway Winner

California came out on top with 11 winners of the top Tony Awards since 2013. That’s three more than New York, five more than Illinois and six more than New Jersey. Maryland, Pennsylvania and Michigan were tied for fifth with three award winners.

One of those who had a chance to win this past weekend was Ben Platt. The 29-year-old who was born in Los Angeles and attended Columbia University in New York, was nominated for playing Leo Frank in “Parade.” When he was 23, he became the youngest to win Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical in 2017 for his role in “Dear Evan Hansen.”

Multi-faceted actor Bryan Cranston is the only Californian with two Tony Awards in these categories in the last 10 years. The star from popular television shows “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Breaking Bad” won Best Actor in a Play twice for “All the Way” for the lead role of former President Lyndon B. Johnson in 2014. He also starred in the HBO film by the same name. In 2016, he won for “Network,” playing the role of Howard Beale.

‘Spiderman’ Also Among California Tony Winners

Santino Fontana, from Stockton, won in 2019 for playing the lead role of Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie. He also was nominated in 2013 for a role in Cinderella. 

Stephanie J. Block, from Brea, is a three-time nominee who won in 2019 for Best Actress in a Musical for the lead role in “The Cher Show.” The other two nominations were for roles in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” in 2013 and “Falsetttos” in 2017. 

Los Angeles native Andrew Garfield, Spiderman to many and star of many movies, won a 2018 Tony Award for best actor in a play for playing Prior Walter in “Angels in America.” He also was nominated in 2012 for his role in “Death of a Salesman.” 

Ari’el Stachel, born in Berkeley and educated at New York University and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, won the 2018 Tony Award for Featured Actor in a Musical for his role in “The Band’s Visit.” 

Lindsay Mendez, from Norwalk, won the 2018 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for playing Carrie Pipperidge in “Carousel.” 

Daveed Diggs, from Oakland, won a 2016 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for the dual roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the massive hit “Hamilton.” 

Renee Elise Goldsberry, born in San Jose, won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role of Angelica Schuyler in “Hamilton.” 

James Monroe Iglehart, from Hayward, won the 2014 award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for playing the Genie in “Aladdin.” 

Lena Hall, born in San Francisco, won Best Featured Actress in a Musical for playing Yitzhak in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” in 2015.


Douglas Pils

Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He most recently ran the Student Media Department at Texas A&M for eight years.

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