Marian Seldes, Alan Ayckbourn to receive lifetime achievement Tony awards


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At 81, Marian Seldes is considered a living legend of the American stage, having made her Broadway debut in 1947. It’s hard to believe that Seldes, who has long been the muse of Edward Albee, has won only one Tony Award in her career -- as a featured actress in Albee’s ‘A Delicate Balance’ in 1967.

This year, Seldes (who is the daughter of author and journalist Gilbert Seldes) will collect her second Tony when the American Theater Wing and the Broadway League present her with a lifetime achievement award during the Tony ceremony at Radio City Music Hall on June 13.


Seldes last appeared on Broadway in ‘Deuce’ in 2007. Her L.A. stage appearances include ‘The Royal Family’ at the Ahmanson Theatre in 2004 and Albee’s ‘Three Tall Women’ at the Mark Taper Forum in 1996.

Also receiving a lifetime Tony will be Sir Alan Ayckbourn, the British playwright whose drama ‘The Norman Conquests’ won the award for best revival of a play last year. Ayckbourn’s other notable plays include ‘Absurd Person Singular,’ ‘Taking Steps,’ ‘A Chorus of Disapproval’ and ‘Private Fears in Public Places.’

Ayckbourn’s play ‘Bedroom Farce’ was nominated for a Tony in 1979.

David Hyde Pierce will receive this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Award in honor of his humanitarian work connected to Alzheimer’s disease. The ‘Frasier’ star won a Tony for his lead role in the musical ‘Curtains’ in 2008.

Also receiving special Tony Awards will be the Alliance of Resident Theatres New York; stage-combat specialist B.H. Barry; and Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

This year’s Tony nominations will be announced on May 4.

-- David Ng

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