9 Actors Who Have Won Tonys for Portraying Real-Life Music Stars

Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for The Cher Show
Stephanie J. Block performs onstage at "The Cher Show" Broadway Opening Night at Neil Simon Theatre on Dec. 3, 2018 in New York City. 

What do Cher, Carole King, Jerry Lee Lewis and Frankie Valli have in common? They all lived to see actors win Tonys for playing them on Broadway.

It's enough to make Stephanie J. Block "Believe." The actress won this year's Tony Award for best actress in a musical for playing the ultimate survivor, Cher, in The Cher Show. She's the ninth actor to win a Tony for playing a real-life musical performer.

Here's a complete list of the eight previous actors to achieve this feat.

Jessie Mueller won best actress in a musical for playing songwriter-turned-icon Carole King in Beautiful—The Carole King Musical (2014). The show received seven Tony noms, including best musical. It won two awards.

Hugh Jackman won best actor in a musical for playing Australian-born entertainer and songwriter Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz (2004). The show received five Tony noms, including best musical. This was its only win.

Levi Kreis won best featured actor in a musical for playing rock'n'roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis, a.k.a. The Killer, in Million Dollar Quartet (2010). The show received three Tony noms, including best musical. This was its only win.

Laura Benanti won best featured actress in a musical for playing burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy (2008). (Lee's act was more renowned for stripping than singing, but she sang.) The show received seven Tony noms, including best revival of a musical. It won three awards.

John Lloyd Young won best actor in a musical for playing Frankie Valli, front-man of the Four Seasons, in Jersey Boys (2006). The show received eight Tony noms. It won four awards, including best musical.

Christian Hoff won best featured actor in a musical for playing Tommy DeVito, baritone vocalist in the Four Seasons, in Jersey Boys (2006).

Gregory Hines won best actor in a musical for playing ragtime and jazz pianist Jelly Roll Morton in Jelly's Last Jam (1992). The show received 11 Tony noms, including best musical. It won three awards.

Mary Martin won best actress in a musical for playing Maria von Trapp, matriarch of the Trapp Family Singers, in The Sound of Music (1960). The show received nine Tony noms. It won five awards, including best musical.

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