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THE WINNERS' WINNERS

[[image - black & white photograph of Vivien Leigh and another actor dancing]] 
[[caption]]Lucinda Ballard was thrilled when Vivien Leigh won a Tony for Tovarich[[/caption]]

seconds the notion of the Rivera win. "The most deserved Tony Award," he opts, "has to be the one presented to her for The Rink. It could as well have been an award for sustained brilliance."

Costume designer Lucinda Ballard says the Tony that thrilled her the most was the one that went to Vivien Leigh for Tovarich. "It took all her courage and gallantry to take the part. She had been ill; she had never played musical comedy; she felt she was too old for the part; she had been wounded by the cruel reviews of critics (like Kenneth Tynan) who felt she had no talent and was 'only a movie star'; and then her adored Larry had left her for a much young woman-a much younger woman whose acting pleased the theatre critics in London. Vivien worked so hard on Tovarich, but she was frightened. And so, when the theatre's greatest prize was given to her, everyone who loved her shared in her happiness. That Tony meant more to her than both her Oscars because it was the Theatre and it was respected by the people who, because of her extraordinary beauty and movie star status, would never admit that she was a gifted actress whether playing Antigone or Lulu."

Composer Jerry Bock has two favorite Tonys, and both come from the same banner year. "Surely," he asserts, "the 1949 awards to Death of a Salesman and Kiss Me, Kate were a double bill of soaring achievements and, quite possibly, the most memorable winners of all."

The Tony memory that haunts Swoosie Kurtz dates back to 1973. She remembers sitting in her uncle's house in Omaha, Neb., breaking into tears when John Lithgrow collected his Tony for The Changing Room. "I barely knew what the Tonys were back then," she recalls, "but I sort of knew John-I think it was the first time somebody I knew won-so it was very exciting. Then, just a few months later, I got to work with him at Long Wharf. He's an actor's actor-and always was."

A Tony victory is not always the blue-bird of happiness, though, and Florence Klotz will gladly testify. She tells a story on herself about the night her costumes and Boris Aronson's sets were Pacific Overture's only Tony wins. "It made me feel rotten," she admits. "At that time, they went across to Sardi's. I was a nervous wreck that day anyways so I drank a lot-with no food-and I do believe that it was Liz Smith who found me in the ladies' john, on the floor, and sent me directly home. I never went to the part. The winner was in bed."

Losers have had happier nights. One of Maureen Stapleton's fondest Tony reflections, for instance, goes back to a time when George C. Scott was kindly disposed to prize-getting. "I was up for Plaza Suite, the play I did with George, and Colleen Dewhurst, whom he was married to then, was up for More Stately Mansions, so George decided to do it up big. He hired these limos and everything, and that was the year we lost to Zoe (Caldwell for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie). I remember us walking up the aisle after the awards. George had Colleen on one arm and me on the other, and he said, 'Two chances

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