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Jonathan Groff Thanks Family For Supporting ‘Passions Without Judgement’ In Moving Tonys Speech

Jonathan Groff thanked his family for backing his love for theater in a touching acceptance speech after his first-ever Tony Award win on Sunday.

The actor and singer, who previously received Tony nominations for his roles in “Spring Awakening” and “Hamilton,” won Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his portrayal of Franklin Shepard in the Broadway revival of “Merrily We Roll Along.”

“Thank you for letting me dress up like Mary Poppins when I was 3. Thank you for letting me act out scenes from I Love Lucy on my 10th birthday. Thank you for always allowing my freak flag to fly without ever making me feel weird about it,” said Groff of his parents, Jim and Julie Groff, and his brother, David.

He continued, “Even if they didn’t always understand me, my family knew the lifesaving power of fanning the flame of a young person’s passions without judgment. I walked through life with an open heart because you let me know that I could.”

Groff mentioned his move to New York, where he got a job waiting tables and volunteered with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, and expressed his gratitude to those involved in “Spring Awakening” who helped him become part of the Broadway community.

″[You] not only made that dream come true but also inspired me to come out of the closet when I was 23,” said the actor, who came out as gay in 2009.

“I’m now 39 and musical theater is still saving my soul.”

NJonathan Groff accepts the Best Leading Actor in a Musical award for “Merrily We Roll Along” onstage during The 77th Annual Tony Awards at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on June 16, 2024.

Theo Wargo via Getty Images

He went on to thank “Merrily We Roll Along” director Maria Friedman and fellow cast members Lindsay Mendez and Daniel Radcliffe, the latter of whom also won his first Tony Award on Sunday.

“You are more than old friends, you are soulmates,” he said of the two actors, “and I’m looking forward to watching each other change for the rest of our lives.”

He ended his speech by looking back on his childhood in Pennsylvania, when he would record the Tony Awards on VHS.

“To actually be able to be a part of making theater in this city and just as much to be able to watch the work of this incredible, incredible community has been the greatest gift and pleasure of my life,” he said.


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