3rd Tony Awards
DateApril 24, 1949
LocationWaldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York City, New York
Hosted byBrock Pemberton,
James Sauter
Television/radio coverage
Mutual Network
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The 3rd Annual Tony Awards were held on April 24, 1949, at the Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom in New York City, and broadcast on radio station WOR and the Mutual Network. The Masters of Ceremonies were Brock Pemberton and James Sauter.


The silver Tony medallion, designed by Herman Rosse, was awarded for the first time. The face of the medallion portrayed an adaptation of the comedy and tragedy masks and the reverse side had a relief profile of Antoinette Perry.[1]

Performers: Yvonne Adair, Anne Renee Anderson, Carol Channing, Alfred Drake, Bill Eythe, Nanette Fabray, Jane Froman, Lisa Kirk, Mary McCarty, Lucy Monroe, Gene Nelson, Lanny Ross, Lee Stacy, Lawrence Tibbett, Betty Jane Watson, and Paul Winchell.

The American Theatre Wing "emphasized that it avoids any 'firsts' or 'bests' and presents the prizes for a 'notable contributuion to the current season'.... Anything that enlivens the theatre may win a 'Tony'".[1] South Pacific, which had won the Critics' Circle Award, was not eligible for these Tony Awards, which were confined to productions opening up to March 1, 1949. It was eligible for the following year.[1]

Award winners

Note: nominees not shown


Award Winner
Best Play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Best Musical Kiss Me, Kate Music and lyrics by Cole Porter, book by Bella and Samuel Spewack
Best Author (Play) Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
Best Author (Musical) Bella Spewack and Samuel Spewack, Kiss Me, Kate
Tony Award for Producers (Dramatic) Kermit Bloomgarden and Walter Fried, Death of a Salesman
Tony Award for Producers (Musical) Saint Subber and Lemuel Ayers, Kiss Me, Kate


Award Winner
Actor-Play Rex Harrison, Anne of the Thousand Days
Actress-Play Martita Hunt, The Madwoman of Chaillot
Actor-Musical Ray Bolger, Where's Charley?
Actress-Musical Nanette Fabray, Love Life
Actor, Supporting or Featured Arthur Kennedy, Death of a Salesman
Tony Award for Actress, Supporting or Featured Shirley Booth, Goodbye, My Fancy


Award Winner
Best Director Elia Kazan, Death of a Salesman
Tony Award for Composer and Lyricist Cole Porter, Kiss Me, Kate
Choreographer Gower Champion, Lend an Ear
Costume Designer Lemuel Ayers, Kiss Me, Kate
Scenic Designer Jo Mielziner, Sleepy Hollow / Summer and Smoke / Anne of the Thousand Days / Death of a Salesman / South Pacific
Conductor and Musical Director Max Meth, As the Girls Go

Multiple nominations and awards

The following productions received multiple awards.


  1. ^ a b c " 'Salesman,' 'Kate' Win Perry Awards: Rex Harrison And Martita Hunt Also Get 'Tonys' For Roles In Broadway Shows", The New York Times, p. 19, April 25, 1949