Sally Field just opened on Broadway to rave reviews for her performance in a revival of Tennessee Williams‘ “The Glass Menagerie.” She immediately established herself as the frontrunner for Best Actress at the Tony Awards in June. Should she prevail, she will be the 24th performer to win the triple of acting awards, as she already has two Oscars and three Emmys.
Last year, another two-time Oscar winner and three-time Emmy champ, Jessica Lange, reached this milestone when she took home a Tony for her bravura turn in the Eugene O’Neill classic “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” As with Lange, who got her start as the objection of an ape’s affection in “King Kong,” Field too had a hard time convincing Hollywood she was serious about acting after headlining TV’s “Gidget” and “The Flying Nun.”
Her breakthrough role, a woman with multiple personality disorder in “Sybil” won her an Emmy in 1977. Field followed that up in 1979 with her Oscar-winning role as an union organizer in “Norma Rae.” Five years later, she collected an Oscar bookend as a gritty farmer’s wife in “Places in the Heart.” She came back to television, first for an Emmy-winning guest stint on “ER” (2001) and then as the matriarch on the drama “Brothers and Sisters,” for which she won an Emmy in its first season (2007).
Last month, Viola Davis became the 23rd triple crown champ when she won an Oscar for her supporting performance in “Fences.” She was the first black actress to win an Emmy for a leading role in a drama series when she prevailed two years ago for “How to Get Away with Murder.” And she has two Tonys for her work in the 2010 stage version of “Fences” and another August Wilson play, “King Hedley II” in 2001.
Only two of the 12 people to pull off the grand slam of all four major showbiz awards won their Oscar, Emmy and Tony for acting: Helen Hayes and Rita Moreno (Hayes got her Grammy for spoken word while Moreno won for children’s album).
An additional 20 performers have won these top honors for their skills as thespians: Jack Albertson, Anne Bancroft, Ingrid Bergman, Ellen Burstyn, Shirley Booth, Melvyn Douglas, Jeremy Irons, Jessica Lange, Frances McDormand, Thomas Mitchell, Helen Mirren, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Geoffrey Rush, Paul Scofield, Maggie Smith, Maureen Stapleton and Jessica Tandy.
Be sure to make your Tony Awards predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Broadway insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our Tony odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on May 2. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Tony Awards taking place right now in our theater forums.