Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical

The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical is an annual award presented by Drama Desk in recognition of achievements in the theatre among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions. The awards were established in 1955, with acting awards being given without making distinctions between roles in plays and musicals, or actors and actresses. The new award categories were later created in the 1975 ceremony.

Drama Desk Award
for Outstanding Actor
Awarded forOutstanding Actor in a Musical
LocationUnited States
Presented byDrama Desk
Currently held bySantino Fontana for Tootsie (2019)

† – indicates the performance won the Tony Award
‡ – indicates the performance was also nominated for the Tony Award

Winners and nominees


Year Actor Musical Character
John Cullum Shenandoah Charlie Anderson †
Tim Curry The Rocky Horror Show Dr. Frank N. Furter
Joel Grey Goodtime Charley Charley ‡
Raúl Juliá Where's Charley? Charley Wykeham ‡
Ian Richardson My Fair Lady Henry Higgins ‡
Raúl Juliá The Threepenny Opera Macheath
Jerry Orbach Chicago Billy Flynn ‡
Nicol Williamson Rex Henry VIII, King of England
Lenny Baker I Love My Wife Alvin
Barry Bostwick The Robber Bridegroom Jamie Lockhart †
Yul Brynner The King and I The King of Siam
Robert Guillaume Guys and Dolls Nathan Detroit ‡
Reid Shelton Annie Oliver Warbucks ‡
Ken Page Ain't Misbehavin' Performer
Gary Baker A History of the American Film Unknown
Henderson Forsythe The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd
Richard Kiley Man of La Mancha Don Quixote / Cervantes
Len Cariou Sweeney Todd Sweeney Todd
Joel Grey The Grand Tour S. L. Jacobowsky ‡
Charles Repole Whoopee! Henry Williams
Peter Walker My Old Friends Peter Schermann


Year Actor Musical Character
Jim Dale Barnum P. T. Barnum
Christopher Durang Das Lusitania Spongspiel Performer
Mandy Patinkin Evita Che
Mickey Rooney Sugar Babies Mickey ‡
Giorgio Tozzi The Most Happy Fella Tony ‡
Jerry Zaks Tintypes Performer
Kevin Kline The Pirates of Penzance The Pirate King †
George Rose The Pirates of Penzance Major-General ‡
Martin Vidnovic Brigadoon Tommy Albright ‡
George Hearn La Cage aux Folles Albin †
Gene Barry La Cage aux Folles Georges ‡
Mandy Patinkin Sunday in the Park with George George
Ron Richardson Big River Jim
David Carroll La bohème Rodolfo
Harry Groener Harrigan 'N Hart Edward Harrigan
Mark Hamill Harrigan 'N Hart Tony Hart
Daniel H. Jenkins Big River Huckleberry Finn
Gary Morris La bohème Rodolfo
George Rose The Mystery of Edwin Drood Mayor Thomas Sapsea / William Cartwright †
Cleavant Derricks Big Deal Charley ‡
Howard McGillin The Mystery of Edwin Drood John Jasper / Mr. Clive Paget
Robert Lindsay Me and My Girl Bill Snibson †
Ed Dixon Shylock Shylock
Mandy Patinkin The Knife Peter
Colm Wilkinson Les Misérables Jean Valjean
Michael Crawford The Phantom of the Opera The Phantom of the Opera
David Carroll Chess Anatoly ‡
Howard McGillin Anything Goes Billy Crocker ‡
George Merritt Lost in the Stars Stephen Kumalo
Jason Alexander Jerome Robbins' Broadway Various Characters †
Bob Gunton Sweeney Todd Sweeney Todd
Richard Muenz The Pajama Game Sid Sorokin
Scott Wise Jerome Robbins' Broadway Various Characters


Year Actor Musical Character
James Naughton City of Angels Stone †
Mike Burstyn The Rothschilds Mayer
David Carroll Grand Hotel Felix Von Gaigern ‡
Jonathan Pryce Miss Saigon The Engineer †
Keith Carradine The Will Rogers Follies Will Rogers
Paul Hipp Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story Buddy Holly
Mandy Patinkin The Secret Garden Archibald Craven
Gregory Hines Jelly's Last Jam Jelly Roll Morton
Nathan Lane Guys and Dolls Nathan Detroit ‡
Peter Gallagher Guys and Dolls Sky
Spiro Malas The Most Happy Fella Tony
Brent Carver Kiss of the Spider Woman Luis Molina †
Jason Graae Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! Barry Brockman
Con O'Neill Blood Brothers Mickey ‡
Martin Short The Goodbye Girl Elliot Garfield ‡
Boyd Gaines She Loves Me Georg Nowack †
Michael Hayden Carousel Billy Bigelow
Terrence Mann Beauty and the Beast The Beast ‡
Jere Shea Passion Giorgio ‡
Vernel Bagneris Jelly Roll Jelly Roll Morton
Matthew Broderick How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying J. Pierrepont Finch †
Malcolm Gets Merrily We Roll Along Franklin Shepard
George Hearn Sunset Boulevard Max
J. K. Simmons Das Barbecü Various Characters
Nathan Lane A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Pseudolus †
David Garrison I Do! I Do! Michael
Savion Glover Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk 'da Beat / Lil' Dahlin' ‡
Daniel H. Jenkins Big: the musical Josh Baskin
Adam Pascal Rent Roger Davis ‡
Lou Diamond Phillips The King and I The King of Siam
Robert Cuccioli Jekyll & Hyde Dr. Henry Jekyll / Edward Hyde ‡
Jim Dale Candide Dr. Pangloss ‡
Jason Danieley Candide Candide
Daniel McDonald Steel Pier Bill Kelly ‡
James Naughton Chicago Billy Flynn †
Alan Cumming Cabaret The Master of Ceremonies †
Peter Friedman Ragtime Tateh ‡
John Cameron Mitchell Hedwig and the Angry Inch Hedwig
Douglas Sills The Scarlet Pimpernel Percy Blakeney ‡
Brent Spiner 1776 Adams
Brian Stokes Mitchell Ragtime Coalhouse Walker, Jr. ‡
Brent Carver Parade Leo Frank
Martin Short Little Me Various Characters †
Patrick Wilson Bright Lights, Big City Jamie
Tom Wopat Annie Get Your Gun Frank Butler


Year Actor Musical Character
Brian Stokes Mitchell Kiss Me, Kate Fred Graham / Petruchio †
Craig Bierko The Music Man Harold Hill ‡
Brian d'Arcy James The Wild Party Burrs
Boyd Gaines Contact Michael Wiley
Mandy Patinkin The Wild Party Burrs ‡
Nathan Lane The Producers Max Bialystock
Matthew Broderick The Producers Leo Bloom
Kevin Chamberlin Seussical Horton the Elephant
Tom Hewitt The Rocky Horror Show Dr. Frank N. Furter ‡
Deven May Bat Boy: The Musical Bat Boy
Patrick Wilson The Full Monty Jerry Lukowski ‡
John Lithgow Sweet Smell of Success J.J. Hunsecker †
Norbert Leo Butz The Last Five Years Jamie
Brian d'Arcy James Sweet Smell of Success Sidney
Raúl Esparza Tick, Tick... Boom! Jon
Peter Gallagher Guys and Dolls Sky
Patrick Wilson Oklahoma! Curly ‡
Antonio Banderas Nine Guido Contini ‡
Harvey Fierstein Hairspray Edna Turnblad †
Malcolm Gets Amour Dusoleil ‡
Jason Petty Hank Williams: Lost Highway Hank Williams
John Selya Movin' Out Eddie ‡
Brian Stokes Mitchell Man of La Mancha Don Quixote / Cervantes
Hugh Jackman The Boy from Oz Peter Allen
Hunter Foster Little Shop of Horrors Seymour ‡
Tyrone Giordano Big River Huckleberry Finn
Michael McElroy Big River Jim ‡
Alfred Molina Fiddler on the Roof Tevye
Euan Morton Taboo George
Norbert Leo Butz Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Freddy Benson †
Hank Azaria Monty Python's Spamalot Various Characters ‡
Mike Burstyn On Second Avenue Performer
Matthew Morrison The Light in the Piazza Fabrizio Naccarelli
David Hyde Pierce Monty Python's Spamalot Sir Robin
Bill Thompson God Hates the Irish Johnny Kavanaugh
John Lloyd Young Jersey Boys Frankie Valli
Michael Cerveris Sweeney Todd Sweeney Todd
Harry Connick, Jr. The Pajama Game Sid Sorokin ‡
Marc Kudisch See What I Wanna See Morito / Husband / CPA
Stephen Lynch The Wedding Singer Robbie Hart ‡
Bob Martin The Drowsy Chaperone Man in Chair ‡
Raúl Esparza Company Robert ‡
Michael Cerveris LoveMusik Kurt Weill
John Gallagher, Jr. Spring Awakening Moritz
Jonathan Groff Spring Awakening Melchior ‡
David Hyde Pierce Curtains Lieutenant Frank Cioffi †
Martin Short Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me Himself
Paulo Szot South Pacific Emile de Becque †
Daniel Breaker Passing Strange Youth
André De Shields Black Nativity Preacher / Narrator
Daniel Evans Sunday in the Park with George George
Cheyenne Jackson Xanadu Sonny Malone
Matthew Morrison 10 Million Miles Duane
Brian d'Arcy James Shrek the Musical Shrek
James Barbour A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton
Daniel Breaker Shrek the Musical Donkey
Josh Grisetti Enter Laughing David Kolowitz
Sahr Ngaujah Fela! Fela Kuti
Will Swenson Hair Berger


Year Actor Musical Character
Douglas Hodge La Cage aux Folles Albin †
Brandon Victor Dixon The Scottsboro Boys Haywood Patterson
Cheyenne Jackson Finian's Rainbow Woody
Chad Kimball Memphis Huey Calhoun ‡
Nathan Lane The Addams Family Gomez
Bobby Steggert Yank! Stu
Norbert Leo Butz Catch Me If You Can Carl Hanratty †
Colin Donnell Anything Goes Billy Crocker
Daniel Radcliffe How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying J. Pierrepont Finch
Andrew Rannells The Book of Mormon Elder Price ‡
Tony Sheldon Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Bernadette ‡
Christopher Sieber The Kid Dan
Danny Burstein Follies Buddy Plummer ‡
Kevin Earley Death Takes a Holiday Death / Sirki
Raúl Esparza Leap of Faith Jonas Nightengale
Jeremy Jordan Newsies Jack Kelly ‡
Norm Lewis Porgy and Bess Porgy ‡
Ricky Martin Evita Che
Billy Porter Kinky Boots Lola †
Eric Anderson Soul Doctor Shlomo Carlebach
Brian d'Arcy James Giant Bick
Jim Norton The Mystery of Edwin Drood Mayor Thomas Sapsea / William Cartwright
Steve Rosen The Other Josh Cohen Josh Cohen
Ryan Silverman Passion Giorgio
Anthony Warlow Annie Oliver Warbucks
Neil Patrick Harris Hedwig and the Angry Inch Hedwig †
Jefferson Mays A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder The D'Ysquith Family ‡
Adam Jacobs Aladdin Aladdin
Andy Karl Rocky the Musical Rocky Balboa ‡
Steven Pasquale The Bridges of Madison County Robert Kincaid
Bryce Pinkham A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder Monty Navarro ‡
Robert Fairchild An American in Paris Jerry Mulligan ‡
Brian d'Arcy James Something Rotten! Nick Bottom ‡
Jeremy Kushnier Atomic Leo Szilard
Lin-Manuel Miranda Hamilton Alexander Hamilton
Matthew Morrison Finding Neverland J. M. Barrie
Ryan Silverman Side Show Terry Connor
Danny Burstein Fiddler on the Roof Tevye
Robert Creighton Cagney James Cagney
Michael C. Hall Lazarus Thomas Newton
Zachary Levi She Loves Me Georg Nowack ‡
Benjamin Walker American Psycho Patrick Bateman
Andy Karl Groundhog Day Phil Connors ‡
Nick Blaemire Tick, Tick... Boom! Jonathan
Jon Jon Briones Miss Saigon The Engineer
Nick Cordero A Bronx Tale Sonny
Jeremy Secomb Sweeney Todd Sweeney Todd
Ethan Slater SpongeBob SquarePants SpongeBob SquarePants ‡
Jelani Alladin Frozen Kristoff Bjorgman
Harry Hadden-Paton My Fair Lady Henry Higgins ‡
Joshua Henry Carousel Billy Bigelow ‡
Evan Ruggiero Bastard Jones Performer
Santino Fontana Tootsie Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels †
Brooks Ashmanskas The Prom Barry Glickman ‡
Andrew R. Butler Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future Rags Parkland
Damon Daunno Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! Curly McLain ‡
Steven Skybell Fiddler on the Roof Tevye

Multiple wins

See also


  • "Drama Desk Award for Actor in a Musical". Internet Broadway Database. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-21.
  • 2002 New York Times article
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