Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Play

The Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Play is an award presented by Live Performance Australia (LPA) (the trade name for the Australian Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA)), an employers' organisation which serves as the peak body in the live entertainment and performing arts industries in Australia. The accolade is handed out at the annual Helpmann Awards, which celebrates achievements in musical theatre, contemporary music, comedy, opera, classical music, theatre, dance and physical theatre.[1]

Cate Blanchett has the most wins in this category with four, for Hedda Gabler, Uncle Vanya, Gross und Klein (Big and Small) and The Maids.[2]

Winners and nominees

In the following list winners are listed first and marked in gold, in boldface, and the nominees are listed below with no highlight.

   Winners are listed first and marked in a separate colour, in boldface.
Year Actor Production Character(s)
Caroline O'Connor Piaf Edith Piaf
Amanda Muggleton The Book Club Deborah
Robyn Nevin A Cheery Soul Miss Docker
Leah Purcell Box the Pony Leah/Steff
Amanda Muggleton Master Class Maria Callas
Essie Davis The School for Scandal Lady Teazle
Kris McQuade Cloudstreet Dolly Pickle
Caroline O'Connor Bombshells Various[A]
Rachel Griffiths Proof Catherine
Deborah Mailman The Seven Stages of Grieving Woman
Miranda Otto A Doll’s House Nora Helmer
Sigrid Thornton The Blue Room Various[B]
Maggie Smith Talking Heads A Bed Among the Lentils Susan
Carol Burns A Conversation The Mother
Judy Davis Victory Bradshaw
Helen Morse Frozen Nancy
Cate Blanchett Hedda Gabler Hedda Gabler
Julie Forsyth The Ham Funeral Alma Lusty
Deborah Mailman The Sapphires Cynthia Mcrae
Pamela Rabe Dinner Paige
Caroline O'Connor End of the Rainbow Judy Garland
Jennifer Flowers Doubt Sister Aloysius
Victoria Longley The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? Stevie
Leah Purcell Stuff Happens Condoleezza Rice
Ursula Yovich Capricornia Capricornia
Elena Kalinina Uncle Vanya Sonia
Pamela Rabe Mother Courage and Her Children Mother Courage
Alison van Reeken The Carnivores Nill and Neka
Leah Purcell The Story of the Miracles at Cookie's Table Annie
Kate Dickie Aalst Cathy Delaney
Catherine McClements Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Martha
Genevieve Picot Rock 'n' Roll Eleanor/Esme
Robyn Nevin Women of Troy Hecuba
Alison Bell Blackbird Una
Cate Blanchett War of the Roses Richard II
Pamela Rabe War of the Roses Richard III
Julie Forsyth Happy Days Winnie
Kathryn Hunter Kafka's Monkey Ape
Jane Menelaus August: Osage County Barbara Fordham
Robyn Nevin August: Osage County Violet Weston
Cate Blanchett Uncle Vanya Yelena
Robin McLeavy Measure for Measure Isabella
Robyn Nevin Long Day's Journey into Night Mary Cavan Tyrone
Ursula Yovich Waltzing the Wilarra Elsa
Cate Blanchett Gross und Klein (Big and Small) Lotte
Robyn Nevin Neighbourhood Watch Ana
Bernadette Robinson Songs For Nobodies Various
Helen Thomson Summer of the Seventeenth Doll Pearl
Alison Bell Hedda Gabler Hedda Gabler Tesman
Alison Bell Constellations Marianne
Helen Thomson Mrs. Warren's Profession Mrs Kitty Warren
Christen O'Leary End of the Rainbow Judy Garland
Cate Blanchett The Maids Claire
Zahra Newman The Mountaintop Camae
Alison Whyte The Bloody Chamber
Ursula Yovich Mother Courage and her Children Mother Courage
Pamela Rabe The Glass Menagerie
Julie Forsyth Night on Bald Mountain
Robyn Nevin Suddenly Last Summer
Sarah Peirse Switzerland
Paula Arundell The Bleeding Tree
Cate Blanchett The Present
Noni Hazlehurst Mother
Catherine McClements The Events
Kate Mulvany Richard 3
Helen Morse John
Leah Purcell The Drover's Wife
Alison Whyte Faith Healer
Pamela Rabe The Children
Miranda Daughtry A Doll's House
Helen Morse Memorial
Sarah Peirse The Children
Kate Mulvany Every Brilliant Thing
Helen Thomson Mary Stuart Queen Elizabeth I
Sarah Snook Saint Joan Saint Joan
Melita Jurisic Arbus & West Mae West
Paula Arundell Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts One and Two) Hermione Granger (older)

See also


A^ : Caroline O'Connor played six characters in the play Bombshells: Meryl Davenport, Tiggy Entwhistle, Mary O’Donnell, Theresa McTerry, Winsome Webster and Zoe Struthers.[6]
B^ : In The Blue Room, Sigrid Thornton portrayed the female characters: Irene, Marie, Emma, Kelly and the Actress.[7]


  1. "Helpmann Awards - About". Helpmann Awards. Live Performance Australia (LPA). Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  2. "Nominees". Helpmann Awards. Live Performance Australia. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  3. "Pandora Archive 2001 Helpmann Awards Nominees". Australian Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA). Pandora Archive. Archived from the original on 18 July 2003. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  4. "2019 Nominees and Winners | Helpmann Awards". Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  5. "2019 Helpmann Awards Act II presented". Limelight. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  6. "Sydney Arts Guide - Bombshells". Sydney Arts Guide. Archived from the original on 2 May 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  7. "Sigrid Thornton - The Blue Room". Retrieved 6 October 2011.
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