Tony Awards: Winner Frank Langella Gives Impassioned Speech on Orlando Attack

frank langella
Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock

Frank Langella gave an emotional acceptance speech at the Tony Awards Sunday night, addressing the Orlando shooting to a somber crowd.

Langella, accepting his fourth Tony win, said that he was putting aside his thank yous because of what he called “a dose of true reality — what happened today in Orlando.” An instant hush fell over the theater as the renowned actor spoke.

“I found some words that will mean more to you than a litany of names,” he said. “When something bad happens we have three choices. We can let it define us, we can let it destroy us or we can let it strengthen us. Today in Orlando we had a hideous dose of reality. I urge you Orlando to be strong. I’m standing in a room full of the most generous human beings on earth and we will be with you every step of the way.”


Tonys Red Carpet: Big Broadway Names Tout Perseverance, Freedom in Wake of Orlando Attack

Langella won best leading actor in a play for his work in “The Father.”

Fifty people were killed and 53 more were injured at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday in what is being billed as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

It’s hardly the first mention of the shooting at Broadway’s biggest night. Host James Corden kicked off the show by addressing the attack, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, accepting his award for best original score for “Hamilton,” also paid tribute to the victims of the shooting.

The Tony Awards also dedicated the show to the victims and families of the victims earlier on Sunday.

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  1. Cindy Claymore Watter says:

    I saw Mr. Langella perform in “The Father” and he richly deserves the Tony. I thought his speech was the epitome of class–but of course, that is what we expect from him.

  2. I heart Orlando says:

    The audience of the tony awards are the most “generous human beings on earth”? Im sure there were some fine people attending but that claim just isn’t true. This is a good hearted speech but unfortunately, it only perpetuates the sense of self congratulatory pride run amok at these awards show.

    • Wowsah says:

      God you’re an idiot. Why do you have to quantify “generous”? Why did you have to take something so positive and beautiful and heartfelt and try to tarnish it instead of polishing it up and paying it forward to help heal. What did you accomplish? What was the motivation? You know, I don’t want an answer. It would make me feel even more sorry for you and my energy needs to go to those that need it. You’re the person with the pin in a room full of balloons. Sad.

    • J. Hammond says:

      to I Heart Orlando: You’re lack of appreciation for any attempt at compassion is disgusting. I’m sure you’ll look for every reason to blame the system for what happened in Orlando. There are always those that shun the attempts by others to bring unity. You’re a fine example of what too much “freedom of speech” brings division to our country.

      • I heart orlando says:

        On the contrary, I admire the sense of unity he was trying to inspire and his heart was absolutely in the right place. I was only pointing out that his statement about the theatre community being “the most generous human beings on earth” is false. That distinction belongs to the many people around the globe who have committed and or sacrificed their lives to the every-day benefit of others. To call that crowd the most generous people on earth is both thematically and factually incorrect. Thats what i wanted to point out because awards shows tend to breed self-importance, even in the most humble of souls.

        It sounds like you dislike the same kind of close-minded people and hateful speech that I do so we’re not that far off here. But your passions have run away with you and ironically, your knee-jerk reaction to my post is a much better example of why there is division in our country than my post. You have projected everything you hate about the people you hate onto me without bothering to think.

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