Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congratulations goes out to legendary Broadway star André De Shields. The veteran actor of stage and television won his very first Tony Award last night in the “Best Performance By An Actor in a Featured Role – Musical” category for his work in Hadestown.

De Shields stars as Hermes in the exciting new musical that explores Orpheus’ journey to the underworld to rescue his fiancée Eurydice.

De Shields was up against two other African American actors—Jeremy Pope and Ephraim Sykes from The Temptations musical Ain’t Too Proud. The 73-year-old Baltimore native is also best known for his iconic performances in The Full Monty, Ain’t Misbehavin with the late Nell Carter and The Wiz with Stephanie Mills.

Watch his acceptance speech below where he gives the secret to his success and longevity.

  1. Surround yourself with people whose eyes light up when they see you coming.
  2. Slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be.
  3. The top of one mountain is the bottom of the next, so keep climbing.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. De Shields in 2009 when he was performing here in Atlanta during the Alliance Theatre’s production of A Life In The Theatre. He is everything you think he is and lots more.

Photo Credit: YouTube