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Veteran Costume Designer Jane Greenwood to Receive Lifetime Achievement Tony Award

12:07 PM PST 04/08/2014 by David Rooney
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic
Jane Greenwood

The long-overdue career honor recognizes an artist who has designed for more than 125 Broadway productions over a half-century, in addition to working in opera, dance, film and television.

NEW YORK – After a distinguished theater career spanning more than 50 years, including 17 Tony Award nominations and zero wins, Jane Greenwood has long been the Susan Lucci of the Broadway kudos ceremony. But that situation will be redressed this year when the veteran costume designer is presented with the 2014 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater.

Greenwood has designed costumes for more than 125 Broadway productions, starting in 1963 with The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, and continuing through to the current season. Her work was seen in the fall in the Chekhovian drama The Snow Geese, and in Act One (pictured below), the stage adaptation of Moss Hart's classic show-biz memoir, which is now in previews and officially opens on April 17.

She has worked frequently with Broadway's major nonprofit companies, Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club and Roundabout Theatre Company, as well as with a long list of commercial productions, on both plays and musicals.

Known for her artisanal attention to detail and her stylish, character-based take on both period-wear and contemporary clothing, Greenwood received Tony nominations for the 1995 revival of The Heiress with Cherry Jones; A Delicate Balance in 1996, with Rosemary Harris and Elaine Stritch; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 2005 with Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin; and Waiting for Godot in 2009, which again starred Irwin, opposite Nathan Lane, John Goodman and John Glover.

Other recent Broadway credits for Greenwood include Driving Miss Daisy, with Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones (2010); A View From the Bridge, with Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson (2010); That Championship Season, with Keifer Sutherland, Jason Patric and Chris Noth (2011); The House of Blue Leaves, with Ben Stiller, Edie Falco and Jennifer Jason Leigh (2011); Harvey, with Jim Parsons (2012); and The Assembled Parties, with Jessica Hecht and Judith Light (2013).

Over the years, Greenwood has created costumes for an astonishing number of major stage and screen names, many of them now gone. She dressed Richard Burton in Hamlet (1964), Ingrid Bergman in More Stately Mansions (1967) and The Constant Wife (1975), Zoe Caldwell in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1967), Medea (1982) and Master Class (1995), Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards in A Moon for the Misbegotten (1973), Liv Ullmann in Anna Christie (1977), Rex Harrison and Elizabeth Ashley in Caesar and Cleopatra (1977), James Mason in Faith Healer (1979), Anne Bancroft in Duet for One (1981), Katharine Hepburn in The West Side Waltz (1981), Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange in A Streetcar Named Desire (1992), Helen Mirren in A Month in the Country (1995), Alan Bates and Frank Langella in Fortune's Fool (2002) and Al Pacino in Salome (2003).

Greenwood also has worked across other arts fields, including opera, dance, television and film. Her screen costume credits range from the 1980 camp-classic Village People vehicle, Can't Stop the Music, through the original 1981 Arthur, with Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli, to the testosterone-fueled 1992 film adaptation of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, with Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Baldwin and Kevin Spacey.

Born in Liverpool, England, Greenwood has frequently returned to work in the U.K., winning an Olivier Award for her costumes on the 1995 musical production She Loves Me. She also teaches costume design at Yale School of Drama.

Tony nominations in the competitive categories will be announced April 29 by Lucy Liu and Jonathan Groff. The awards ceremony, hosted by Hugh Jackman, will be broadcast live on CBS from Radio City Music Hall on June 8.

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