Kentucky native wins Actor in a Leading Role at the Tony Awards

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06:  Actor Steve Kazee attends the 27th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards at NYU Skirball Center on May 6, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Lucille Lortel Awards)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Actor Steve Kazee attends the 27th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards at NYU Skirball Center on May 6, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Lucille Lortel Awards)

NEW YORK (AP) - Steve Kazee has won the Tony Award for best lead actor in a musical for his heartfelt and touching performance in "Once."

Kazee plays an Irish street musician and vacuum cleaner repairman in Dublin who falls in love with a Czech flower seller. It's based on the 2007 film that featured the Oscar-winning song "Falling Slowly."

A 36-year-old rising star and guitar player with matinee idol looks, Kazee has gone from replacement parts in "Spamalot" to an understudy role in "Seascape" to starring in "110 in the Shade." He also starred on CMT's series "Working Class."

He beat out Danny Burstein and Ron Raines, both from "Follies," Jeremy Jordan from "Newsies" and Norm Lewis from "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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