Thirty-six-year-old Steve Kazee beat out other rising young star Jeremy Jordan ("Newsies"), taking home the Tony for leading actor in a musical. The actor won for his turn as Irish busker Guy in the popular stage adaptation of "Once," which walked into the awards with 11 nominations and left with eight.
Kazee gave the most emotional speech of the night, choking up when he spoke of his mother, who died Easter Sunday:
Most of all, I want to say thank you to my cast, and to my beautiful leading lady, who has held me up for the past two months. My mother passed on Easter Sunday, and I came back to the show and this cast has carried me around and made me feel alive and I will never be able to fully repay them... this ensemble and this woman are some of the most talented people I have ever worked with in my life. My mother always told me before shows to stand up and show them whose little boy you are. And I am here to tell you I am the son of Kathy Withrow Kazee who lost the fight with cancer on Easter Sunday this year. And I miss you every day, and I feel you here with me tonight, and I love you all so much.
WATCH Kazee's speech above.