Jonathan Groff thanks ‘soulmate’ Daniel Radcliffe in tearful Tony Awards acceptance speech

Daniel Radcliffe and Jonathan Groff grab each other and smile as they pose for a photo

Doctor Who star Jonathan Groff has tearfully thanked “soulmate” Daniel Radcliffe after winning his first Tony Award for his role in musical Merrily We Roll Along.

Last night (16 June), Groff was announced as the winner in the Best Performance By A Leading Actor in a Musical category for his role as Frank in the Broadway adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1981 musical.

It marks the first Tony Award win in his 22-year theatre career.

After Groff’s name was called, his co-star in the show, Harry Potter actor and LGBTQ+ ally Daniel Radcliffe, ran across the audience to give him a huge bearhug.

A choked up Groff then thanked Radcliffe and fellow co-star Lindsay Mendez in his acceptance speech, telling the pair that they are his “soulmates”.

“Daniel Radcliffe and Linsay Mendez, you are more than old friends, you are soulmates, and I’m looking forward to watching each other change for the rest of our lives,” he told the crowd, as his voice broke.

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Jonathan Groff tears up as he accepts his Tony Award.
Jonathan Groff got emotional thanking Daniel Radcliffe at the Tony Awards. (Getty)

Earlier on during the ceremony, which took place at New York’s Lincoln Center, Radcliffe won the Best Performance By An Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical accolade – also his first ever Tony Award win.

Though it was Groff’s moving shoutout to Radcliffe that made his voice crack, the Glee star also used his speech to thank his family for accepting his queerness.

“Thank you for letting me dress up like Mary Poppins when I was three. Thank you for letting me act out scenes from I Love Lucy on my 10th birthday,” he said, as the audience laughed.

“Thank you for always allowing my freak flag to fly without ever making me feel weird about it. Even if they didn’t always understand me, my family knew the life-saving power of fanning the flame of a young person’s passions without judgement.”

The actor also took a moment to thank the cast and creators of Broadway musical Spring Awakening, which he starred in between 2006 and 2008, for inspiring him to come out as gay.

Spring Awakening is a coming of age show about teenagers getting to grips with their adult sexuality. Jonathan Groff came out as gay in October 2009.

“I moved to New York exactly 20 years ago this year and I got a job waiting tables, and became a volunteer for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and all I wanted was to be a part of this community,” he said.

Sarah Paulson and jonathan Groff pose with their Tony Awards together.
Sarah Paulson and Jonathan Groff were just two of the LGBTQ+ winners at the Tony Awards. (Getty)

“Thanks to everyone in Spring Awakening who not only made that dream come true, but also inspired me to come out of the closet when I was 23. I am now 39, and musical theatre is still saving my soul.”

Groff joined an impressive number of LGBTQ+ stars and creatives who bagged accolades at the ceremony, including American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson, who won her first ever Tony Award for her role in the play Appropriate.

You can read a full list of all of the LGBTQ+ winners at the 2024 Tony Awards here.

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