Jesse Tyler Ferguson Wins First Tony Award for 'Take Me Out' 

Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Bruce Glikas/WireImage

The former ‘Modern Family’ star was awarded Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is now a Tony Award winner. The former Modern Family star earned his first-ever trophy for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for his acclaimed turn in the revival of the gay baseball play, Take Me Out, during the 75th annual ceremony

The actor gave an emotional speech, saying, "to stand in front of this community that I admire and love so much, just means so much to me... I can't believe I get to do this for a living." 

With his win in the category, Ferguson beat out co-stars Michael Oberholtzer and Jesse Williams, who has garnered headlines for his performance as well as leaked images of his onstage nude scenes

Ferguson, meanwhile, previously explained to ET the significance of reviving this story for Broadway and why Richard Greenberg’s play still resonates as much today as it did 20 years ago. “When I saw this play, it was very timely. But I thought, ‘Probably in two years it won’t be anymore,’” he recalled. “And here we are [20] years later, and racism and homophobia are still very relevant.”

Not only that, Ferguson said there’s still more needed when it comes to LGBTQ representation in the professional sports world, especially in baseball. “We haven’t had anyone on the level of the character in this play [come out]. I know they exist. I wish there was more visibility in sports,” he said, hoping that the play “shines a light on what the current climate is.” 

When the news of his nomination was first announced, Ferguson posted on Instagram, “I am so incredibly honored and overwhelmed. I only ever could see my life going in one direction as a kid — and that was on stage in New York City. I moved here at 17 and worked at coffee shops and babysat and did whatever I could to get by.”

“To be honored and acknowledged by the very community & the very awards show I would watch year after year in my living room from Albuquerque, NM is so overwhelming,” he continued. “There are no words except thank you and I love you.” 

In total, Take Me Out was nominated for four Tony Awards, with the other category being Best Revival of a Play.

Check out the full list of winners from the Tony Awards 2022.