Clarence Derwent Awards

The Clarence Derwent Awards are theatre awards given annually by the Actors' Equity Association on Broadway in the United States and by Equity, the performers' union, in the West End in the United Kingdom.

Clarence Derwent (23 March 1884 – 6 August 1959) was an English actor, director, and manager. He was educated at St Paul's School, London and the Birkbeck Institute. He joined Sir Frank Benson's stage company, with whom he stayed for five years. He then joined Annie Horniman's repertory company in Manchester. He was seen in a great variety of roles, both in London and New York. He made his last appearance on stage in 1948 in The Madwoman of Chaillot. He died in New York at the age of 75.[1]

From 1946 to 1952 Derwent was President of America's Actors' Equity. His will stipulated that two $500 prizes were to be given out annually to the best individual male and female supporting performances on Broadway and a £100 prize to the best supporting performances in the West End. So that Derwent could have the gratification of seeing the awards given out, they were started in America in 1945 and in the UK in 1948.[2] The prizes in the US are now $2,000 and an engraved crystal trophy.[3]