Nina Arianda wins Tony for best actress in a play

MARK KENNEDY AP Drama Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Nina Arianda, a rising star who has won over audiences for two seasons in Tony-nominated parts, has won the Tony for best leading actress in a play.

The 27-year-old actress beat out stiff competition for her portrayal of a preternaturally talented actress determined to land the lead in a new play in the sexy "Venus in Fur."

Arianda first made waves when David Ives' play was seen off-Broadway in 2010. She then earned a Tony nomination last season when she made her Broadway debut in "Born Yesterday."

Her films include "Shadows & Lies" with James Franco, "Higher Ground" with Vera Farmiga, the Ben Stiller action comedy "Tower Heist" and Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris."

She beat out Tracie Bennett, Stockard Channing, Linda Lavin and Cynthia Nixon.