Angelina Jolie
Image: Courtesy

Angelina Jolie won her first Tony Award for producing The Outsiders, which was named best musical and picked up three other awards after receiving a total of 12 nominations.

The 49-year-old actress was joined on stage by her daughter Vivienne, 15.

Director Danya Taymor named actress Jolie among the "great women who have lifted me up" in her acceptance speech.

The production later won the coveted best musical gong, which saw Jolie appear on stage.

The play is based on SE Hinton's book and follows the conflict between two rival gangs of white Americans divided by their socioeconomic status.

It beat musical rival Hell’s Kitchen, a semi-autobiographical account of Alicia Keys which received 13 nominations and won two.

One of those wins was for theatre veteran Kecia Lewis for featured actress.

In an emotional on-stage speech, Lewis said: "40 years ago yesterday I walked into the Imperial Theatre to begin my Broadway career at 18 years old.

"I have had so many amazing experiences and some heartbreaking ones, too. I took a short break from showbusiness and raised a son as a single parent while trying to build a career.

"This moment is the one I dreamed for most of those 40 years, so I say to everyone who can hear my voice - don't give up."

Keys and Jay-Z joined the cast of the musical for a performance of their 2009 hit song Empire State Of Mind in tribute to New York.

The most nominated play in Tony history with 13 nods, Stereophonic won five awards including best play.

In his acceptance speech, playwright David Adjmi spoke about how hard it was to make a career in the arts and said more funding for the arts was necessary.

The play follows a fictional rock band in the 1970s as they embark on producing an album.

Elsewhere, Hollywood star Jeremy Strong won his first Tony for lead actor in a play for An Enemy of the People.

The 45-year-old is best known for playing Kendall in Succession.

He called Henrik Ibsen’s cautionary environmental play “a cry from the heart” with “difficult truths that are staring us down right now”.

Strong plays a doctor who refuses to be silenced when he discovers public baths to be contaminated.

Another first time winner was Sarah Paulson who won best actress in a lead role and beat Rachel McAdams and Jessica Lange.

Paulson won an award for the revival of darkly comic drama Appropriate which follows a dysfunctional family battling over their recently deceased father's inheritance.

The 49-year-old Ratched actress is now halfway to EGOT status - she won an Emmy in 2016 for her role in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

US star Nicole Scherzinger, who recently triumphed at the Olivier awards for her role in Sunset Boulevard, performed during the in-memoriam to theatre stars who have died.

Among those remembered were British stars Sir Michael Gambon, Glenda Jackson and theatre impresario Bill Kenwright, alongside US actors Louis Gossett Jr and Ron Cephas Jones.