Before His Emmy Win, Tony Hale Was A Local Theatre Star In Tallahassee

at 6:35 pm | By

A typical Emmy acceptance speech usually consists of the winner checking off a laundry list of names. It was fitting then, that first-time winner Tony Hale (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Veep) rattled off his wife, daughter, mom and dad. Also on that list? Hale’s childhood acting coaches.

In the final seconds before being ushered off stage, Hale gave a big thank you to coaches Tina Williams and Alison Grimes, and to the Young Actors Theatre in Hale’s hometown of Tallahassee, Florida. The  small community theater, said Hale, “made a huge difference in my life.”

“When he was nominated he called his parents, sister and then he called me. It was so great!” Williams, the theatre’s executive director, told Celebuzz. “We’ve had a close relationship since his teenage years. He was so surprised when he got nominated and I told him getting nominated is what really counts.

“Not only is he a good performer, but a great person and so worthy of this,” she added.

Since Hale’s big win Sunday night, Williams said the youth theatre has received thousands of emails from alumni, locals, Hale’s friends and those inquiring if the 42-year-old actor really did hone his acting chops in the young thespian program.

Check out Hale’s many on-stage personas during his years at the Young Actors Theatre the CB! gallery above to find out.