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Audra McDonald

Audra McDonald

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1970-07-03 (50 years old)

28 Movies · 9 TV Series

Biography

Audra Ann McDonald (born July 3, 1970) is an American actress and singer. Primarily known for her work on the Broadway stage, she has won six Tony Awards, more performance wins than any other actor, and is the only person to win all four acting categories. She has performed in musicals, operas, and dramas such as A Moon for the Misbegotten, 110 in the Shade, Carousel, Ragtime, Master Class and Porgy and Bess. As a classical soprano, she has performed in staged operas with the Houston Grand Opera and the Los Angeles Opera and in concerts with symphony orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic. In 2008 her recording of Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny with the Los Angeles Opera won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Album and the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. She has a close working relationship with composer Michael John LaChiusa who has written several works for her, including the Broadway musical Marie Christine, the opera Send (who are you? i love you), and The Seven Deadly Sins: A Song Cycle. With her full lyric soprano voice, she maintains an active concert and recording career throughout the United States performing a wide repertoire from classical to musical theater to jazz and popular songs. In 2016, McDonald was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. In 2017 she was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.On television, McDonald portrayed Dr. Naomi Bennett as a main cast member of Shonda Rhimes's ABC television drama Private Practice from 2007–2011. She also portrayed the character of Liz Lawrence in Season 4 of The Good Wife, a role that she reprises as a main cast member in the spinoff series The Good Fight. In 2013 she performed the role of Mother Superior in The Sound of Music Live! opposite Carrie Underwood as Maria. She has twice been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her portrayals of Susie Monahan in Wit opposite Emma Thompson in 2001 and for her performance of Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun in 2008. In 2016 she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill for HBO in which McDonald portrayed jazz legend Billie Holiday. She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Program in 2015 for her work hosting the program Live from Lincoln Center. On film she is best known for her portrayals of Maureen in Ricki and the Flash (2015) opposite Meryl Streep and Madame de Garderobe in the 2017 film version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. She has been nominated five times for the NAACP Image Awards for her work in television and film.

Personal Life

McDonald married bassist Peter Donovan in September 2000. They have one daughter, Zoe Madeline Donovan, named after McDonald's close friend and Master Class co-star Zoe Caldwell and the late Madeline Kahn. McDonald became close friends with Kahn after they filmed a TV pilot together, and she found out she was carrying a girl the same day she sang at Kahn's memorial. McDonald and Donovan divorced in 2009.She married Will Swenson on October 6, 2012. On October 19, 2016, they became parents to a girl, Sally James McDonald-Swenson. She also has two stepsons.McDonald attended Joan Rivers' funeral in New York on September 7, 2014, where she sang "Smile". McDonald and family live in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

Early Life

McDonald was born in West Berlin, Germany, the daughter of American parents, Anna Kathryn, a university administrator, and Stanley McDonald Jr., a high school principal. At the time of her birth, her father was stationed with the United States Army. McDonald was raised in Fresno, California, the elder of two daughters; her young sister, Alison, writes and directs for television and film. McDonald graduated from the Roosevelt School of the Arts program within Theodore Roosevelt High School in Fresno. She got her start in acting with Dan Pessano and Good Company Players, beginning in their junior company. In a feature article about her written when she was a child, she said that she knew she wanted to be involved in theater "when I had my first chance to perform with the Good Company Players Junior Company." She also said that the people who have had the most impact on her life are "Good Company director Dan Pessano and my mother." She studied classical voice as an undergraduate under Ellen Faull at the Juilliard School, graduating in 1993.

Movies & TV Series

2021.

1 Movie

2020.

2 Movies · 1 TV Series

2018.

2 Movies

2017.

2 Movies · 1 TV Series

2016.

2 Movies

2015.

1 Movie

2014.

1 Movie · 2 TV Series

2013.

2 Movies

2011.

1 Movie

2008.

1 Movie

2007.

1 Movie · 1 TV Series

2005.

2 Movies · 2 TV Series

2004.

1 Movie

2003.

1 Movie

2002.

1 Movie

2001.

1 Movie

2000.

1 Movie

1999.

4 Movies

1998.

1 Movie

1997.

1 TV Series

1971.

1 TV Series
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