Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1970-07-03 (50 years old)
28 Movies · 9 TV Series
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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.
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.
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
2 Movies · 1 TV Series
The Metropolitan Opera: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
The Gershwins’ modern American masterpiece has its first Met performances in almost three decades, starring bass-baritone Eric Owens and soprano Angel Blue in the title roles. Director James Robinson’...
An animated musical comedy about a family that lives in a castle in Central Park. Owen, the park manager, and his wife, a journalist, raise their kids in the world's most famous park, while fighting o...
Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration
A starry line-up of Broadway favorites are toasting Stephen Sondheim with a once-in-a-lifetime concert event live on Broadway.com A benefit for ASTEP
Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood
In honor of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, Tanglewood—the famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra—dedicated its entire 2018 season to the iconic composer, conductor, performer, educato...
Every Act of Life
The life of Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally (Master Class, Ragtime): 60 years of groundbreaking plays and musicals, the struggle for gay rights, addiction and recovery, finding true love, and...
2 Movies · 1 TV Series
Ten lost souls slip in and out of one another's arms in a daisy-chained musical exploration of love's bittersweet embrace. A film adaptation of Michael John LaChiusa's celebrated musical, originally b...
Beauty and the Beast
A live-action adaptation of Disney's version of the classic tale of a cursed prince and a beautiful young woman who helps him break the spell.
The Good Fight
Picking up one year after the events of the final broadcast episode of "The Good Wife", an enormous financial scam has destroyed the reputation of a young lawyer, Maia Rindell, while simultaneously wi...
Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas
This holiday special goes back in time to show how Elmo's ancestors--not to mention those of Grover, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster--helped transform "the most unfriendly s...
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
It's 1959 in a seedy bar in Philadelphia, and Billie Holiday is giving one of her last performances interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and ...
1 Movie · 2 TV Series
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
After Jay Leno's second retirement from the program, Jimmy Fallon stepped in as his permanent replacement. After 42 years in Los Angeles the program was brought back to New York.
Meet the most beloved sitcom horse of the 90s - 20 years later. BoJack Horseman was the star of the hit TV show "Horsin' Around," but today he's washed up, living in Hollywood, complaining about every...
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Murder, mayhem and the ultimate revenge. Stephen Sondheim's macabre musical masterpiece comes back to life in this bold new production, starring Bryn Terfel and Academy Award winner Emma Thompson.
Six by Sondheim
This intimate documentary explores the life and career of the stage legend Stephen Sondheim through six of his best-known songs.
The Sound of Music Live!
The Sound of Music Live! is a television special that was originally broadcast by NBC on December 5, 2013. Produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the special was an adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerst...
1 Movie · 1 TV Series
After leaving behind Seattle Grace Hospital, renowned surgeon Addison Forbes Montgomery moved to Los Angeles to be closer to his family. She joined her friends from medical school at their co-op, Ocea...
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
- Recorded live at Los Angeles Opera, 1 & 4 March 2007. Welcome to Mahagonny, where sin is "in" and love is always on sale. This Old West boomtown rises from the desert to become a razzle-dazzle mecc...
2 Movies · 2 TV Series
The Colbert Report
The Colbert Report is an American satirical late night television program that airs Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central. It stars political humorist Stephen Colbert, a former correspondent for T...
The personal and professional lives of a group of doctors at a Seattle hospital are chronicled.
Passion (Live from Lincoln Center)
Passion is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapine. The story was adapted from Ettore Scola's film Passione d'Amore. Central themes include love, sex, obsession,...
Broadway's Lost Treasures III: The Best of The Tony Awards
Broadway royalty and Tony-winners Tommy Tune, Carol Channing, Robert Goulet, and Harvey Fierstein are your hosts for this third compilation of great musical performances from the archives of the Tony ...
My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies
On Sept. 28, 1998, some of the greatest divas in musical theater -- including Marin Mazzie, Judy Kuhn and Audra McDonald -- took the stage at New York City's Carnegie Hall to belt out songs that made ...
Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years
Tells the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two African-American (they preferred "colored") sisters who both lived past the age of 100. They grew up on a North Carolina college campus, the daughters o...
Things seem pretty bad for a young girl living a "hard-knock life" in an orphanage. Fed up with the dastardly Miss Hannigan, Annie escapes the run-down orphanage determined to find her mom and dad. It...
Cradle Will Rock
A true story of politics and art in the 1930s USA, centered around a leftist musical drama and attempts to stop its production.
1 TV Series
1 TV Series