Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards and an Emmy, in 2015 she was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people and received a National Medal of ArtsâAmerica's highest honor for achievement in the fieldâfrom President Barack Obama.
In addition to her Tony-winning performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwinsâ Porgy and Bess and Lady Day at Emersonâs Bar & Grillâthe role that also served as the vehicle for her Olivier Award-nominated 2017 debut in Londonâs West Endâshe has appeared on Broadway in The Secret Garden; Marie Christine (Tony nomination); Henry IV; 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination); Shuffle Along, or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (Tony nomination). A Juilliard-trained soprano, her opera credits include La voix humaine and Send at Houston Grand Opera, and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Los Angeles Opera, where the resulting recording earned her two Grammy Awards. On television, she was seen by millions as the Mother Abbess in NBCâs The Sound of Music Live! and played Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABCâs Private Practice. She won an Emmy Award for her role as host of PBSâs Live From Lincoln Center and has received nominations for Wit, A Raisin in the Sun and Lady Day at Emersonâs Bar & Grill. Having first appeared as Liz Lawrence on CBSâs The Good Wife, she can now be seen in The Good Fight on Paramount+ as well as in Spectrumâs pandemic-themed drama The Bite. On film, she has appeared in Seven Servants, The Object of My Affection, Cradle Will Rock, It Runs in the Family, The Best Thief in the World, She Got Problems, Rampart, Ricki and the Flash, Disneyâs live-action Beauty and the Beast,the movie-musical Hello Again, and MGMâs Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect.
McDonald has released five solo albums on the Nonesuch label as well as Sing Happy, with the New York Philharmonic, on Decca Gold. She also maintains a major career as a concert artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world and with leading international orchestras. A founding member of Black Theatre United, board member of Covenant House International, and prominent advocate for LGBTQAI+ rights, her favorite roles are those performed offstage, as an activist, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother.
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