Audra McDonald just became the first black actress to win five Tony Awards. You may also know McDonald as Dr. Naomi Bennett in the drama “Private Practice” by Shonda Rhimes. The Best Performance Tony award-winning production for McDonald this year was Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.”

Born in Berlin, Germany, McDonald was raised in Fresno, CA. She won three Tony Awards before the age of 30. The actress and singer currently has two Grammy Awards, four albums and has earned two Emmy Award nominations. A little known fact – during her audition for the show “Carousel,” McDonald fainted, but still got the role and won a Tony for her performance in 1994.

In her music career, McDonald has performed with musical organizations such as the New York Philharmonic and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She performed with Carnegie Hall in 2004.

As the winner of five Tony Awards, McDonald has joined the ranks of actresses Angela Lansbury and Julia Harris.


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