Born: July 3, 1970
Birthplace: West Berlin, Germany
\Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Career and Life
Audra Ann McDonald is an 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 recurring 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. 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 lives in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.