Audra McDonald Makes Broadway History With Sixth Tony Win

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08 Jun 2014

Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald
Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva

Audra McDonald, who won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (her sixth), made Broadway history June 8. She has broken the record for winning the most acting performance Tony Awards and is the first performer to win in all performance categories. 

In 2012 McDonald joined five-time Tony Award-winning leading ladies Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris, who previously shared the record for the most competitive acting performance Tonys. (Harris is a recipient of a sixth, non-competitive Tony for Lifetime Achievement.)

McDonald, who plays the role of Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, won her first Tony Award — Featured Actress in a Musical — in 1994 for Carousel, in which she played the role of Carrie Pipperidge. In 1996 she took home the Featured Actress in a Play Tony Award for her performance as Sharon in Master Class. She also received Featured Actress Tonys for Ragtime, in which she played Sarah, and A Raisin in the Sun, for the role of Ruth Younger. The 2012 Tony Award for The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess was her first Best Leading Actress Tony Award.

With the 2014 win, she now has Tony Awards in all acting categories.

"You deserve so much more than you were given on this planet," a teary-eyed McDonald said in her acceptance speech about Billie Holiday. "This is for you, Billie."



On making Broadway history, McDonald said in the press room, "I'm just overwhelmed. I don't know what else to say. I'm grateful and don't believe it." 

McDonald also thanked her late father, her mother, her husband Will Swenson, her step-children and her daughter, Zoe Madeline Donovan.

PHOTO SPECIAL: Celebrating Two Decades of Audra McDonald Lighting Up the Tony Award Red Carpet

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Audra McDonald, 1994 Tony Win for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Carousel.
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN