ABOVE PHOTO: Audra McDonald accepts the award for best performance by an actress in a musical for her role in “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” at the 66th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday June 10, 2012, in New York. At right is presenter Christopher Plummer.
(Photo by Charles Sykes /Invision/AP)
By Mark Kennedy
NEW YORK — Audra McDonald has won the Tony Award for best leading actress in a musical.
Considered the favorite for her powerful portrayal of Bess in “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” McDonald captured her fifth Tony, but first as a leading actress.
Raised in Fresno, Calif., and trained at The Juilliard School, she won three Tony Awards before the age of 30 — for “Carousel,” ”Master Class” and “Ragtime” — and a fourth in 2004 for “A Raisin in the Sun.”
She has two Grammy Awards, four albums and thinking of a fifth and two Emmy Award nominations. McDonald, a fierce advocate for gay marriage rights, has a daughter and recently was engaged.
She beat out Jan Maxwell, Cristin Milioti, Kelli O’Hara and Laura Osnes