Award winning actress-singer Donna Murphy has been building a career of striking range and diversity in the theater and on the large and small screens. This "seductive actress of major transformative powers" (New York Times) has impressed both critics and audiences with her depth and skill.
Ms. Murphy received the first of two Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical, along with the Drama Desk and Drama League Awards, for her spellbinding creation of Fosca in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Passion, garnering critical acclaim when it was broadcast on PBS's American Playhouse. She was awarded her second Tony and Drama League Awards, as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for her elegant and distinctive performance as Anna Leonowans in the 1996 Tony Award winning revival of The King and I.
In 2004, she was honored with the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire Awards, the Drama League Outstanding Achievement Award for her work in Musical Theater, as well as another Tony nomination, for her hilarious tour de force as Ruth Sherwood in the Broadway Revival of Wonderful Town, a role she originated at City Center's Encores! Series.
In 2007 she returned to Broadway at Manhattan Theater Club's Biltmore Theater as the legendary actress singer Lotte Lenya, in the world premiere of LoveMusik, directed by Harold Prince. She received her third Drama Desk Award, and second Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical, as well as a Drama League Award and a Tony nomination for this mesmerizing performance. Earlier that season Murphy received raves for her portrayal of Phyllis Stone in City Center's Encores!' production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies.
Ms. Murphy studied with the legendary Stella Adler, and at the Lee Strasberg Institute, and attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She made her professional debut, after being cast from an open call, in Neil Simon's hit They're Playing Our Song, and went on to create memorable characters in comedies, dramas and musicals on and off Broadway, and in theaters across the country. These credits include Edwin Drood in the Broadway production of Rupert Holmes Drood, James Lapine's Twelve Dreams, and Michael John LaChiusa's Hello Again at Lincoln Center Theater (Drama Desk nominations), Song of Singapore (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), Peter Nichol's Privates of Parade at the Roundabout Theater Co., Strindberg's Miss Julie (McCarter Theater), and the title character of Tony Kushner's production of Ellen MacLaughlin's Helen, for the New York Shakespeare Festival (Drama League Award). She also starred in the World Premiere of Pamela's First Musical, by Wendy Wasserstein, Cy Coleman and David Zippel, at Town Hall, benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and Theater Development Fund's OPEN DOORS Program. Ms. Murphy's film credits include: The Nanny Diaries, World Trade Center, The Fountain, Spiderman 2, The Door in the Floor, Center Stage, Star Trek: Insurrection, The Astronaut's Wife, and Jade .
Ms. Murphy's first television film, HBO's Someone Had to be Benny, earned her a Cable Ace Award as Best Actress in a Drama Special or Series, as well as a Daytime Emmy. Other TV work includes : TNT's Trust Me, ABC's What About Joan, Showtime's political drama The Last Debate , Mary Todd Lincoln in The Day Lincoln Was Shot (TNT), Francesca Cross on Stephen Bochco's Murder One (ABC), Leonard Bernstein's New York and Abigail Adams in Liberty! for PBS, the 2000 and 2002 Kennedy Center Honors (CBS) and guest appearances on Ugly Betty ,Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order SVU, Damages, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, CSI, Law & Order, The Practice, Ally McBeal.
A versatile singer, she can be heard on a number of recordings including Lovemusik (Ghostlight), Wall to Wall Sondheim (Symphony Space), Wonderful Town (DRG), Leonard Bernstein's New York (Nonesuch), Hello Again (RCA Victor), The King and I (Varese Sarabande) and the Grammy Award winning Passion (Angel). For her contribution to the Arts, Culture and Public life, she's received special honors from New York Magazine, Symphony Space, Greenwich Village's Caring Community, the Women's Project, The Little Orchestra Society, Irish America Magazine, the Breukelein Institute and Emerson College.
Ms. Murphy donates her time and efforts to a number of organizations, including the Worldwide Orphan's Foundation, the All Stars Project providing Arts education and programs for inner city youth, Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS, and The Actors Fund.