The Neon Lights Are Bright on Audra McDonald Way! Broadway Star Honored by the City of Fresno
Audra McDonald has "no words" for the latest in a long line of honors for the record-breaking Tony winner. This week, the city of Fresno honored the stage icon with her very own street naming! Check out the unveiling below!
Audra McDonald holds the record for more Tony Best Performance wins than any other actor in history, and is the only person to win all four acting categories. She became a three-time Tony Award winner by the age of 28 for her performances in "Carousel," "Master Class," and "Ragtime," placing her alongside Shirley Booth, Gwen Verdon and Zero Mostel by accomplishing this feat within five years. She won her fourth in 2004 for her role in "A Raisin in the Sun," a role she reprised for a 2008 television adaptation, earning her a second Emmy Award nomination. On June 10, 2012, McDonald scored her fifth Tony Award win for her portrayal of Bess in Broadway's "The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess" thus tying a record held by Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris for most Tony Awards won by an actor. In the 2014 Broadway season, she made history by winning her sixth Tony Award for her role as Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill."
She also maintains her ties to classical repertoire with an active concert and recording career, performing song cycles and operas as well as concerts throughout the US. Audra's many television appearances include four seasons as Naomi Bennett in "Private Practice," as well as "Homicide: Life on the Street," "Law & Order: SVU," "Having Our Say," "Mister Sterling," "The Bedford Diaries," "Kidnapped," the TV remake of the musical "Annie," and HBO's "Wit" with Emma Thompson and more recently as a cast member of "The Good Wife." In December 2013 Audra won critical acclaim for her performance as the Mother Abbess in NBC's live telecast of "The Sound of Music" with Carrie Underwood. As the host of the PBS series "Live From Lincoln Center," she won her first Primetime Emmy Award in 2015. That same year she was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2015 and received a 2015 National Medal of Arts-America's highest honor for achievement in the arts-from President Barack Obama.
In 2018, she joins the cast of The Good Fight for the second season of the CBS All Access original drama series. Her film roles include "Cradle Will Rock," "Object of My Affection," "It Runs in the Family," "Best Thief in the World," and "Seven Servants." Ms. McDonald returned to the Broadway stage in 2016 with director George C. Wolfe and dancer/choreographer Savion Glover in the musical "Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed," a new retelling of an original musical by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award.
On the concert stage, she has sung with virtually every major American orchestra, and internationally with Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, as well as with the London Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic. Of Audra McDonald's many roles, she notes that her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother to her children.