Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Angela Lansbury and Audra McDonald and Other Comparisons

Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend

I was inspired to make this post by one of the Gypsy threads here when I saw a bunch of people recommending Audra McDonald play Mama Rose. I always knew McDonald was held to high esteem and even considered a legend, but for reason it took that thread for me to realize she's become like a certain segment of the fandom's "it" person when they think of Broadway.

I was thinking about her past work and many accomplishments and the only other actress who I think was held with the same regard is Angela Lansbury in her prime. Both have done straight and musical work...have been in work that opera houses have also done, had success in television (Lansbury of course in the long-running series Murder She Wrote), both seem to be loved by creators, and both have played some of the best roles ever written. 


Audra McDonald

  • Six Tony Award wins out of eight nominations
  • First person to win in all four different acting categories she is eligible for.
  • Nominated for five Emmys, winning one for Outstanding Special Class Program as host.
  • Has performed in musicals, plays, operas pretty consistently and goes in-between those throughout her career.

Angela Lansbury

  • Five Tony Award wins out of seven nominations (had a clean streak starting in 1966 until she lost in 2007 and then she won another and then was nominated and lost for another after that). 
  • Won an Olivier
  • Has one of the most recognizable voices for a certain generation (Mrs. Potts)
  • Was in a long-running television show where she was nominated for 12 consecutive Emmys out of the eighteen she was nominated for (never won).
  • Nominated for three Academy Awards and received an honorary one.

Other than their accolades, I just think they've both have been able to play some incredible roles...some of the best offered to any stage actor and seem to have enjoyed being the critical darling among their peers.

Which performances/roles of theirs are among your favorites from them? 

I was gonna make a Patti Lupone/Bernadette Peters comparison, but I think I'll just leave at that for now.