Donna Murphy Headshot

Donna Murphy

Birth Place: Queens, NY, USA

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Donna Murphy BIO

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 most recent Broadway role was Dolly Levi in the 2017 revival of Hello Dolly.

Ms. Murphy's film credits include: Tangled, 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.

Donna Murphy Photos


Broadway Revival Production, 2017
Dolly Gallagher Levi (Alternate) [Replacement]

Dolly Levi [Replacement]

New York Premiere Production, 2016
Performer [Replacement]

Roundabout Production, 2011

Manhattan Theatre Club Production, 2007
Lotte Lenya

Stephen Sondheim Tribute Benefit, 2005

10th Anniversary Concert, 2004

Broadway Revival, 2003
Ruth Sherwood

[New York]
Reading, 2003


Encores! Concert, 2000

Broadway Revival, 1996
Anna Leonowens

Dorothy Trowbridge

Original Broadway Production, 1994

Original Off-Broadway Production, 1993
The Whore

[New York]
Workshop, 1993


Original Off-Broadway Production, 1991

Sylvia Morgan

[Regional (US)]
World Premiere, 1988

Original Off-Broadway Production, 1987


Broadway Transfer, 1985
Succubae / Miss Florence Gill

Beatrice/Florence Gill

Succubus (Florence Gill)

Edwin Drood/Miss Alice Nutting [Replacement]

Edwin Drood/Alice Nutting [Replacement]

Beatrice / Miss Florence Gill

Citizen of Cloisterham

Edwin Drood / Miss Alice Nutting [Replacement]

The Princess Puffer / Miss Angela Prysock (Understudy)

Helena Landless / Miss Janet Conover (Understudy)

Original Off-Broadway Production, 1985
Citizen of Cloisterham

Beatrice (Florence Gill)

Beatrice/Florence Gill

Succubus (Florence Gill)

Helena Landless (Janet Conover)/Princess Puffer (Angela Prysock) (Understudy)

Broadway Transfer, 1984
Bess Macauley (Understudy)

Mary Arena (Understudy)

Original Off-Broadway Production, 1981
Clare de Favorone

Clare de Favorone

Original Broadway Production, 1979
Voice of Sonia Walsk [Replacement]

Performer (Swing) [Replacement]

Donna Murphy Movies

[1995]Jade Karen Heller

[1998]Star Trek: Insurrection Anij

[1998]22-Oct Carole

[1999]The Astronaut's Wife Natalie Streck

[2000]Center Stage Juliette

[2004]Spider-Man 2 Rosalie Octavius

[2004]The Door in the Floor Frame Shop Owner

[2006]The Fountain Betty

[2006]World Trade Center Judy Jon

[2006]Ira & Abby Dr. Betsy Goldman

[2007]The Nanny Diaries Judy Braddock

[2008]Sherman's Way Evelyn Black

[2010]Tangled Mother Gothel

[2011]Higher Ground Kathleen Walker

[2011]Dark Horse Marie

[2012]The Bourne Legacy Dita Mandy

[2016]No Pay, Nudity Pearl

[2020]Anastasia Yara the Enchantress

Donna Murphy TV Shows

Hack Heather Olshansky

Law & Order Carla Tyrell, Karen Unger

Mercy Street Jane Green

Murder One Francesca Cross

Power Lorette Walsh

Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure Gothel, Mother Gothel

Resurrection The Elegant Woman, Angela

What About Joan Dr. Ruby Stern

Donna Murphy Awards and Nominations

Drama Desk Awards - 2011 - Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Donna Murphy, The People in the Picture

Donna Murphy Videos

Donna Murphy News

Photos: Inside You Gotta Believe 'Voices: Stars for Foster Kids' Benefit Concert, With Norm Lewis, Donna Murphy, Adam Pascal, and More!

You Gotta Believe (YGB), a New York City-based, national organization that focuses exclusively on finding permanent parents and families for older kids in foster care, hosted its 9th annual Voices: Stars for Foster Kids benefit concert at Town Hall in NYC, on Monday, September 18th. Check out photos from the event here!

Photos: Inside A BRIEF INTERMISSION, Celebrating the Delacorte Theater

The Public Theater's special, one-night-only event, A BRIEF INTERMISSION, was held on Wednesday, September 6 at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park. BroadwayWorld was there and you can check out photos here!

Jessie Mueller, Donna Murphy, Mario Cantone & More Join ASA Gala Honoring Betty Buckley

Get the latest on the star-studded lineup coming together to honor Betty Buckley at the American Songbook Association event. Find out when and where this exciting tribute will take place. Don't miss the chance to see Sandra Bernhard, Donna Murphy, Jennifer Simard, and more pay homage to a musical legend.

Wake Up With BroadwayWorld August 24th, 2023

Rise and shine, BroadwayWorld! It is  August 24, 2023 and it's time to catch up on all of the theatrical happenings you may have missed in the last 24 hours.

Video: Watch THE GILDED AGE Season Two Teaser Ahead of October Premiere With Donna Murphy, Denée Benton & More

The season will feature Carrie Coon, Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon, Morgan Spector, Denée Benton, Michael Cerveris, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Debra Monk, Donna Murphy, Kristine Nielsen, Kelli O’Hara, Patrick Page, Taylor Richardson, Douglas Sills, Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Ashlie Atkinson, and Laura Benanti. Watch the teaser video now!

Playwrights Horizons Commissions New Work by Jordan E. Cooper, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins & More

Find out the latest news from Playwrights Horizons as they announce new commissions from acclaimed playwrights Jordan E. Cooper and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Discover what these talented writers have in store for audiences at Playwrights Horizons and get ready to be captivated by their upcoming productions.

A Video Roundup Celebrating The ASA's Gala Honoring Betty Buckley: NEW WAYS TO DREAM at Merkin Hall

One by one, the cast of the gala honoring Betty Buckley has grown more and more starry.

Review Roundup: Immersive HERE LIES LOVE Opens On Broadway!

Here Lies Love, the new musical from David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, officially opens tonight at the Broadway Theatre. Read the reviews!

Annaleigh Ashford, Laura Bell Bundy, Paolo Montalban & More Join Broadway Barks

BROADWAY BARKS has revealed the full roster of participants for the 25th annual dog and cat adoption event. 

Photos: Go Inside Opening Night of HAMLET at Free Shakespeare in the Park

Check out photos from opening night of Hamlet at Free Shakespeare in the Park!

Goldie Dver Brings BRIDGES To Don't Tell Mama Opening June 7

Goldie Dver will play her new show BRIDGES at Don't Tell Mama with special guest Tanya Moberly for three dates in June.

Photos: Stars Arrive at THE THANKSGIVING PLAY Opening Night!

Second Stage Theater's production of Larissa FastHorse's play, The Thanksgiving Play, directed by Tony Award-winner Rachel Chavkin, opened Thursday, April 20, at Second Stage's Hayes Theater (240 West 44th Street). BroadwayWorld was there and you can check out photos of stars arriving on the red carpet here!

Photos: Marilyn Maye Birthday Shows at 54 Below

'Come Celebrate With Marilyn Maye' April 8 - 10th (and continued the last week in May). Marilyn Maye followed her sold out Carnegie Hall Concert by celebrating her 95th birthday with a sold out run of shows at 54 Below. Featuring musical trio Tedd Firth, Tom Hubbard, and Mark McLean.

Review: JENNIFER SIMARD: CAN I GET YOUR NUMBER? is a Comic Treasure Trove at 54 Below

From the moment she appeared in the audience singing “One Night Only from Dreamgirls, sliding down a banister like a wacky Mame, you knew you were in for a comedic master class. She is an excellent mimic, a powerhouse singer, and in the end a sensitive and truthful actor. She is living proof of Elaine Stritch’s maxim, “To play comedy you have to be real.” Jennifer Simard is absolutely the real deal.

Julian Lerner Joins New York City Center's OLIVER! as 'The Artful Dodger'

Julian Lerner has joined the cast of New York City Center production of Oliver! as The Artful Dodger.

New York City Center to Launch Ann Reinking Encores! Choreography Fellowship

New York City Center has announced the Ann Reinking Encores! Choreography Fellowship, launching as part of the upcoming 2023 – 2024 season.

Review Roundup: Critics Visit DEAR WORLD At City Center Encores!

New York City Center Encores! presents Dear World, which features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, running through March 19, 2023. This madcap romp is directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes, who helmed Herman's Mack & Mabel (2019 Encores!), with new Encores! Music Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell leading The Encores! Orchestra. Read reviews for the production!

Video: Watch Highlights of Donna Murphy and More in Encores! DEAR WORLD

New York City Center Encores! is presenting Dear World, which features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Check out video highlights here!

Wake Up With BWW 3/16: MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Sets Broadway Dates, PARADE Photos, and More!

Top stories: Andrew Lloyd Webber teases Broadway return for The Phantom of the Opera, Merrily We Roll Along sets Broadway dates, Parade photos, and more!

Photos/Video: First Look at Donna Murphy, Brooks Ashmanskas & More in DEAR WORLD at Encores!

Get a first look at photos and video of Dear World at New York City Center Encores!


Donna Murphy has appeared on Broadway in 11 shows.

Donna Murphy has not appeared in the West End

Donna Murphy has been nominated for several awards throughout her career. She has been nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Musical at the Drama Desk Awards for her performances in "Into The Woods," "The People in the Picture," "LoveMusik," "Wonderful Town," "The King and I," and "Passion." She has also received a Distinguished Performance Award at the Drama League Awards for "Into The Woods" and a Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre. Additionally, Murphy has been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical at the Tony Awards for "The People in the Picture," "LoveMusik," "Wonderful Town," "The King and I," and "Passion." She has received nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Musical at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for "The People in the Picture," "LoveMusik," and "Wonderful Town." Furthermore, Murphy has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical at the Drama Desk Awards for "Hello Again." She has also been nominated for Best Actress in a Musical at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for "Song of Singapore" and has received an Outstanding Actress in a Musical nomination at the Drama Desk Awards for the same production.

Donna Murphy has won several awards for her performances in various Broadway shows. She won the Outstanding Actress in a Musical award (tie) at the Drama Desk Awards for LoveMusik, as well as the Outstanding Actress in a Musical award at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for the same show. Murphy also won the Outstanding Actress - Musical award at the Drama Desk Awards for Wonderful Town and received the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre award at the Drama League Awards. Additionally, she won the Outstanding Actress in a Musical award at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for Wonderful Town. Murphy's performance in The King and I earned her the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical award at the Tony Awards. She also won the Outstanding Actress - Musical award at the Drama Desk Awards for Passion and received another Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical award at the Tony Awards for her performance in Passion.

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