The 68th annual Tony Awards handed out honors last night to some of Broadway’s top performers at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, and singer-actres, Audra McDonald became the most decorated actress in Tony Awards history.
Known for her work alongside fellow actor Taye Diggs in “Private Practice,” McDonald won her sixth Tony for portraying Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, placing her in front of multiple winners Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris for the most competitive wins by an actress.
McDonald received an extended standing ovation for her latest win — for best lead actress in a play — also makes her the first grand-slam performance winner. She previously won as best featured actress in a play (A Raisin in the Sun and Master Class), best lead actress in a musical (Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess) and best featured actress in a musical (Ragtime and Carousel). She is the only woman to win a Tony in all four categories; she also has two Grammys.
Speaking of Billie Holiday, McDonald fought back tears as she acknowledged the iconic jazz singer. “You deserve more than you were given on this planet and this is for you baby.”