Audra McDonald made double history last night at the 2014 Tony Awards celebration, when she took home her 6th Tony Award win for her performance as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” – 1.) She has become the first person to win in all four performance categories; and 2.) She has also broken the record for the most Tony Awards won by any performer.
McDonald beats a record she previously held with fellow winners Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris.
This is an enormous feat and a pretty big deal folks – something we should all take note of, and celebrate! Keep in mind that she did this in a relatively short period of time. She’s not exactly an aging actress, who’s had en entire lifetime on Broadway to accumulate this volume in accolades. She’s just 43 years old, with her history-making 6-win Tony streak beginning in 1994, just 20 years ago, when she won the Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical – “Carousel.” I suppose it’s only fitting that she make history on the 20th anniversary of her very first win!
Also worth noting is that she’s been nominated for a Tony award 8 times since 1994, and has now won 6 of the 8. Again, an incredible feat. For a little perspective, imagine an actress/actor being nominated for an Academy Award 8 times in 20 years, and winning 6 of those 8 times.
McDonald previously won Tony Awards for “Porgy and Bess,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Ragtime,” “Master Class” and the aforementioned “Carousel.”
Congratulations, Ms. McDonald!
To celebrate, watch all 6 of her Tony award acceptance speeches embedded below, from the first, to the most recent.
I should also mention that, last night was a good night overall for black nominees. “After Midnight” won the Tony for Best Choreography; “A Raisin in the Sun” won for Best Revival of a Play; Sophie Okonedo won for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (her Broadway debut, and also her first Tony win); Kenny Leon won for Best Direction of a Play (his first Tony win); and James Monroe Iglehart (“Alladin”) picked up the Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (also his first win).