Audra McDonald was born on July 3, 1970 in Berlin, Germany where her father was stationed with the U.S. Army. She grew up in Fresno, California. Her mother worked as an administrator at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and her father, having finished with his military service, was a high school principal. Her parents are both trained musicians and her aunts toured with a gospel singing group. Audra's professional career began at age nine when she began participating in shows at Roger Rocka's Music Hall, a Fresno dinner theatre that showcases young performers. As a teenager she participated in Music Hall productions of "Hello, Dolly!," "A Chorus Line," "Grease" and she had the lead role of Dorothy in "The Wiz." After high school at the Roosevelt School of the Performing Arts in Fresno Audra enrolled at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in Manhattan. At Juilliard she focused her studies on voice and did not take any classes in the school's highly regarded drama division.
The three time Tony Award winner has appeared in various Broadway stage productions including "The Secret Garden," "Carousel," "Ragtime" and "Master Class."
She made her film debut in the small role of an opera singer in "Seven Servants" and her "Carousel" director, Nicholas Hytner, cast her as a singer at a wedding in "The Object of My Affection".
Audra's biggest break though seemed to occur when she landed the role of Bill Cosby's daughter in the 1996 CBS pilot for his return to sitcoms. Even though she turned down the role in the series, the Cosby family obviously held no grudges as the actress made her TV dramatic debut as the young Bessie Delany in "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years," which was produced by Camille Cosby. Within a week, she was also seen in the final episode of the NBC drama series "Homicide: Life on the Street," playing the daughter of Yaphet Kotto's police lieutenant Al Giardello.
Audra was a series regular in "Mister Sterling" and she recently had a recurring role in "The Bedford Diaries."
Audra is married to Peter Donovan and they have a daughter Zoe who was born in 2001.
Audra's film credits include the following:
- The Best Thief In The World (2004)
- Tea Time with Roy & Sylvia (2003)
- It Runs In The Family (2003)
- Partners and Crime (2003)(Tv Movie)
- Wit (2001)(Tv Movie)
- The Last Debate (2000)(Tv Movie)
- Annie (1999)(Tv Movie)
- Cradle Will Rock (1999)
- Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (1999)(Tv Movie)
- The Object of My Affection (1998)
- Seven Servants (1996)
Check out the following sites for additional information about Audra:
Audra McDonald@Internet Movie Database
Evening At Pops
Audra McDonald@Broadway World.com
A Raisin In The Sun
Audra McDonald News
Audra McDonald News, Interviews & Updates