Audra McDonald wins best actress musical Tony

MARK KENNEDY AP Drama Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Audra McDonald has won the Tony Award for best leading actress in a musical.

Considered the favorite for her powerful portrayal of Bess in "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess," McDonald captured her fifth Tony, but first as a leading actress.

Raised in Fresno, Calif., and trained at The Juilliard School, she won three Tony Awards before the age of 30 -- for "Carousel," ''Master Class" and "Ragtime" -- and a fourth in 2004 for "A Raisin in the Sun."

She has two Grammy Awards, four albums and thinking of a fifth and two Emmy Award nominations. McDonald, a fierce advocate for gay marriage rights, has a daughter and recently was engaged.

She beat out Jan Maxwell, Cristin Milioti, Kelli O'Hara and Laura Osnes.