History Was Made at the Tonys

Audra McDonald becomes most decorated actress
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 9, 2014 5:48 AM CDT
History Was Made at the Tonys
This photo provided by Jeffrey Richards Associates shows Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill."   (Evgenia Eliseeva)

Audra McDonald has become the Tony Awards' most decorated actress last night when she won her sixth Tony for portraying Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. The win put the singer and actress ahead of five-time winners Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris for the most competitive wins by an actress. The latest win—for best lead actress in a play—also makes McDonald 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 (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess) and best featured actress in a musical (Ragtime and Carousel). She also has two Grammys.

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder took home the best new musical trophy and three others, tying it as most decorated show of the night with Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Hedwig was led by Neil Patrick Harris, and the former Tony host got his first award—best actor in a musical—after performing a song from the show, looking unrecognizable in a miniskirt and blond feathered wig. He gave audience member Sting a lap dance and took Samuel L. Jackson's glasses away and licked them. Click for more of the best moments from the award show, or a list of the biggest winners. (More Tony Awards stories.)

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