Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad are two of the most celebrated and accomplished actresses in the history of Broadway. They have both won multiple Tony Awards, starred in acclaimed productions, and earned respect and admiration from critics and audiences alike. But are they related by blood or marriage? The answer is no, they are not related in any way. However, they do share some interesting connections and similarities that make them seem like they could be part of the same family. Here are some of the facts that link these two talented women.
They Both Starred in A Raisin in the Sun
One of the most obvious connections between Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad is their involvement in the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. The play tells the story of the Younger family, a black family living in Chicago in the 1950s, who face struggles and conflicts over their dreams and aspirations. In 2004, Rashad played the matriarch of the family, Lena Younger, in a Broadway revival that won her the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. McDonald played her daughter-in-law, Ruth Younger, who is married to Lena’s son Walter Lee, played by Sean Combs. McDonald also won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance. In 2008, the same cast reprised their roles in a television adaptation of the play that aired on ABC. Rashad and McDonald both won NAACP Image Awards for their roles.
They Both Have Daughters Who Are Also Actresses
Another connection between Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad is that they both have daughters who followed their footsteps into the acting world. Rashad’s daughter is Condola Rashad, who is also a Tony-nominated actress. She has appeared in Broadway plays such as Stick Fly, The Trip to Bountiful, Romeo and Juliet, and Saint Joan. She has also starred in television shows such as Billions, The Good Wife, and Steel Magnolias. McDonald’s daughter is Zoe Madeline Donovan, who is still a teenager but has already made her acting debut in the Netflix series The Good Cop, where she played the daughter of Josh Groban’s character.
They Both Have Musical Backgrounds
Another similarity between Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad is that they both have musical backgrounds and talents. McDonald is known for her soprano voice and her versatility in singing different genres of music. She has won six Tony Awards, more than any other performer, for her roles in musicals such as Carousel, Ragtime, Master Class, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. She has also released several solo albums and performed in concerts and operas. Rashad is also a singer who started her career as a vocalist for jazz musician Art Blakey. She has sung on Broadway in musicals such as Dreamgirls, Into the Woods, Jelly’s Last Jam, Blue, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She has also recorded songs for television shows such as The Cosby Show and Little Bill.
They Both Have Sisters Who Are Also Famous
Another coincidence between Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad is that they both have sisters who are also famous in their own right. Rashad’s sister is Debbie Allen, who is an actress, dancer, choreographer, director, and producer. She is best known for her role as Lydia Grant in the movie and television series Fame. She has also directed episodes of The Cosby Show, A Different World, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Empire, and many more. She is currently the executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy and a recurring actress on the show. McDonald’s sister is Alison McDonald, who is a writer, producer, and director. She has written for shows such as American Dad!, Nurse Jackie, Alpha House, Close Enough, and Kevin Can F**k Himself. She has also directed episodes of Dear White People and Mixed-ish.
They Both Have Won Two Tony Awards in One Year
One of the most impressive achievements that Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad share is that they both have won two Tony Awards in one year. This feat has only been accomplished by four other performers: Gwen Verdon (1956), Amanda Plummer (1982), Mark Rylance (2014), and Cynthia Erivo (2016). In 2004, Rashad won her first Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for A Raisin in the Sun. She also received a special Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre along with her sister Debbie Allen and their mother Vivian Ayers Allen. In 2014, McDonald won her sixth Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. She also received a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.