NEW YORK (The Associated Press) -- 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.
WATCH Audra McDonald's speech above.