Audra Ann McDonald, who was born on July 3, 1970 in Berlin, Germany, was raised as the elder of two daughters in Fresno, California. At a young age, she started studying acting and classical voice. She entered Juilliard School of Music and graduated in 1993. Launching her acting career, she appeared on musicals such as Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime, which each earned her a Tony Award. Moving on to the big screen, her credits include Seven Servants (1996), The Object of My Affection (1998), Cradle Will Rock (1999), It Runs in the Family (2003) and Best Thief in the World (2004). McDonald has also appeared on television series such as Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Mister Sterling and Kidnapped. McDonald was recently cast as Naomi Bennett on Grey's Anatomy's spin-off Private Practice, as replacement for Merrin Dungey.
Naomi Bennett of Private Practice is played by Audra McDonald. Naomi is a fertility specialist working at the Oceanside Wellness Centre in Los Angeles, California. Among her co-workers at the clinic is her ex-husband and health guru Dr. Jackson "Sam" Bennett, who left her for no apparent reason. The couple has a daughter named Maya, whose godmother is Naomi's best friend from medical school, Dr. Addison Montgomery. After running a fertility test on her best friend, Naomi reveals to Addison that she cannot bear children, as her antrall follicle count is just two.
- She is the youngest actor ever to win three Tony Awards.
- In 1993, she graduated from the Juilliard School for the Performing Arts.
- She married Peter Donovan on September 10, 2000. They divorced in 2009 and have one child together.
2007-2011: Private Practice (TV series) - Dr. Naomi Bennett
2009: Grey's Anatomy (TV series) - Dr. Naomi Bennett
2009: She Got Problems (short) - Audra McDonald
2008: A Raisin in the Sun (TV movie) - Ruth Younger
2006-2007: Kidnapped (TV series) - Jackie Hayes
2006: The Bedford Diaries (TV series) - Professor Carla Bonatelle/Professor Carla Bonatella
2004: The Best Thief in the World - Ruth
2003: Tea Time with Roy & Sylvia (short) - Sylvia
2003: It Runs in the Family - Sarah Langley
2003: Partners and Crime (TV movie)
2003: Mister Sterling (TV series) - Jackie Brock
2001: Wit (TV movie) - Susie Monahan
2000: The Last Debate (TV movie) - Barbara Manning
2000: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV series) - Audrey Jackson
1999: Annie (TV movie) - Miss Grace Farrell
1999: Homicide: Life on the Street (TV series) - Teresa Giardello
1999: Cradle Will Rock - Blitzstein - 'Joe Worker' Singer
1999: Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (TV movie) - Bessie in her 20s
1998: The Object of My Affection - Wedding Singer
1996: Seven Servants