Donna Murphy

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Donna Murphy
Donna Murphy.jpg
Murphy in 2010
Born (1959-03-07) March 7, 1959 (age 55)
Corona, Queens, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1971–present
Spouse(s) Shawn Elliott (m. 1990)

Donna Murphy (born March 7, 1959) is an American actress and singer, best known for her roles in musical theater.

Murphy has won two Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical, for her roles in Passion as Fosca and in The King and I as Anna Leonowens. She has a total of five Tony Award nominations, having also been nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for her performances in Wonderful Town as Ruth Sherwood, LoveMusik as Lotte Lenya and The People in the Picture as Raisel/Bubbie.

In 1997, she won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special, for her role in Someone Had to be Benny, an episode of the HBO series Lifestories: Families in Crisis.

Her film roles include, Anij, Captain Jean-Luc Picard's love interest, in Star Trek: Insurrection (1998); Rosalie Octavius, the wife of Dr. Octopus in Spider-Man 2 (2004); Mother Gothel, in the animated film Tangled (2010) and as one of the government secretaries in The Bourne Legacy (2012).

Personal life[edit]

Murphy, the eldest of seven children, was born in Corona, Queens, New York, the daughter of Jeanne (née Fink) and Robert Murphy, an aerospace engineer.[1][2] Murphy is of Irish, French, German, and Czech ancestry.[3][4] Her family moved to Hauppauge, Long Island, New York. At age three, she asked for voice lessons, and she put on shows as a child in Hauppauge.[2] She later moved to Topsfield, Massachusetts and graduated from Masconomet Regional High School in 1977.

Murphy has been married to actor and singer Shawn Elliott since 1990. She is the stepmother of Elliott's two daughters. In 2005, they adopted a daughter from Guatemala, Darmia Hope.[5]

Career[edit]

Murphy dropped out of the New York University drama program in her sophomore year when she was cast to understudy the three backup singers in the 1979 Broadway musical They're Playing Our Song. In a 2007 interview, Murphy explained, "At the end of my sophomore year, I took a leave of absence. I needed to audition without cutting classes."[2][6][7] She also studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.[8]

She has appeared in many Off-Broadway productions, including the musical Francis in 1981 at the York Theatre at St. Peter's, The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 1985 at the Public Theater's Delacorte Theatre, Birds of Paradise in 1987 (Promenade Theatre), Privates on Parade (Roundabout Theatre) in 1989, the musical Song of Singapore in 1991, the Michael John LaChiusa musical Hello Again at the Lincoln Center Mitzi Newhouse Theater in 1993, Twelve Dreams at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater in 1995, and Helen at the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival in 2002. In 2012, she appeared in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods at The Public Theater's Delacorte Theatre as the Witch.[9]

On Broadway, after They're Playing Our Song (1979), she was an understudy in the musical/opera The Human Comedy in April 1984 and played various roles in The Mystery of Edwin Drood from 1985 to 1987. She also played Audrey in Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's Little Shop of Horrors. In 1994, she played the role of Fosca in Stephen Sondheim's and James Lapine's Passion, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. A year later she appeared in Lapine's revival, Twelve Dreams. In 1996, she played Anna Leonowens in the revival of The King and I alongside Lou Diamond Phillips. The role earned her a second Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She appeared as Ruth Sherwood in a revival of Wonderful Town from 2003 to 2005 (having previously performed in the New York City Center Encores! 2000 staged concert of that musical), and was nominated for the Tony Award, Best Actress in a Musical and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical. In 2007, she appeared in LoveMusik as Lotte Lenya, opposite Michael Cerveris as Kurt Weill, receiving nominations for Tony and Drama Desk Awards. She appeared in the 2007 New York City Center Encores! staged concert of Follies as Phyllis.[10] She appeared in the Roundabout Theatre production of a new musical, The People in the Picture, which opened on April 28, 2011 and closed on June 19, 2011.[11] She was nominated for a 2011 Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her role in the production.[12]

Murphy's film roles include, Anij, Captain Jean-Luc Picard's love interest, in Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), in the film Center Stage, as a ballet teacher (2000), as Rosalie Octavius, wife of Dr. Otto Octavius, the film's villain in Spider-Man 2 (2004), as Betty, a surgical research assistant in Darren Aronofsky's film The Fountain (2006), Scarlett Johansson's mother in The Nanny Diaries (2007), Mother Gothel in the animated musical film Tangled (2010) and sang the song "Mother Knows Best",[13] Kathleen, Vera Farmiga's mother in Higher Ground (2011) and Marie in Dark Horse (2011). In 2012, she appeared as government secretary Dita Mandy, in The Bourne Legacy.

On television, Murphy appeared in the NBC soap opera Another World from 1989 through 1991 as District Attorney Morgan Graves. She won an Emmy in 1997, for playing Armando Agrelo in Someone Had to be Benny (1996), an episode of the HBO series Lifestories: Families in Crisis. Other television series roles include, a recurring role as Abigail Adams in Liberty! The American Revolution (1997), Murder One (1995–1996), Law & Order as Carla Tyrell in a recurring role (2000), Hack (2002–2003) and Trust Me (2009).

Broadway theatre[edit]

Year Show Role Notes
1979 They're Playing Our Song Swing/Sonia Walsk (voice) Imperial Theatre
February 11, 1979 – September 6, 1981
1984 The Human Comedy Bess Macauley & Mary Arena (understudy) Royale Theatre
April 5, 1984 – April 15, 1984
1985 The Mystery of Edwin Drood Various Characters Imperial Theatre
December 2, 1985 – May 16, 1987
1994 Passion Fosca Plymouth Theatre
May 9, 1994 – January 7, 1995
1996 The King and I Anna Leonowens Neil Simon Theatre
April 11, 1996 – February 22, 1998
2003 Wonderful Town Ruth Sherwood Al Hirschfeld Theatre
November 23, 2003 – January 30, 2005
2007 LoveMusik Lotte Lenya Biltmore Theatre
May 3, 2007 – June 24, 2007
2011 The People in the Picture Bubbie/Raisel Studio 54
April 28, 2011 – June 19, 2011

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Tales from the Holywood Hills: A Table at Ciro's June the Vocalist Television film
1995 Jade Karen Heller
1996 Passion Fosca Television film
1998 The Day Lincoln Was Shot Mary Todd Lincoln Television film
1998 October 22 Carole
1998 Star Trek: Insurrection Anij
1999 The Astronaut's Wife Natalie Streck
2000 Center Stage Juliette
2000 The Last Debate Joan Naylor Television film
2004 The Door in the Floor Frame Shop Owner
2004 Spiderman 2 Rosalie Octavius
2006 Ira & Abby Dr. Betsy Goldman
2006 World Trade Center Judy Jonas
2006 The Fountain Betty
2007 The Nanny Diaries Judy Braddock
2008 Sherman's Way Evelyn Black
2010 Sondheim! The Birthday Concert Herself Television film
2010 Tangled Mother Gothel Voice Role
2011 Higher Ground Kathleen Walker
2011 Dark Horse Marie
2012 The Bourne Legacy Dita
2013 House of Versace Maria Television film

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1991 Another World D.A. Morgan Graves
1993 Law & Order Karen Unger
1996 Lifestories: Families in Crisis Armanda Agrelo
1995-1996 Murder One Francesca Cross
1996 Remember WENN Ruth Geddy
1997 Nothing Sacred Camille
1997-2000 Law & Order Carla Tyrell
1997 Liberty! The American Revolution Abigail Adams Miniseries
1998 The Practice Marie Hanson
1998 Ally McBeal Maries Hanson
2000-2001 What About Joan? Dr. Ruby Stern
2002 The Education of Max Bickford Esther Webber
2002-2003 Hack Heather Olshansky
2005 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Captain Annie Krame, LAPD
2006 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Blair
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Maureen Pagolis
2007 Damages Nancy
2008 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Dr. Raye Massey
2009 Trust Me Denise Goodman
2010 Ugly Betty Eve
2012 Made in Jersey Darlene Garetti
2013 The Mentalist Diandra Sunderland

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
1992 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Song of Singapore Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
1993 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Hello Again Nominated
1994 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Passion Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
1996 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical The King and I Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
1997 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special Lifestories: Families in Crisis (Someone Had to be Benny) Won
2004 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Wonderful Town Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
2007 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical LoveMusik Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
2011 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical The People in the Picture Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Donna Murphy - Rotten Tomatoes www.rottentomatoes.com
  2. ^ a b c Pogrebin, Robin (December 15, 2003). "A Perfectionist Is at Home in a Role Funny and Loose". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  3. ^ "Twentyquestions: Donna Murphy currently leads a screwball conga-line of Brazilian sailors in the Broadway revival of Wonderful Town". American Theatre. 2004-04-01. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  4. ^ Kilian, Michael (1998-12-17). "Making the Break". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  5. ^ Robertson, Campbell."No Ill Feelings: Producers Bet on a ‘Superwoman’", discussing her adopted daughterThe New York Times, April 30, 2007
  6. ^ Nassour, Ellis. "Donna Murphy: Singing in a Different Key in LoveMusik", broadwaystars.com, May 7, 2007
  7. ^ IMDB shows that she earned a B.F.A. in 1980.
  8. ^ "Donna Murphy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  9. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Once Upon a Time, Later": 'Into the Woods' Casts Spell in Central Park Starting July 24". Playbill.com, July 24, 2012
  10. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Oh, Those Sharp Stones in a Dance Down Memory Lane", The New York Times, February 10, 2007
  11. ^ BWW News Desk. "Donna Murphy to Return to Broadway in 'The People In The Picture'" broadwayworld.com, October 31, 2010
  12. ^ "Tony Nominations Announced" broadwayworld.com, May 3, 2011
  13. ^ "Alan Menken Interview" broadwayworld.com

External links[edit]