Murphy in 2010
March 7, 1959 |
Corona, Queens, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Shawn Elliott (m. 1990)|
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 received three more Tony Award nominations 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.
She is known, most recently, for her role as Mother Gothel in the animated Disney film Tangled (2010); 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), one of the government secretaries in The Bourne Legacy, and her numerous stage roles in musical theatre.
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. Murphy is of Irish, French, German, and Czech ancestry. 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. She later moved to Topsfield, Massachusetts and graduated from Masconomet Regional High School in 1977.
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." She also studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.
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.
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 Philips. 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. 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. She was nominated for a 2011 Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her role in the production.
Murphy's film roles include Kathleen, Vera Farmiga's mother in Higher Ground (2011) and Mother Gothel in the animated musical film Tangled (2010). She played Anij, Captain Jean-Luc Picard's love interest, in Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), Scarlett Johansson's mother in The Nanny Diaries and Rosalie Octavius, wife of Dr. Otto Octavius, the film's villain, in Spider-Man 2 (2004). She appeared in the film Center Stage as a ballet teacher in 2000 and in Darren Aronofsky's 2006 film The Fountain as Betty, a surgical research assistant.
On television, Murphy has appeared in the NBC soap opera Another World from 1989 through 1991 as District Attorney Morgan Graves. She has also had roles in a number of television series. She played a recurring character in Liberty! The American Revolution (as Abigail Adams) (1997), Murder One (1995–1996), Law & Order as Carla Tyrell in a recurring role (2000), Hack (2002–2003) and Trust Me (2009).
|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
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
Awards and nominations
- Donna Murphy - Rotten Tomatoes www.rottentomatoes.com
- Pogrebin, Robin (December 15, 2003). "A Perfectionist Is at Home in a Role Funny and Loose". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- "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.
- Kilian, Michael (1998-12-17). "Making the Break". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
- Robertson, Campbell."No Ill Feelings: Producers Bet on a ‘Superwoman’", discussing her adopted daughterThe New York Times, April 30, 2007
- Nassour, Ellis. "Donna Murphy: Singing in a Different Key in LoveMusik", broadwaystars.com, May 7, 2007
- IMDB shows that she earned a B.F.A. in 1980.
- "Donna Murphy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- Hetrick, Adam. "Once Upon a Time, Later": 'Into the Woods' Casts Spell in Central Park Starting July 24". Playbill.com, July 24, 2012
- Brantley, Ben. "Oh, Those Sharp Stones in a Dance Down Memory Lane", The New York Times, February 10, 2007
- BWW News Desk. "Donna Murphy to Return to Broadway in 'The People In The Picture'" broadwayworld.com, October 31, 2010
- "Tony Nominations Announced" broadwayworld.com, May 3, 2011
- "Alan Menken Interview" broadwayworld.com
- Official Donna Murphy Facebook Page
- Donna Murphy at the Internet Movie Database
- Donna Murphy at the Internet Broadway Database
- Donna Murphy at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Donna Murphy at the TCM Movie Database
- Donna Murphy official website (currently under construction)
- The Donna Murphy Database - Unofficial Fan Website
- Donna Murphy at AllRovi
- Donna Murphy at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- 2007 Interview with Donna Murphy at The Sondheim Review