Just when you thought six-time Tony-winning actress Audra McDonald couldn’t get any higher, she continues to defy the gravity of normalcy and soar to new heights. McDonald’s most recent venture has her lending her voice to a role created in the likeness of famous African American female pilot Bessie Coleman in an episode of Disney’s animated television series, “Doc McStuffins”.
The series, which airs on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior, chronicles an African American girl named Dottie “Doc” McStuffins who decides she wants to become a doctor like her mother. She practices her dream by fixing toys and dolls. When she puts on her stethoscope, toys, dolls and stuffed animals come to life and she can interact with them. With help from her stuffed animal friends – “Stuffy the Dragon,” “Hallie the Hippo,” “Lambie the Lamb,” and “Chilly the Snowman” – Doc helps toys recover, or “feel better,” by giving them checkups and diagnosing their illnesses with an encyclopedia called “The Big Book of Boo Boos.”
McDonald is featured in the episode entitled “Itty Bitty Bess Takes Flight.” Her character, “Bess,” is the pilot of a tiny tin airplane. Doc and the toys help her get back into shape after her joints become rusty.
McDonald introduces and voices her character:
McDonald sings a song about her animated character:
In 2014, the extraordinarily talented McDonald made Broadway history with a record-setting sixth Tony Award for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. She also has the distinction of being the first person to receive awards in all four acting categories.
A year after graduating from Julliard, McDonald won her first Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Carousel at Lincoln Center Theater. She received two additional Tony Awards in the featured actress category over the next four years for her performances in the Broadway premieres of Terrence McNally’s Master Class (1996) and his musical Ragtime (1998). In 2004, she won her fourth Tony, starring alongside Sean Combs and Phylicia Rashad in A Raisin in the Sun. In 2012, she won her fifth–and her first in the leading actress category–for her role in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.
In addition to her Tony Awards, Audra McDonald’s luminous soprano has garnered her two Grammy Awards and a long list of other accolades.
“Doc McStuffins” also features the voices of Kiara Muhammad as the lead character as well as veteran Broadway and film actress Loretta Devine as “Hallie”, Kimberly Brooks as “Dr. Myiesha McStuffins” (Doc McStuffins’ mother) and Gary Anthony Williams as “Marcus McStuffins” (Doc McStuffins’ father).