Juilliard Grad, Six Time Tony Winning Actress Says She Tried To K!ll Herself


By: Krystle Crossman

Private Practice actress and singer Audra McDonald has had an amazing life. She was a student at Juilliard. She won six Tony awards for her performances in Carousel, Porgy and Bess, Master Class, Raisin in the Sun, and Ragtime. She has also won Grammy awards. Even though this beautiful and talented woman seems to have it all, she opened up about how she had attempted suicide at one point because she felt that her life was not worth living.

McDonald sat down for an interview on “Popcorn with Peter Travers” and spoke about the depression that she had faced while she was enrolled in college. The depression eventually took over and became too much for her. She tried to slit her wrists one night. Fortunately the attempt was not successful and she said that she got a lot of help from the school. She said that Juilliard had a mental health therapist on the campus that helped her immensely. She was put into a mental health hospital for a month so that she could recover in a safe place and get the help that she needed. She was given anti-depressants which help aid in her recovery but the most important part was the therapy that she was given.

During the interview McDonald spoke about her part playing Billie Holiday and how she was able to channel her character while she was on stage. She said that her body shuts down and almost goes to sleep before she went on stage and then after her performance she was hyper. She also said that she was scared to play Holiday at first because of her reputation of being a drug addict. After doing research she was able to see who Holiday truly was and was able to channel that through her performance.

McDonald’s story is an inspirational one. It shows that you can come back from depression and a desperate place and do amazing things with your life. She told Travers that Juilliard was really instrumental in getting her back on her feet. They allowed her to take the time that she needed to get better and resume her program when she was ready. She said they were supportive and were a huge part in why she is who she is today.

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