Audra McDonald talks breaking color barriers and making Tony Award history

theGRIO VIDEO - Broadway legend Audra McDonald discusses the significance of her most recent history making Tony nomination, and opens up about the tragic death of her father...

This week, Broadway icon Audra McDonald received a Tony Award nomination for her role as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.”

If she wins, McDonald stands to make history as the first performer to ever take home a Tony in all four acting categories and will hold the title as the actor with the most Tony Award wins.

The five-time Tony winner has won for featured actress in a musical twice, in “Carousel,” (1994) and “Ragtime” (1998). She also scored two wins for featured actress in a play, in “Master Class” (1996) and “A Raisin in the Sun” (2004). In 2012, she won for lead actress in a musical in “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.”

In an interview with’s Chris Witherspoon, McDonald discussed the significance of her most recent Tony nomination.

“To have been so lucky and fortunate to have been celebrated, and to have continued to have been able to work on the stage, do what I want to do, and break colorblind barriers with casting and play roles for me regardless of my race has been a remarkable dream come true for me,” McDonald said.

McDonald received her Tony nomination for best performance by a leading actress in a play  Tuesday. That day also marked the seventh anniversary of the death of her father, Stanley McDonald Jr. — who died in a tragic aviation accident.

“My dad died in a plane crash seven years ago, and the anniversary of that was the day of the nominations,” McDonald said. “So it was a bit of a weird day for me. My dad was a high school principal and was always pushing me to achieve as much as I possibly can and be the best human that I could possibly be. I felt sort of like he maybe had a little bit to do with me getting the nomination yesterday.”

Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC