Donna Murphy (born March 7, 1958) is an American stage, film, television actress and singer.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 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 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. 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. Her next announced role is in the Roundabout Theatre production of a new musical, The People in the Picture, opening on April 28, 2011 and closing on June 19, 2011.
Murphy's film roles include, most recently, the role of Mother Gothel in the animated musical film Tangled (2010). She also has appeared as 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).
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