But Audra McDonald has opened about a dark period in her youth that saw her attempt to end her own life while she was studying to become an actress.
The Broadway star, now 44, told ABC’s Popcorn With Peter Travers that her suicide attempt took place while she was battling with depression.
“When I was [in college] at Juilliard, I had a suicide attempt,” McDonald revealed.
“I tried to slit my wrist.”
The former Private Practice star went on to win – thus far – a grand total of six Tony Awards, but explained that the road to her success had been emotionally rocky.
She described what it was like for her to endure this period of her life and how the prestigious performing arts school helped her through it.
‘When someone is suicidal, one of the first things you have to do is to protect them from themselves,’ she said, before detailing the assistance she received.
“They had a mental-health facilitator there, a therapist there, and they checked me into a mental-health hospital, where I was for a month, and got me the help I needed.”
McDonald revealed on the show that the two other factors that were instrumental in getting her back on track were antidepressants and positive career prospects before she even completed her schooling at Juilliard.
She said the school accepted her back after she came out of hospital, but first encouraged her to take on a stage role she was offered in a national tour of The Secret Garden.
“Juilliard was like… ‘We think that that musical theater thing is more for you anyway. That seems to be where you’re the happiest,” she said.
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