Donna Murphy, HRM Gala Honoree

On Friday, June 2, the Hudson River Museum will host Making Waves: A Hudson River Museum Gala. This is our most important fundraiser of the year. We’re excited to honor four outstanding honorees: HRM trustee Mary Calvi, the Eugene M. Lang Foundation, artist Leonardo Ilianov De La Cruz, and acclaimed Tony and Emmy Award–winning actress Donna Murphy.

Donna Murphy’s performances in theater, film, and television have forged a career of exceptional diversity, impressing both audiences and critics with her depth and skill. She currently has a recurring role as the real-life socialite Mrs. Astor in HBO’s The Gilded Age, the popular Emmy Award–winning series from Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey. The Museum’s historic home, Glenview, serves as the home of the character of Mrs. Astor. A famed New York figure, Caroline Webster Schermerhorn, or simply “the Mrs. Astor” as she was widely known, was the most prominent American socialite of the time and the wife of businessman, racehorse breeder, and yachtsman William Backhouse Astor Jr.

Murphy is one of the most beloved and honored stage actresses of her generation. She earned the Drama League Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theater, as well as two Tony® Awards for Best Actress in a Musical for her roles in Passion (1994) and The King and I (1996). This season, Murphy triumphed as “Countess Aurelia” in City Center Encores! production of Dear World.

Murphy is also recognized as a gifted character actress in the film world, earning rave reviews for as the villainess Mother Gothel in Disney’s mega-hit Tangled, as well as international critical acclaim for her performance in Todd Solondz’ Dark Horse. She is also widely recognized for her performances in The Nanny Diaries, Star Trek: Insurrection, The Bourne Legacy, World Trade Center, Spider-Man 2, and The Astronaut’s Wife.

Murphy, born in Queens, New York, and raised in Hauppauge, New York, and Topsfield, Massachusetts, is the eldest of seven children. For her contribution to the arts, culture and public life, she’s received special honors from New York Magazine, Symphony Space, Urban Stages, The Abingdon Theater Company, Greenwich Village’s Caring Community, the Women’s Project, The Little Orchestra Society, Irish America Magazine, the Breukelein Institute, and Emerson College. She donates her time and efforts to a number of organizations, including the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, Berwin Lee London New York Playwrights, Inc., The Drama League, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and The Actors Fund. She is the proud mother of one daughter and three stepdaughters and happily resides in New York City.


Images: Right: Alison Rosen / HBO