Sideshow: Audra McDonald channels Billie Holiday and depression

Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday in the Broadway show "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill." McDonald discussed her own depression and suicide attempt. (Jeffrey Richards Associates)

McDonald on depression

Audra McDonald, 44, who plays Billie Holiday in the Broadway show Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, says she has some insight into the troubled Holiday's psyche, having suffered from depression.

She even made a suicide attempt "while I was at Juilliard," McDonald told ABC News' Peter Travers. "I tried to slit my wrist."

The actor said Juilliard's "incredibly supportive" attitude and mental-health facilities helped. The arts school encouraged her to work her way to health by joining the national tour of The Secret Garden.


Possibly maybe engaged

Royal in-law babe Pippa Middleton is "on the brink of getting engaged," to bf of two years stockbroker Nico Jackson, Unnamed Royal Insider tells Life & Style Weekly. "She's dropped hints to Nico." I see you're on the brink of caring.


Tidbits 'n' pieces

The New York Daily News says a new ring on Charlize Theron's hand signifies a possible engagement to beau Sean Penn. . . . Aussie model Andreja Pejic tells People and Entertainment Tonight that this year she underwent a male-to-female gender reassignment procedure.


Phila. composer wins another

Jennifer Higdon has yet another award to add next to her Pulitzer and Grammy: the Governor's Award for the Arts. Higdon was named recipient of the Distinguished Arts Award for her cumulative achievements, including her Pulitzer-winning Violin Concerto and her much-performed orchestral work, blue cathedral.

- David Patrick Stearns