Is Audra McDonald one of the most important female entertainers of the post-Boomer generation? I think so.
The Juilliard-trained actress/singer has appeared in numerous Broadway productions, having played, among other roles, Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel, Sharon in Master Class, Sarah in Ragtime, Ruth Younger in A Raisin In the Sun, and the latter title role in Porgy and Bess. And she's won Tony Awards for all of them.
Specifically, she won two Tonys for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Carousel, Ragtime) two Tonys for Best Featured Actress in a Play (Master Class, A Raisin In the Sun), and a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical (Porgy and Bess). That ties a record set by Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris.
From 2007 to 2011,she also played Naomi Bennett in the ABC-TV drama "Private Practice," one of several roles she's played on the small screen.
As of this writing, she's still in the production of Porgy and Bess that got her that fifth Tony, but she's been temporarily sidelined by inflamed vocal cords. She returns on July 3, 2012 (her 42nd birthday).