Viola Davis has become the first black actress to earn three Oscar nominations. After the Academy Award nominees were announced this morning, the actress received a Best Supporting Actress nod for her performance opposite Denzel Washington in Fences, marking the third Oscar nom in her career. She's previously been nominated for Best Actress for The Help in 2012 and Best Supporting Actress for Doubt in 2009. Whether or not Davis takes home an Oscar on February 26, her nomination alone this year is a major victory in an era of #OscarsSoWhite.
"Thank you to the Academy for recognizing this extraordinary, important film and my work in it. Thank you Denzel for being at the helm!" she said of the nod. Fences was nominated for four Academy Awards this year, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Denzel Washington) and Best Adapted Screenplay. In the Best Supporting Actress category, Davis was nominated alongside Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea).
- Fences Movie (@FencesMovie) January 24, 2017
Davis was previously tied with Whoopi Goldberg as the most-nominated black actress, according to Mic. Goldberg was nominated for The Color Purple in 1986 and won the Oscar in 1991 for Ghost. To put that into perspective, the record for most Oscar nominations belongs to Meryl Streep, who earned her 20th today.
Davis' work in Fences has earned her Best Supporting nominations for several other awards this year, including the British Academy Film Awards, NAACP Image Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards. She's already won a Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Award for the same role.
The film Fences, directed by Denzel Washington and adapted from the 1983 play by August Wilson, focuses on the experiences of Troy and Rose Maxon (Washington and Davis, respectively) in 1950s Pittsburgh. Both actors originally starred in the play's onstage adaption on Broadway in 2010, and both won Tony Awards for their performances.
Watch the trailer for Fences below. The 2017 Oscars takes place on February 26th.
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