Viola Davis Becomes First African-American to Win Top 3 Acting Prizes

American actress and producer Viola Davis today walked away with the Oscar for her supporting role in Fences, a movie about a working-class African-American father trying to raise his family in 1950s Pittsburgh.

At a 2014 Power In Women event, Davis described the "abject poverty" in which she grew up.

The "Fences" star took home the Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the annual awards bash on Sunday.

The actress has a 2015 Emmy Award for How to Get Away with Murder and two Tonys, one for the original stage version of August Wilson's Fences (2010) and the other for Wilson's play King Hedley II (2001). "I'm so glad that you are the foundation of my life", she told them.

After her extremely gratifying victory, Davis delivered an emotional acceptance speech during which she spoke of why she pursued acting. She then went on to describe Davis's ability to be "so alive she glistens" and to "write paragraphs with her eyes". "I was overweight and very, very shy", she told People in a new cover story.

In her speech, she also thanked Denzel Washington. "I say exhume those bodies and stories of people who dreamed big but never saw those dreams to fruition or fell in love and lost". "So here's to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people". But what Rose has taught me is a lot of what my mom has taught me: That my mom has lived a really hard life, but she still has an abundance of love. She earned a B.A.in theater in 1988 before being accepted into the Juilliard School in NY and got her first Tony Award nomination for Seven Guitars three years after graduating. Thank you for the imagination and to my husband and my daughter, my heart, you and Genesis, you teach me every day how to live, how to love. She became the first Black woman to win an Oscar®, Emmy ® and Tony® for acting.

  • Salvatore Jensen