Viola Davis: The First Black Woman in History To Win Oscar, Emmy and Tony Awards

On Sunday, Viola Davis walked gracefully across stage at the 89th Academy Awards to accept her award for Best Supporting Actress in Fences and into history as the first black woman to win an Oscar, Emmy and Tony for acting. Davis’ wins have placed her as part of the most elite acting clubs in the world and among an acting group that includes legends such as Jessica Lange, Al Pacino and Ingrid Bergman.   

It should be noted that even some of the academy’s greatest female actresses, including Meryl Streep, have not yet completed this award-winning triad. Davis becomes the 23rd person ever to complete the so-called triple crown of acting as well as the first African American actress to receive three Oscar nominations.

Prior to her first Oscar for Fences, Davis won an Emmy in 2015 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on How to Get Away with Murder and two Tony Awards, first in 2001 for her work in King Hedley II and then again in 2010 for her work in the Broadway rendition of Fences.

Davis earned a reputation for making the best award show speeches and last night’s was one to never be forgotten. In her triumphant speech, Viola states, “You know, there is one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered and that’s the graveyard,” a teary-eyed Davis began.

“People ask me all the time — what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories — the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition, people who fell in love and lost.”Viola Davis

Before thanking the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Davis thanked her parents, husband, daughter, costar Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep for their continued support throughout her journey. Most importantly, she said, ‘”I’m so thankful that God chose you to bring me into this world”.

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