Viola Davis’ talent was rightfully recognized by The Academy as she scored the Oscar statuette for Best Actress in a Supporting Role during the 89th Academy Awards telecast!
With this win, Davis achieved what’s known as the triple crown of the industry, those who have received an Emmy, Tony, and Oscar for acting, a feat only 22 others have ever accomplished. Davis is the first black woman to achieve this honor and joins an elite group of legendary actors such as Jessica Lange, Helen Mirren, and Ingrid Bergman. Notably, Whoopi Goldberg has also completed a triple crown of sorts, but her Tony came from producing the Broadway musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, she did not act in the musical.
Davis is also the only woman to have won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, a Golden Globe, a SAG, and a BAFTA award!
As she clutched the golden prize, Viola delivered an extremely moving speech, per usual, adding inflection and spotlight to the stories of the “average man” by exclaiming, “Exhume those bodies! Exhume those stories!”
“I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life,” mused Viola. Very well said, Viola, as we’re also glad you chose this profession and shared your gifts to the world. Congrats, Viola!
You can view the full list of Oscars winners at The Academy’s website, here. Check out the transcript to her powerful speech below!
Thank you to the Academy. You know, there’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place and that’s the graveyard. 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. I became an artist—and thank God I did—because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life
And oh captain, my captain, Denzel Washington.
Thank you for putting two entities in the driving seat: August and God. And they served you well. And to Dan and Mary Alice Davis, who were and are the center of my universe, the people who taught me good or bad, how to fail, how to love, how to hold an award, how to lose. My parents―I’m so thankful that God chose you to bring me into this world. To my sisters, my sister Dolores, we were rich white women in the tea party games. 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, I’m so glad that you are the foundation of my life. Thank you to the Academy. Thank you.