Viola Davis (‘Fences’) will join an exclusive Oscar club if she wins Best Supporting Actress

All 26 of Gold Derby’s Oscar experts from major media outlets are predicting that Viola Davis will win in the Best Supporting Actress race for her role in the film adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Fences.” If she wins the Oscar, this Emmy champ (“How to Get Away with Murder”) would be the seventh black actress to win in this category and only the 10th performer to win an Oscar and a Tony for the same role. Click through our photo gallery above of every supporting actress winner in Oscar history.

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In “Fences,” Davis plays Rose Maxson, the devoted but frustrated wife of Troy (Denzel Washington), a former baseball player in the Negro Leagues who failed to make it into Major League Baseball. Troy is a sanitation worker and his excessive pride and sense of entitlement lead him to inflict emotional pain on his family. Both Davis and Washington won Tony Awards in the lead acting categories for playing these roles on Broadway in the 2010 revival of the play, but in the original Broadway production, the role of Rose won the Featured Actress Tony for the role’s originator, Mary Alice.

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Interestingly enough, the Best Supporting Actress race has rewarded more black actresses than any other acting category, including the first performer of color to win an acting Oscar: Hattie McDaniel for “Gone with the Wind” (1939). And Davis has won every major precursor in this year’s derby, including the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG awards. So, barring an unprecedented upset, there’s no reason we shouldn’t expect to see Davis adding an Oscar to her substantial trophy collection.

Video produced by David Janove

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