Chadwick Boseman makes history with posthumous Golden Globes Best Actor win

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” star Chadwick Boseman won Best Actor in a Drama at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, becoming the first posthumous acting winner at the awards ceremony since “The Dark Knight” actor Heath Ledger.

Boseman died on August 28, 2020, from stage four colon cancer, an illness the “Black Panther” actor kept private from not just fans and audiences but his collaborators as well.

In addition to being the first posthumous Golden Globes winner in more than a decade, Boseman’s victory in the Best Actor in a Drama category had further historical significance: he’s the first Black actor to win the award since Forest Whitaker for “The Last King of Scotland” at the 2007 ceremony. Overall, only four Black actors have won Best Actor in a Drama: Boseman, Whitaker, Denzel Washington for “The Hurricane” in 2000, and Sidney Poitier for “Lilies in the Field” in 1963. Boseman is also the first posthumous Golden Globes Best Actor in a Drama winner since Peter Finch won for “Network” at the 1977 ceremony.

More history: Boseman is the first actor to win the award for a performance in a film that debuted on a streaming platform. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was released by Netflix in December of 2020.

Boseman actually received two nominations at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday: Best Actor in a Drama for “Ma Rainey” and Best Supporting Actor for “Da 5 Bloods.”

Other double nominees on Sunday night included Sacha Baron Cohen (for both “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7”) and Anya Taylor-Joy (for both “Emma” and “The Queen’s Gambit”).

Boseman won Best Actor in a Drama over Anthony Hopkins for “The Father,” Riz Ahmed for “Sound of Metal,” Gary Oldman for “Mank,” and Tahar Rahim for “The Mauritanian.” The late star is an overwhelming favorite to win Best Actor at the Oscars in April as well.

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