Viola Davis has been a working actress for a long time. But when it’s your time, it’s your time. In the 2008 film “Doubt,” Davis took her career to the next level when she went to toe to toe with an actress considered the greatest of our time, Meryl Steep. Davis’s work in “Doubt” with a mere eight minutes of screen time was so impactful she landed her first of four Oscar nominations. This season she could continue her impressive run by making history in new ways.
Davis has been an actress of many firsts. On the television side, she became the first Black woman to win the Emmy Award for Best Drama Actress for her critically acclaimed role in “How to Get Away with Murder,” and on the film side became the most nominated Black actress at the Academy Awards with her aforementioned four nominations — two in supporting (“Doubt” and “Fences,” winning for the latter), and two in lead (“The Help” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom“).
This year she has the potential to make yet more history. Davis is just one award away from becoming the next to complete the EGOT grand slam of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony, and now has earned her first Grammy nomination for Best Audio Book, Narration, and Storytelling Recording for her New York Times bestselling memoir “Finding Me.” If Davis wins, she will be only the 18th person to win all four major showbiz awards.
She can further extend her history-making by receiving another lead actress nomination at the Oscars for her role as an African Dahomey warrior in “The Woman King.” This would extend her record as the most nominated Black actress in the awards’ history. A third way in which Davis can make history is that if she takes home the Oscar, she will become only the second Black woman in history to win as a lead actress. The only one to date is Halle Berry, who prevailed nearly 21 years ago for her turn in “Monster’s Ball.” And if that’s not enough, winning would make Davis the first Black woman ever to claim multiple acting Oscars. That’s four ways Davis could enter the history books in just the next few months.
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