Last night marked another big accomplishment for Viola Davis, as The South Carolina-born veteran snagged her very first Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, for her portrayal of Rose Maxson in Fences. Despite two nominations in the past, it seemed as if Davis was snubbed each year. Now she can finally claim her seat in the winner’s circle.
During her heartfelt speech, Davis showed gratitude for her acting roots by stating, “We are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life”. After giving more praise to her co-star and fellow veteran Denizen Washington, she then paid homage to the late playwright August Wilson stating, “Here’s to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people”. Wilson first published Fences in 1985.
Based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, Fences is the story of a mid-century Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career. His dream was cut short, due to the fact that he exceeded the age limit, once the major leagues began admitting black players, Despite this, he still tries to maintain his responsibility as a good husband and father. His lost dream soon haunts him, causing him to make a risky decision that becomes a threat to his family.
In addition to her Academy Award, Davis has received many nominations and won other awards for the groundbreaking film including, a British Academy Film Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.
When she’s not lighting up the big screen, Davis, also ignites flames on the small screen with her stellar portrayal of Annalise Keating on the popular ABC Drama, How to Get Away with Murder.