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Viola Davis Wins Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for ‘Fences’

The actress reprised the role of Rose Maxson in the film adaptation of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Viola Davis, 89th Annual Academy Awards

Viola Davis, 89th Annual Academy Awards

David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Third time’s the charm for Viola Davis.

The actress, who had been nominated twice before, won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for “Fences,” the film adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. She reprised her Tony-winning performance of Rose Maxson, the dedicated wife of Denzel Washington’s Troy Maxson.

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In a tearful, impassioned speech Sunday night, Davis thanked both Wilson and her costar. “Here’s to August Wilson who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people… and oh captain, my captain, Denzel Washington.  Thank you for putting two entities in the driver’s seat: August and God, and they served you well.”

She also thanked her sisters for play-acting with her and her parents who taught her “how to fail and how to love, how to hold an award.”

It was a tight race. Earlier in the movie season, it seemed that Michelle Williams was a shoo-in to win for her role in “Manchester by the Sea.” Octavia Spencer has been having a great year in “Hidden Figures” also and earned a nomination there. The other contenders include Naomi Harris for “Moonlight” and Nicole Kidman for “Lion.”

Davis has also won a Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, Critics Choice and NAACP award, among others, for “Fences.” This win means that she is one award away from the coveted EGOT. All she needs now is a Grammy, so let’s see what sort of narrating duties we can find for her.

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