Oscars: Meet The Six Blacks That Have Ever Won Best Actor Category

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Oscars: Meet The Six Blacks That Have Ever Won Best Actor Category

This year’s Oscars was on Sunday, March 10, 2024, held wasn’t just a night of glitz and glamour. It was a celebration of the power of cinema to entertain, inspire, and spark important conversations. From history-making wins to thought-provoking acceptance speeches, the 96th academy awards left a lasting impression.

Oppenheimer, a 2023 biographic thriller, is the big winner of the 96th Oscars after scooping seven awards, including best picture and best actor for Cillian Murphy. This was his first Oscar.

The film, which had 13 nominations, also won the best supporting actor category for Robert Downey Jr, as well as best director for Christopher Nolan, plus film editing, cinematography and original score

Beyond the awards themselves, the ceremony used its platform to address pressing issues. For instance, during the bombshell opening monologue, Jimmy Kimmel, hosting for the fourth time at 56, didn’t hold back. He roasted Robert Downey Jr‘s manhood and past drug use, leaving A-listers grinning and cringing.

The 2024 Oscars weren’t just about honoring the best in film. It was a celebration of filmmaking and its undeniable influence on society. As the night ended, viewers were yearning not just for more great movies, but for a world that reflects the stories we see on screen.

Meanwhile, did you know that out of the 36 Black actors nominated for Best Actor or Actress from 1923 to 2023, only six have won the award? Starting from 1963 when Sidney Poitier made history as the first Black actor to win Oscar’s Best Actor, to Halle Berry, the sole Black actress to win in the same category.

In 2022, Will Smith became the sixth Black actor to win Best Actor for his role in “King Richard,” portraying Venus and Serena Williams’ father.

Meet The 6 Black Oscar Winners For ‘Best Actor’

Sidney Poitier

In 1963, Sidney Poitier made history as the first Black man to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, honored for his role in “Lilies Of The Field.” Earlier, he also became the first Black man nominated for any acting Oscar for “The Defiant Ones” (1958).

His remarkable achievements not only reshaped cinema but also paved the way for racial minorities long before the #OscarsSoWhite and Black Lives Matter movements gained momentum.

Halle Berry

In 2001, Halle Berry made Oscars history by becoming the first Black actress to win the Best Actress trophy for her performance in “Monster’s Ball.”

Denzel Washington

In 2002, Washington made history as the second Black actor to win the Oscar for Best Actor, portraying corrupt detective Alonzo Harris in the crime thriller ‘Training Day’. However, his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor came for his role as Private Silas Trip in the Civil War drama ‘Glory’ (1989).

Washington’s win coincided with Sidney Poitier receiving an honorary award that same night.

Jamie Foxx

In 2005, Foxx achieved a historic milestone as the first African American to earn nominations in two acting categories in the same year. He clinched the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 biographical film “Ray.”

Forest Whitaker

Whitaker in 2006 became another Black man to win an Academy Award for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the – film “The Last King of Scotland.”

Will Smith

At the 94th Academy Awards, Smith won his first Oscar, an unforgettable moment marred by controversy. He slapped Chris Rock after a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s bald head. Despite the incident, Smith triumphed with the Best Actor trophy for his role in “King Richard,” becoming the fifth Black actor in Oscar history to win in this category.

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