The 89th Academy Awards were set to be a night for potential record-breaking and making, and the latter is just what the Best Supporting Actress winner did. With her Oscar for her role in Fences, Viola Davis just became the first black actor to win an Academy Award, an Emmy, and a Tony. Here's the transcript of Viola Davis' Oscars Acceptance Speech, because it was perfect (as her acceptances speeches historically have been).
You know, there's one place where all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place. And that's the graveyard. People ask me all the time, "What kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola?" And I say, "Exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories." The stories of the people who dreamed big, and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love — and lost.
I became an artist — and thank God I did — because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life. So, here's to August Wilson, who exhumed — and exalted — the ordinary people. And to Bron Pictures, Paramount, MACRO, Todd Black, Molly Allen, Scott Rudin for being the cheerleaders. For a movie that is about people, and words, and life, and forgiveness, and grace.
And to Mykelti Williamson, Stephen Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Jovan Adepo, Saniyya Sidney for being the most wonderful artists I've ever worked with. And, "O Captain, my captain" — Denzel Washington. Thank you for putting two entities in the driving seat: August and God. And they served you well. And to Dan, and Mary Alice Davis, who were and are the center of my universe, the people who taught me good and bad, how to fail, how to love, how to hold an award, how to lose — my parents, I'm so thankful that God chose you to bring me into this world. To my sisters — to my sister Deloris, who played "Jaje and Jaja" with me — we were rich white women in the tea party games. Thank you for the imagination. And to my husband and my daughter. My heart, you and Genesis teach me every day how to live, how to live. I'm so glad that you are the foundation of my life. Thank you to the Academy — thank you.
With her soaring and tear-jerking speech, Davis now joins an elite club of actors who are just one award away from winning the coveted EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award). So, the next question is: who will let Davis record an album so she can win a Grammy?