Viola Davis Is Now the Most-Nominated Black Actress in Oscars History

With her Oscar nomination for Best Actress with “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Viola Davis has officially become the most nominated Black actress in the history of the Academy Awards.

Davis now boasts four career Oscar nominations: Best Supporting Actress for “Doubt,” Best Supporting Actress for “Fences,” Best Actress for “The Help,” and Best Actress for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Davis won the Oscar for “Fences.”Prior to the 2021 Oscar nominations announcement, Davis had been tied with friend and co-star Octavia Spencer as the most Oscar-nominated Black actress in history.

Spencer has three Best Supporting Actress nominations under her belt thanks to “The Help,” “Hidden Figures,” and “The Shape of Water.” Spencer won the Oscar for “The Help.” Davis was widely expected to become the Oscars’ most nominated Black actress after her performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” picked up nominations from the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

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