Denzel Washington‘s nomination for best actor in the Joel Coen film The Tragedy of Macbeth marks him as the most nominated Black actor in Oscar History, with ten nominations and two wins.
Throughout his career, he’s been nominated for various roles, starting with his first nomination in a supporting role for the 1988 film Crying Freedom for his role as Steve Biko. Washington was nominated in the same category two years later for his role in the Edward Zwick civil war film Glory–and came away as that year’s winner for best-supporting actor.
In between his next win, he received nominations for best actor in the Spike Lee-directed biopic Malcolm X and the Norman Jewison film Hurricane. It would be ten years from his first win to his second for best actor in Antoine Fuqua’s Training Day. He is one of four Black actors to win the award along with Sidney Poitier, Jamie Fox, Forest Whitaker.
From his win in 2002 up to his nomination today, Washington was nominated four more times. Three times in the best actor category for Flight, Fences, and Roman J. Israel, Esq. He received one nomination alongside producers Todd Black and Scott Rudin for Fences as it was nominated for best film in 2016.
In The Tragedy of Macbeth, he plays the titular character whose lust for power is his ultimate downfall. The film also stars Frances McDormand, Corey Hawkins, Kathryn Hunter, and Brendan Gleeson. His performance was immediately popular among awards enthusiasts, so it is no surprise that he received recognition for her performance.
When asked for a reaction about another possible win, he comments, “The Tragedy of Macbeth was one of the best experiences of my career. Joel Coen is a genius, and I hope the nominations for the film will allow for more people to enjoy a terrific cinematic experience. Thank you to the members of the Academy for the recognition and to Apple and A24 for their ongoing support.”
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