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Viola Davis makes history as first African-American actress to score three Oscar nominations

Viola Davis is now the first African-American actress to score three Academy Award nominations.

ARMANDO GALLO, ZUMA PRESS/TNS

By JAMES REED | Los Angeles Times | Published: January 24, 2017

“Thank you to the Academy for recognizing this extraordinary, important film and my work in it. Thank you, Denzel, for being at the helm!”

That’s Viola Davis’ rather humble reaction to her Oscar nomination Jan. 24 for supporting actress for her performance in “Fences.”

But she deserves more than the standard congratulations. Davis is now the first African-American actress to score three Academy Award nominations. Whoopi Goldberg previously held the record, having been nominated in 1986 for “The Color Purple” (actress) and finally winning for 1991’s “Ghost” (supporting actress).

Davis was nominated in 2009 for her performance in “Doubt” and again in 2012 for “The Help.” If her recent Golden Globe win for supporting actress is any indication, the third time might be the Oscar charm.

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