Every Black Actor Nominated for an Oscar

At the Oscars, there have been around 1,750 separate nominations for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor, but just over 75 (4.5 percent) of these have been Black actors.

Of the winners from the four acting categories, 5.3 percent have been Black, with only 19 out of 354 awards collected by Black actors.

The first acting Oscar to be won by a Black person went to Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind in 1939. However, the win was hardly a major victory for representation, as the actress was banned from sitting with her co-stars on the night due to segregation. McDaniel's win would also be the last nomination of a Black actor for a decade.

Although Black actors have been more celebrated at the Academy Awards in recent years, the Oscars have still been criticized for their lack of diversity. In 2015, #OscarsSoWhite began trending on Twitter after the Academy failed to nominate a single Black actor. The 92nd Oscars (which took place in February 2020), meanwhile, was the last to award all four acting categories to white actors, with Cynthia Erivo the only Black actor nominated in any of the four categories.

The 2021 Oscar nominations, however, see Black actors better represented than in the past, with a record three Supporting Actor nominations, Best Actress nominations for Andra Day and Viola Davis and posthumous Best Actor nod for Chadwick Boseman.

Every Black actor who has won An Oscar

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Hattie McDaniel alongside Vivien Leigh in 'Gone With the Wind.' The role made Hattie McDaniel the first Black Oscar nominee and winner. Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
  • 1939 - Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind (Best Supporting Actress)
  • 1963 - Sidney Poitier for Lilies of the Field (Best Actor)
  • 1982 - Louis Gossett Jr. for An Officer and a Gentleman (Best Supporting Actor)
  • 1989 - Denzel Washington for Glory (Best Supporting Actor)
  • 1990 - Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost (Best Supporting Actress)
  • 1996 - Cuba Gooding Jr. for Jerry Maguire (Best Supporting Actor)
  • 2001 - Halle Berry for Monster's Ball (Best Actress)
  • 2001 - Denzel Washington for Training Day (Best Actor)
  • 2004 - Jamie Foxx for Ray (Best Actor)
  • 2004 - Morgan Freeman for Million Dollar Baby (Best Supporting Actor)
  • 2006 - Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (Best Supporting Actress)
  • 2006 - Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland (Best Actor)
  • 2009 - Mo'Nique for Precious (Best Supporting Actress)
  • 2011 - Octavia Spencer for The Help (Best Supporting Actress)
  • 2013 - Lupita Nyong'o for 12 Years a Slave (Best Supporting Actress)
  • 2016 - Mahershala Ali for Moonlight (Best Supporting Actor)
  • 2016 - Viola Davis for Fences (Best Supporting Actress)
  • 2018 - Mahershala Ali for Green Book (Best Supporting Actor)
  • 2018 - Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk (Best Supporting Actress)

Every Black actor nominated for an Oscar

Best Actress

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Viola Davis won an Oscar for 'Fences' after being first nominated for 'The Help.' Getty
  • 1954 - Dorothy Dandridge for Carmen Jones
  • 1972 - Diana Ross for Lady Sings the Blues
  • 1972 - Cicely Tyson for Sounder
  • 1974 - Diahann Carroll for Claudine
  • 1985 - Whoopi Goldberg for The Color Purple
  • 1993 - Angela Bassett for What's Love Got to Do with It
  • 2009 - Gabourey Sidibe for Precious
  • 2011 - Viola Davis for The Help
  • 2012 - Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • 2016 - Ruth Negga for Loving
  • 2019 - Cynthia Erivo for Harriet
  • 2020 - Andra Day for The United States vs. Billie Holiday
  • 2020 - Viola Davis for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Best Actor

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Denzel Washington is the most-nominated actor at the Oscars with eight nominations, while Halle Berry is currently the only Black Best Actress winner. Getty
  • 1958 - Sidney Poitier for The Defiant Ones
  • 1970 - James Earl Jones for The Great White Hope
  • 1972 - Paul Winfield for Sounder
  • 1986 - Dexter Gordon for Round Midnight
  • 1989 - Morgan Freeman for Driving Miss Daisy
  • 1992 - Denzel Washington for Malcolm X
  • 1993 - Laurence Fishburne for What's Love Got to Do with It
  • 1994 - Morgan Freeman for The Shawshank Redemption
  • 1999 - Denzel Washington for The Hurricane
  • 2001 - Training Day for Alonzo Harris
  • 2001 - Will Smith for Ali
  • 2004 - Don Cheadle for Hotel Rwanda
  • 2005 - Terrence Howard for Hustle & Flow
  • 2006 - Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness
  • 2009 - Morgan Freeman for Invictus
  • 2012 - Denzel Washington for Flight
  • 2013 - Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave
  • 2016 - Denzel Washington for Fences
  • 2017 - Roman J. Israel, Esq. for Roman J. Israel
  • 2017 - Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out
  • 2020 - Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Best Supporting Actress

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Octavia Spencer has won one Best Supporting Actress Oscar out of three nominations. Getty
  • 1949 - Ethel Waters for Pinky
  • 1959 - Juanita Moore for Imitation of Life
  • 1967 - Beah Richards for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
  • 1983 - Alfre Woodard for Cross Creek
  • 1985 - Margaret Avery for The Color Purple
  • 1985 - Oprah Winfrey for The Color Purple
  • 1996 - Marianne Jean-Baptiste for Secrets & Lies
  • 2002 - Queen Latifah for Chicago
  • 2004 - Sophie Okonedo for Hotel Rwanda
  • 2007 - Ruby Dee for American Gangster
  • 2008 - Viola Davis for Doubt
  • 2008 - Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • 2016 - Naomie Harris for Moonlight
  • 2016 - Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures
  • 2017 - Octavia Spencer for The Shape of Water
  • 2017 - Mary J. Blige for Mudbound

Best Supporting Actor

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Jamie Foxx was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work in 'Collateral' – the same year he won Best Actor for 'Ray.' Getty
  • 1969 - Rupert Crosse for The Reivers
  • 1981 - Howard Rollins for Ragtime
  • 1984 - Adolph Caesar for A Soldier's Story
  • 1987 - Morgan Freeman for Street Smart
  • 1987 - Denzel Washington for Cry Freedom
  • 1992 - Jaye Davidson for The Crying Game
  • 1994 - Samuel L. Jackson for Pulp Fiction
  • 1999 - Michael Clarke Duncan for The Green Mile
  • 2003 - Djimon Hounsou for In America
  • 2004 - Jamie Foxx for Collateral
  • 2006 - Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamond
  • 2006 - Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls
  • 2013 - Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips
  • 2020 - Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah
  • 2020 - Leslie Odom Jr. for One Night in Miami
  • 2020 - Lakeith Stanfield for Judas and the Black Messiah