List of black Academy Award winners and nominees

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Hattie McDaniel was the first black person to ever win an Academy Award.


This list of black Academy Award winners and nominees is current as of the 85th Academy Awards ceremony held on February 24, 2013.

Best Actor in a Leading Role[edit]

Best Actor in a Leading Role
YearNameFilmRoleStatusMilestone
1958Sidney PoitierThe Defiant OnesNoah CullenNominatedFirst black actor to be nominated for Best Actor.
1963Sidney PoitierLilies of the FieldHomer SmithWonFirst black actor to win Best Actor.
First black actor to receive two acting nominations (Best Actor).
Youngest black actor to win Best Actor (age 37).
1970James Earl JonesThe Great White HopeJack JeffersonNominated
1972Paul WinfieldSounderNathan Lee MorganNominatedFirst film to feature black nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
1986Dexter GordonRound MidnightDale TurnerNominatedFirst jazz musician to be nominated for Best Actor
1989Morgan FreemanDriving Miss DaisyHoke ColburnNominated
1992Denzel WashingtonMalcolm XMalcolm XNominated
1993Laurence FishburneWhat's Love Got to Do with ItIke TurnerNominatedSecond film to feature black nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
1994Morgan FreemanThe Shawshank RedemptionEllis Boyd 'Red' ReddingNominated
1999Denzel WashingtonThe HurricaneRubin CarterNominated
2001Denzel WashingtonTraining DayAlonzo HarrisWonSecond black actor to receive the award for Best Actor.
Will SmithAliMuhammad AliNominatedFirst male hip hop artist to be nominated for an Academy Award.
First time that multiple black actors received Best Actor nominations.
2004Jamie FoxxRayRay CharlesWonFirst black actor to receive two acting nominations in the same year.
Don CheadleHotel RwandaPaul RusesabaginaNominated
2005Terrence HowardHustle & FlowDJayNominated
2006Forest WhitakerThe Last King of ScotlandIdi AminWon
Will SmithThe Pursuit of HappynessChris GardnerNominated
2009Morgan FreemanInvictusNelson MandelaNominated
2012Denzel WashingtonFlightWilliam "Whip" WhitakerNominatedDenzel Washington has the most nominations for a black Actor: Best Actor (4 nominations) and Best Supporting Actor (2 nominations)
2013Chiwetel Ejiofor12 Years a SlaveSolomon NorthupPendingFirst black British actor to be nominated for Best Actor

Best Actress in a Leading Role[edit]

Best Actress in a Leading Role
YearNameFilmRoleStatusMilestone
1954Dorothy DandridgeCarmen JonesCarmen JonesNominatedFirst black actress to be nominated for Best Actress.
1972Diana RossLady Sings the BluesBillie HolidayNominatedFirst black actress to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
First time that multiple black actresses received Best Actress nominations.
Cicely TysonSounderRebecca MorganNominatedFirst film to feature black nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
First time that multiple black actresses received Best Actress nominations.
1974Diahann CarrollClaudineClaudineNominated
1985Whoopi GoldbergThe Color PurpleCelie JohnsonNominatedFirst time that multiple black actresses received nominations for the same film.
1993Angela BassettWhat's Love Got to Do with ItTina TurnerNominatedSecond film to feature black nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
2001Halle BerryMonster's BallLeticia MusgroveWonFirst black actress to win Best Actress.
2009Gabourey SidibePreciousClaireece "Precious" JonesNominatedSecond film to feature black nominees for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
Second black actress to receive a lead Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
2011Viola DavisThe HelpAibileen ClarkNominatedThird film to feature black nominees for both Best Actress and Supporting Actress categories.
Tied with Whoopi Goldberg as the most nominated black actress with 2 nominations.
2012Quvenzhané WallisBeasts of the Southern WildHushpuppyNominatedYoungest ever Best Actress nominee(aged 9).
Third black actress to receive a lead Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role[edit]

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
YearNameFilmRoleStatusMilestone
1969Rupert CrosseThe ReiversNedNominatedFirst black actor to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor
1981Howard RollinsRagtimeCoalhouse Walker Jr.Nominated
1982Louis Gossett, Jr.An Officer and a GentlemanGunnery Sergeant Emil FoleyWonFirst black actor to win Best Supporting Actor.
1984Adolph CaesarA Soldier's StorySgt. WatersNominated
1987Morgan FreemanStreet SmartFast BlackNominatedFirst time that multiple black actors received Best Supporting Actor nominations.
Denzel WashingtonCry FreedomSteve BikoNominated
1989Denzel WashingtonGloryPvt. TripWonFirst black actor to receive two Best Supporting Actor nominations.
1992Jaye DavidsonThe Crying GameDilNominatedFirst black actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
First Black British actor to receive an Academy Award nomination.
1994Samuel L. JacksonPulp FictionJules WinnfieldNominated
1996Cuba Gooding, Jr.Jerry MaguireRod TidwellWonYoungest black male actor to win an Academy Award (age 29).
1999Michael Clarke DuncanThe Green MileJohn CoffeyNominated
2003Djimon HounsouIn AmericaMateoNominatedFirst black actor born in Africa (specifically in Benin) to receive an Academy Award nomination.
First black African to be nominated.
2004Morgan FreemanMillion Dollar BabyEddie 'Scrap-Iron' DuprisWonOldest black actor to win an Academy Award (age 67).
Jamie FoxxCollateralMaxNominatedFirst black actor to receive two acting nominations in the same year.
2006Djimon HounsouBlood DiamondSolomon VandyNominated
Eddie MurphyDreamgirlsJames 'Thunder' EarlyNominatedFirst film to feature black nominees for both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
2013Barkhad AbdiCaptain PhillipsAbduwali MusePendingSecond black actor born in Africa (specifically in Somalia) to receive an Academy Award nomination.
Second black actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance

Best Actress in a Supporting Role[edit]

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
YearNameFilmRoleStatusMilestone
1939Hattie McDanielGone with the WindMammyWonFirst black person (male or female) to win an Academy Award.
First black person (male or female) to be nominated for Best Acting.
First black actress to win Best Supporting Actress.
Oldest black actress to win an Academy Award (age 44).
1949Ethel WatersPinkyMrs. Dicey Johnson (Pinky's Granny)NominatedSecond black person to be nominated for an Academy Award.
1959Juanita MooreImitation of LifeAnnie JohnsonNominated
1967Carol ChanningThoroughly Modern MillieMuzzy Van HossmereNominatedFirst time that two black actresses were nominated in the same category.
Beah RichardsGuess Who's Coming to DinnerMrs. PrenticeNominated
1983Alfre WoodardCross CreekGeecheeNominated
1985Margaret AveryThe Color PurpleShug AveryNominatedSecond time that multiple black actresses received Best Supporting Actress nominations.
First time that multiple black actresses received nominations for the same film.
Oprah WinfreySofiaNominated
1990Whoopi GoldbergGhostOda Mae BrownWonFirst black actress to receive two acting nominations overall.
Second black actress to win Best Supporting Actress.
1996Marianne Jean-BaptisteSecrets & LiesHortense CumberbatchNominatedFirst British black actress to receive an Academy Award nomination.
First black person (male or female) born outside the United States to receive an Academy Award nomination in an acting category.
2002Queen LatifahChicagoMatron Mama MortonNominatedFirst female hip hop artist to be nominated for an Academy Award.
2004Sophie OkonedoHotel RwandaTatiana RusesabaginaNominatedSecond British black actress to receive an Academy Award nomination.
2006Jennifer HudsonDreamgirlsEffie WhiteWonFirst black actor (male or female) to win an Academy Award for a debut film performance.
Youngest black actress to win or be nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
Youngest black actor (male or female) to win an Academy Award (age 25).
First film to feature black nominees for both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
First black actress to win an Academy Award for a musical film.
2007Ruby DeeAmerican GangsterMama LucasNominatedOldest black actress to be nominated for an Academy Award (age 83).
2008Viola DavisDoubtMrs. MillerNominatedThird time two black actresses were nominated in the same category.
Taraji P. HensonThe Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonQueenieNominated
2009Mo'NiquePreciousMary Lee JohnstonWonSecond film to feature black nominees for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
Fourth black actress to win in this category.
2011Octavia SpencerThe HelpMinny JacksonWonThird film to feature black nominees for both Best Actress and Supporting Actress.
Fifth black actress to win in this category.
2013Lupita Nyong'o12 Years a SlavePatseyPendingFirst black African (Kenyan) actress to be nominated.

Best Cinematography[edit]

Academy Award for Best Cinematography
YearNameFilmStatusMilestone
1998Remi AdefarasinElizabethNominatedFirst black person to be nominated for Best Cinematography.

Best Costume Design[edit]

Academy Award for Best Costume Design
YearNameFilmStatusMilestone
1992Ruth E. CarterMalcolm XNominatedFirst black person (male or female) to be nominated for Best Costume Design.
1997AmistadNominated
2004Sharen DavisRayNominated
2006DreamgirlsNominated

Best Director[edit]

Academy Award for Best Director
YearNameFilmStatusMilestone
1991John SingletonBoyz n the HoodNominatedFirst black person to be nominated for Best Director.
Youngest person ever nominated in this category (age 24).
2009Lee DanielsPreciousNominatedSecond black person to earn a Best Director nomination.
First black director to earn a Best Picture nomination.
2013Steve McQueen12 Years a SlavePendingThird black person to earn a Best Director nomination.
First black British person to earn a Best Director nomination.

Best Documentary Feature[edit]

Academy Award for Documentary Feature
YearNameFilmStatusMilestone
1990Yvonne Smith (producer)Adam Clayton PowellNominatedShared with Richard Kilberg.
First black producer to be nominated for Best Documentary Feature.
1997Spike Lee (director)
Samuel D. Pollard (producer)
4 Little GirlsNominatedFirst black director to be nominated for Best Documentary Feature.
2004Karolyn Ali (producer)Tupac: ResurrectionNominated
2012T. J. Martin (director)UndefeatedWonFirst black person to win in this category.
First black director to win in this category.

Best Documentary Short Subject[edit]

Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject
YearNameFilmStatusMilestone
2000Leelai DemozOn Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to FreedomNominatedShared nomination with Eric Simonson.
First black person to be nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject.
2009Roger Ross WilliamsMusic by PrudenceWonShared nomination with Elinor Burkett.
First black person to win Best Documentary Short Subject.

Best Editing[edit]

Academy Award for Film Editing
YearNameFilmStatusMilestone
1969Hugh A. RobertsonMidnight CowboyNominatedFirst black person to be nominated for Best Editing.

Best Original Score[edit]

Academy Award for Original Music Score
YearNameFilmStatusMilestone
1961Duke EllingtonParis BluesNominatedFirst black person to be nominated for Best Original Score.
1967Quincy JonesIn Cold BloodNominated
1971Isaac HayesShaftNominated
1978Quincy JonesThe WizNominatedFirst black person to be nominated in the Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score (which is different from Best Original Score category).
1984PrincePurple RainWonFirst black winner of Best Original Song Score (which is different from Best Original Score category); this category was retired afterwards.
1985Quincy Jones
Andrae Crouch
Caiphus Semenya
The Color PurpleNominatedShared nomination with 9 other composers.
1986Herbie HancockRound MidnightWonFirst black winner of Best Original Score.
1987Jonas GwangwaCry FreedomNominatedShared nomination with white composer George Fenton.

Best Original Song[edit]

Academy Award for Best Original Song
YearNameFilmSongStatusMilestone
1967Quincy Jones
Bob Russell
Banning"The Eyes of Love"NominatedFirst black people to be nominated for Best Original Song.
1968Quincy Jones
Bob Russell
For Love of Ivy"For Love of Ivy"NominatedFirst black people to be nominated twice for Best Original Song.
1971Isaac HayesShaft"Theme from Shaft"WonFirst black winner for Best Original Song.
First black winner for any award other than in the acting categories.
1981Lionel RichieEndless Love"Endless Love"Nominated
1983Irene CaraFlashdance"Flashdance... What a Feeling"WonFirst black woman to win a non-acting Academy Award.
Shared nomination and win with composer Giorgio Moroder and co-lyricist Keith Forsey.
1984Stevie WonderThe Woman in Red"I Just Called to Say I Love You"Won
1984Ray Parker, Jr.Ghostbusters"Ghostbusters"Nominated
1985Lionel RichieWhite Nights"Say You, Say Me"Won
1985Quincy Jones
Lionel Richie
Rod Temperton
The Color Purple"Miss Celie's Blues"Nominated
1987Jonas GwangwaCry Freedom"Cry Freedom"NominatedShared nomination with composer George Fenton.
1988Lamont DozierBuster"Two Hearts"NominatedShared nomination with Phil Collins.
1993Jimmy Jam
Terry Lewis
Janet Jackson
Poetic Justice"Again"Nominated
1994James IngramBeethoven's 2nd"The Day I Fall In Love"NominatedShared nomination with Carole Bayer Sager and Cliff Magness.
1995James IngramJunior"Look What Love Has Done"NominatedShared nomination with Carole Bayer Sager, James Newton Howard and Patty Smyth.
2005Juicy J
Frayser Boy
DJ Paul
Hustle & Flow"It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"WonFirst black rappers to win an Academy Award.
2006Siedah GarrettDreamgirls"Love You I Do"NominatedShared nomination with composer Henry Krieger.
2007Jamal Joseph
Charles Mack
Tevin Thomas
August Rush"Raise It Up"Nominated
2011Siedah Garrett
Carlinhos Brown
Rio"Real in Rio"NominatedShared with Sergio Mendes.
Garrett is the most nominated Black female songwriter (2 nominations).
2013Pharrell WilliamsDespicable Me 2"Happy"Pending

Best Picture[edit]

Academy Award for Best Picture
YearNameFilmStatusMilestone
1985Quincy JonesThe Color PurpleNominatedFirst black producer whose film was nominated for Best Picture.
2009Lee DanielsPreciousNominatedFirst black director whose film was nominated for Best Picture.
First time two films with black producers were nominated for Best Picture.
Broderick JohnsonThe Blind SideNominatedFirst time two films with black producers were nominated for Best Picture.
2012Reginald HudlinDjango UnchainedNominated
2013Steve McQueen12 Years a SlavePendingSecond black director whose film was nominated for Best Picture.
First black British producer to be nominated for Best Picture.

Best Short Film (Live Action)[edit]

Academy Award for Live Action Short Film
YearNameFilmStatusMilestone
1991David MasseyLast Breeze of SummerNominatedFirst black person (male or female) to be nominated for Short Film (Live Action).
1995Dianne HoustonTuesday Morning RideNominatedFirst black female to be nominated for Short Film (Live Action).

Best Sound Mixing[edit]

Academy Award for Sound
YearNameFilmStatusMilestone
1978Willie D. BurtonThe Buddy Holly StoryNominatedFirst black person to be nominated for Best Sound.
1980Willie D. BurtonAltered StatesNominatedFirst black person to be nominated multiple times for Best Sound.
1983Willie D. BurtonWarGamesNominated
1988Willie D. BurtonBirdWonFirst black person to win Best Sound.
1989Russell WilliamsGloryWonSecond black person to win Best Sound.
1990Russell WilliamsDances with WolvesWonFirst black person to win multiple Academy Awards in any category.
1994Willie D. BurtonThe Shawshank RedemptionNominated
1999Willie D. BurtonThe Green MileNominated
2006Willie D. BurtonDreamgirlsWonFirst black person to be nominated, and to win, after category was renamed "Sound Mixing".

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)[edit]

Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay
YearNameFilmAdapted FromStatusMilestone
1972Lonne ElderSounderSounder
by William H. Armstrong
NominatedFirst black nominee for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay).
1984Charles FullerA Soldier's StoryA Soldier's Play
by Charles Fuller
Nominated
2009Geoffrey FletcherPreciousPush
by Sapphire
WonFirst black person to win a screenplay Academy Award.
2013John Ridley12 Years a SlaveTwelve Years a Slave
by Solomon Northup
Pending

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)[edit]

Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay
YearNameFilmStatusMilestone
1972Suzanne de PasseLady Sings the BluesNominatedShared nomination with co-writers Chris Clark and Terence McCloy.
First black nominee for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).
First black female nominated for screen-writing.
1989Spike LeeDo the Right ThingNominatedFirst black male to be nominated for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).
1991John SingletonBoyz n the HoodNominated

Special Awards[edit]

Special Awards
YearNameAward
1948James BaskettAcademy Special Award, for his characterization of Uncle Remus in Song of the South.
1995Quincy JonesJean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
2002Sidney PoitierAcademy Honorary Award, "for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence".
2011James Earl JonesAcademy Honorary Award, "for his legacy of consistent excellence and uncommon versatility"
Oprah WinfreyJean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific