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After 2 nominations, Angela Bassett wins an honorary Oscar

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Angela Bassett has won an honorary Academy Award following her nearly 40-year career as an actor and her two Oscar nominations.

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She received recognition on Tuesday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 14th annual Governors Awards, which is an assembly of the board of governors that bestows Oscars.

“I express my gratitude to the Academy and the Board of Governors for this honor,” Bassett began her fifteen-minute acceptance speech. “Acting is not simply my career; I’ve thought of it as my calling.

I work on this project because I find it significant and because I hope it will have some sort of impact and difference. It is really amazing to be acknowledged in this way for the work I enjoy doing, and I am incredibly appreciative.”

She expressed her gratitude to her husband, fellow actor Courtney B. Vance, sister D’nette, and her two children, Slater and Bronwyn, asking them to stand.

She also thanked her mother and aunt for letting her continue her acting career in spite of their worries that she was using her two degrees from Yale University for personal gain. (She holds an honorary doctorate from Yale, a graduate degree in acting, and an undergraduate degree in African American studies.)
Bassett shifted attention to other actors of color.
During her remarks, Bassett took numerous seconds to thank fellow Black actresses for their hard work and dedication.

Bassett stated, “Working alongside you has been one of the highlights of my career,” to Regina King, who gave him the honor.

She also mentioned Lupita Nyong’o, Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, and King at another point.

“I call their names to acknowledge every one of them this evening for being beacons of possibility and hope for little Black and brown girls who aspire to one day pursue the dream of becoming an actor,” Bassett stated.

She also honored Black actresses who have made history at the Academy Awards, including Hattie McDaniel, the first Black person to win an Oscar for her performance in Gone with the Wind in 1939, Halle Berry, the only Black woman to win for lead actress for her role in Monster’s Ball in 2001, Whoopi Goldberg, the only Black person to receive nominations for best actress and best supporting actress, and her mentor Cicely Tyson, the only other Black woman to receive an honorary Oscar.

“I hope that [Tyson] is smiling from the heavens that I’m able to join her in this circle of recognition, knowing that she was so impactful to me as an actress and as a woman,” Bassett stated.
Rejoicing after Bassett’s victory
Angry fans vented on social media when Bassett lost out to Jamie Lee Curtis for best actress in 2022. On Tuesday, though, they celebrated.
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“The LEGENDARY Angela Bassett gave such a moving speech last night to accept her long-overdue Oscar. Congratulations, @ImAngelaBassett, and THANK YOU for your steadfast commitment to the profession, and banging down doors for the rest of us. Without you clearing the path, we would not be here today.” Jennifer Hudson, the winner of the EGOT, tweeted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We are commemorating a historic occasion as it took 38 years for Angela Bassett to win the Oscar she so richly deserved. A prompt that advancement is a process rather than an end goal,” a user on X said.

“I’m glad angela bassett is finally going to win the oscar, but im sorry to say, that she should have had a collection in her house since [What’s Love Got to Do With It],” a different user commented.
An examination of her multi-decade career Bassett debuted on screen in the 1985 television film Doubletake. Her breakthrough performances were in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1992) and filmmaker John Singleton’s Boyz in the Hood (1991).

Two times, in 1993’s What’s Love Got to Do With It, Bassett was nominated for an Oscar: once for her performance as rock and roller Tina Turner, and again in 2022 for her part as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. (Cq)

Waiting to Exhale, Olympus Has Fallen, Akeelah and the Bee, Chi-raq, and Vampire in Brooklyn are a few of her other well-known films.

She has starred in multiple seasons of American Horror Story on television. Currently, she is the executive producer and lead actor of FOX’s procedural drama series, 9-1-1.

She has voiced characters on The Simpsons, in the Disney films Soul and Meet the Robinsons, and as Shatter, a villain in the Bumblebee spinoff from the Transformers film franchise.

Apart from her recent Oscar, Bassett has been the recipient of sixteen NAACP Image Awards, two SAG Awards, two Golden Globes, and two Critics’ Choice Awards.
Despite the historic occasion, Bassett wished for it to serve as a chance for the entertainment business to consider how unique it really is.

“What I hope this moment means is that we are taking the necessary steps toward a future in which it is the norm, not the exception, to see and embrace one another’s full humanity, stories and perspectives,” she stated. “We must strive to achieve this and never forget that there is space for everyone of us. We triumph together when we stand as a unit.”

She continued, “My prayer is that we leave this industry more enriched, forward-thinking and inclusive than we found it, a future where there won’t be a first or an only, or suspense around whether history will be made with a nomination or a win.”

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