In a few weeks, the Oscars will be celebrating 85 years, but do you know how many African-American artists have won an Oscar?
Who was the first African-American Actress to be nominated for an Oscar in a leading role?
Dorothy Dandridge in 1954 was nominated for her leading role in the film “Carmen Jones.” Born Dorothy Jean Dandridge in 1922 was a beautiful actress that would die of an overdose at the age of 42.
Her role in “Porky & Bess” got her nominated in 1959 for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
Who was the first African-American Actress to win an Oscar in a leading role?
In 2001, Halle Berry became the first actress of African-American descent to win an Oscar in a leading role. It was for her portrayal in “Monster’s Ball.”
Who was the first African-American male or female to win an Oscar?
In 1939, Hattie McDonald won an Oscar in a supporting role for “Gone with the Wind.”
McDonald was a professional singer-songwriter, comedian, stage actress, and television star. She was the first black woman to sing on the radio. She appeared in over 300 films.
Who was the African-American actor nominated in 1958, won in 1963 and remains the youngest to win an Oscar?
Sidney Poitier. He electrified the screen in “The Defiant Ones” with Tony Curtis won a nomination, but it was 1963 when Poitier return with his legendary performance in “Lilies of the Field” where he won the Oscar at 37. Making him the youngest African-American and the first lead actor to win an Oscar.
Do you know the youngest Director ever nominated for an Oscar?
In 1991, 24-year-old African-American John Singleton was youngest director ever nominated. His film was “Boyz in the Hood” which launched the careers of Ice Cube, Lawrence Fishburne and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Gooding won an Oscar in 1996 for his role as Rod Tidwell in “Jerry Maguire.”
Who was the first African-American to win for Best Writing?
In 2009, Geoffrey Fletcher won an Oscar for Adapted Screenplay for “Precious.” He adapted the screenplay from the book Push written by Sapphire. He is the only African-American to win this award.
Did “The Color Purple” win an Oscar?
“The Color Purple” starring Danny Glover, music by Quincy Jones, produced by Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and didn’t win one.
Was the Oscar named for an African-American producer Oscar Micheaux?
No, though some film scholars have consider Oscar Micheaux an African-American film producer, writer, distributor as the country’s greatest filmmaker. From 1920’s through 1940’s, Micheaux distributed over 40 films; the Oscar is not named for him.
The official name, according to www.oscar.org, was called The Academy Award of Merit. It was a remark by Margaret Herrick the Academy librarian, “That looks like my Uncle Oscar” gave the award its name. The Academy didn’t adopt the nickname officially until 1939.