The “Tragedy of Macbeth” actor remains the most nominated Black actor in Oscar history.
Washington as Macbeth in "The Tragedy of Macbeth". Photo credit: A24 Films
Critically acclaimed actor Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor ahead of the 94th Academy Awards for his leading role in Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” The nomination is his 10th, making Washington the most nominated Black actor in Academy Awards history and the seventh-most nominated actor of all time.
Washington first broke into the Oscars in 1988 with his nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Richard Attenborough’s “Cry Freedom,” a British film about apartheid in South Africa. He later won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Private Silas Trip in Edward Zwick’s historical American Civil War drama “Glory” in 1990. Over thirty years later, Washington has amassed eight more nominations, with one win for Best Actor in 2002 for Antoine Fuqua’s police drama “Training Day.”
Washington first became the most nominated Black actor with his nomination for Best Actor in “Flight” in 2012, breaking a record previously held by Morgan Freeman, who had five nominations. Washington’s nomination for “The Tragedy of Macbeth” also makes him the first Black actor to receive an Oscar nomination for a role in a Shakespearian adaptation.