Chadwick Boseman was officially nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards this year for his role in Ma Rainey’s black bottomAlong with the announcement marking Boseman’s first-ever Oscar nomination, this also makes the late actor the seventh artist to be nominated posthumously in the Best Actor or Supporting Actor categories in Academy Award history.
In the past, Peter Finch posthumously won the Best Actor award for his role in the 1976 film Network The dark knight star Heath Ledger also posthumously won Best Supporting Actor for his memorable performance as the Joker. Finch had previously been nominated for Sunday Bloody Sunday while Ledger was waiting Brokeback Mountain, but neither had won on those occasions.
Hollywood legend James Dean was also nominated twice for Best Actor after his death in 1955, with one in favor east of Eden and another for HugeTwo-time Oscar winner Spencer Tracy was later nominated for Guess who’s coming for dinner after his death in 1967. Other actors nominated posthumously for an Oscars include Ralph Richardson for Greystroke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and Massimo Troisi for Il Postino
Boseman died in August last year after a four-year battle with colon cancer. At the time, the news was a huge shock because Boseman had kept his illness private. He’d been so optimistic about beating the disease that he even volunteered to appear Black panther 2The first Black Panther had made Boseman an international superstar, but while it earned him awards elsewhere, he was unable to win an Oscar based on that film.
Many would say Boseman’s Oscar nomination was a long time coming. He has also been celebrated for acclaimed performances in other films, such as 42 Come on, and Marshall, which should have gotten him into the Oscar conversation too.
Directed by George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s black bottom stars Viola Davis as blues singer Ma Rainey with Boseman co-starring as band member Levee Green. A critically acclaimed film that can win five awards at the Oscars, including Best Actress for Davis in addition to Best Actor for Boseman. The American Film Institute is also referred to Ma Rainey’s black bottom as one of the top ten films of 2020.
For the same role, Chadwick Boseman also won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama last month. At the time, the actor’s widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award on his behalf. In her acceptance speech, Taylor said of Chadwick, “He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices. He would say something beautiful. Something inspiring.”
In addition, Boseman won the prize for best actor at the Critics’ Choice Awards earlier this month. Based on this trajectory, it looks like his chances are also very high to win the prestigious Oscar at the Academy Awards this year. We can see who wins when the Oscars air at 8.30pm. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT on April 25, 2021 on ABC and ABC.com.
Topics: Oscars, Ma Raineys Black Bottom, Netflix, streaming