Half a year after his death, Chadwick Boseman was posthumously nominated for an Academy Award on Monday for his final performance in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’
The nomination for best actor was widely expected but still historic. Boseman is the first Black performer ever nominated posthumously for an Oscar. He was nominated alongside Steven Yeun (‘Minari’), Riz Ahmed (‘Sound of Metal’), Anthony Hopkins (‘The Father’) and Gary Oldman (‘Mank’).
Only seven actors have previously been nominated after their death: Jeanne Eagels, James Dean, Spencer Tracy, Peter Finch, Ralph Richardson, Massimo Troisi and Heath Ledger. Two ultimately won: Finch for his performance in 1976′s ‘Network’ and Ledger for 2008′s ‘The Dark Knight.’
Many predict Boseman will also win for a performance that’s been called the best of his life. Last month, he also won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama. Boseman’s widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award on his behalf.
Meanwhile, co-star Viola Davis scored a nomination for Best Actress, making her the most nominated Black actress in the history of the Academy Awards. Davis now boasts four career Oscar nominations.
This year’s list is the most diverse Oscars ever, with nine of the 20 acting nominees from ethnic minority backgrounds.
And two women were nominated for best director – the first time more than one woman has been shortlisted for that prize in the awards’ 93-year history.
Mank, the black-and-white drama starring Oldman as Citizen Kane writer Herman Mankiewicz, leads the overall field with 10 nominations.
This year’s winners will be announced on 25 April at a delayed ceremony that will take place at both the Dolby Theatre, the ceremony’s normal home, and Los Angeles’ main railway hub, Union Station.