Viola Davis Gives Powerful Oscar Acceptance Speech, Thanks Denzel Washington for Putting God in 'Driving Seat'

89th Academy Awards - Oscars Awards Show - Viola Davis accepts the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 'Fences.'
89th Academy Awards - Oscars Awards Show - Viola Davis accepts the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 'Fences.' | (Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Actress Viola Davis made headlines on Sunday evening for her Academy Awards acceptance speech after winning the Oscar for Actress in a Supporting Role opposite Denzel Washington in the film "Fences."

During her acceptance speech on Sunday evening, Davis thanked many people including "Fences" playwright August Wilson and Washington, who she described as "my captain."

"And oh captain, my captain, Denzel Washington. Thank you for putting two entities in the driving seat: August and God. And they served you well," said an emotional yet composed Davis.

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Davis went on to thank her parents, Dan and Mary Alice Davis, whom she described as "the center of my universe."

"My parents―I'm so thankful that God chose you to bring me into this world," continued Davis, who added that they are "the people who taught me good or bad, how to fail, how to love, how to hold an award, how to lose."

"Fences" was also nominated for Best Motion Picture, Best Actor for Washington, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Wilson, who received a posthumous nomination as the writer died in 2005.

Based on a play, the film follows the trials and milestones of a working class African-American living in Pittsburgh during the 1950s.

In a press conference call last December, Washington explained that during the filming of "Fences" that a local woman near the filming site helped create a place of prayer for him.

"A woman on the corner, she was watching me. She made her house a quiet place of prayer for me, and I'd go in there when things were getting overwhelming and just take a breath. Sometimes I'd just have a prayer with her," noted Washington.

"You just never know who's praying for you ... I needed all of those prayers and I needed all of that support. We all needed it. The people were just wonderful!"

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