Chadwick Boseman, who died last August after being diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, was named best actor in a motion picture, drama at the 78th annual Golden Globes on Sunday night for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
The late actor’s wife Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award for him, sharing that if Boseman were alive, “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,” his wife continued in an emotional acceptance speech for her husband. “Something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of us that tells us you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you were meant to be doing in this moment.”
“I don’t have his words but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love,” Boseman said at the end of her speech.
Boseman is the first Black acting posthumous winner in history and the second overall in the category after Peter Finch for Network. He is the fourth Black actor winner of the category following Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland, Denzel Washington in The Hurricane, and Sidney Poitier in Lilies in the Field.
Boseman also makes history as the first acting winner from a film that debuted on a streaming service in this category.
The Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom star beat out Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), and Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian).
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted the awards show coast to coast (Poehler in Los Angeles and Fey in New York City). The ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel as well as locations from across the world and aired live on NBC.
The Golden Globe Awards ceremony is produced by Dick Clark Productions, a division of MRC, which is a co-owner of The Hollywood Reporter through a joint venture with Penske Media titled P-MRC.