Here’s a look at the black actors, actresses and singers who have scored big on the movie-award season’s first major stop.
Goldberg is the only African American—male or female—to have won the EGOT, the slate of four major American entertainment awards: the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. She is currently the only African-American Golden Globe winner in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama category. She won in 1986 for The Color Purple. In 1991 she won for her performance as a sassy fortune-teller who could talk to the dead in Ghost.
Every black actor who aspires to greatness chases Poitier. Denzel Washington said as much when he accepted his Oscar in 2001 for Training Day: “40 years I’ve been chasing Sidney.” Poitier was both the first African-American Golden Globe winner and nominee, winning in 1964 for Lilies of the Field.
Hayes won in 1972 for Best Original Score for his work in the film Shaft.
Merkerson won in 2006 for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for Lackawanna Blues.
In 1984 Cara won for Best Original Song for “Flashdance … What a Feeling,” from the movie Flashdance.
Berry won in 2000 for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.
“Foxx so accurately reflects my own images and memories of [Ray] Charles that I abandoned thoughts of how much ‘like’ Charles he was and just accepted him as Charles, and got on with the story,” film critic Roger Ebert wrote of Foxx’s award-winning portrayal of Ray Charles in the biopic Ray. Foxx won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy in 2005.
What’s Love Got to Do With It is one of the first major films to show audiences that Bassett was an acting force to be reckoned with. She endured intense workouts to emulate Tina Turner’s toned physique. She got a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy in 1994 for her hard work.
Gossett won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award in 1983 for his role as a Navy drill instructor in An Officer and a Gentleman. He also won a Golden Globe in 1992 for The Josephine Baker Story.
Wonder won in 1985 for Best Original Song for “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” from the film The Woman in Red.
In one of his more memorable performances, comedy icon Murphy won a Golden Globe in 2007 for his role as Jimmy “Thunder” Early in Dreamgirls.
Spike Lee was not a happy camper about how successful Driving Ms. Daisy was in the 1990 award season; the Freeman flick beat his marquee film Do the Right Thing at nearly every turn. Freeman took home the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy.
Dreamgirls was Hudson’s debut screen performance. She beat out acting veterans like Cate Blanchett and Emily Blunt in the slate of best supporting actress categories during the 2006-2007 award season, picking up awards at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.
Spencer won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture in 2012 for her role as an audacious maid in The Help.
Richie won in 1986 for Best Original Song for “Say You, Say Me,” from the film White Nights.
Prince won in 2007 for Best Original Song for “The Song of the Heart,” from the film Happy Feet.
Fisher won in 1973 for Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama for her role in Mannix.
Taylor won in 1993 for Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama for her role in I’ll Fly Away.
Wilson won in 1971 for Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy for his comedy-sketch series The Flip Wilson Show.
Foxx won in 1974 for Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy for his role in Sanford and Son.
Cosby won in 1985 for Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy for The Cosby Show.
Cheadle won in 2013 for Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy for House of Lies. He also won in 1999 for The Rat Pack.
There were reports that Mo’Nique’s refusal to kiss ass while on the press tour to promote Precious during the 2009-2010 award season would cost her a few wins. That wasn’t the case. She emerged triumphant, winning a Golden Globe in 2010.
During the making of The Last King of Scotland, Whitaker described how he had a difficult time off set shedding his character, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. He would call home and speak to his wife in an African accent. In addition to picking up a Golden Globe in 2007, Whitaker received an Academy Award for this performance.
Allen won in 1984 for Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy for Fame.
Rhames won in 1998 for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for Don King: Only in America.
Elba won in 2012 for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for playing a brilliant—and troubled—detective in Luther.
Woodard won in 1998 for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for Miss Evers’ Boys.
Queen Latifah won in 2008 for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for Life Support.
In The Hurricane, a group of fans tried their darnedest to exonerate Rubin “Hurricane” Carter after his guilty conviction and sentencing. Washington’s portrayal of the middleweight boxer earned him a Golden Globe in the Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama category in 2000. He won a Golden Globe for best supporting actor 10 years earlier for Glory.
Wright won in 2004 for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for Angels in America.