Viola Davis Becomes First Black Actress to Earn 3 Oscar Nominations

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Viola Davis has already made Oscars history, and the awards show hasn't even aired yet.

The 51-year-old actress received a nomination for her supporting role in Fences on Tuesday, making her the first black woman to be nominated three times for an Oscar. Davis was first recognized in 2009 for her supporting work in Doubt, and again in 2012 for her leading role in The Help.

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"Thank you to the Academy for recognizing this extraordinary, important film and my work in it," Davis tweeted excitedly after the nominees were announced. "Thank you Denzel for being at the helm!"

Denzel Washington was also nominated for his leading role in Fences, making this his seventh Oscar nod. In 1990, the 62-year-old actor won in the Best Supporting Actor category for Glory, and in 2002, he picked up a Best Actor statuette for his performance in Training Day.

"Thank you to the Academy for this wonderful recognition and for honoring August Wilson’s brilliant words," Washington said in a statement, praising the late writer for his play-turned-movie. "I am just lucky to have been entrusted with this project and to have the chance to work with the amazing Viola Davis and the rest of my talented cast and crew."

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Davis isn't the only one making history at this year's Oscars. For the first time in the awards show's history, a black actor is nominated in every acting category -- Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. This is after the Academy Awards failed to nominate a single black actor in any of the four acting categories for the past two years.

This is shaping up to be a big awards season for Davis, as she's already won a Golden Globe and Critics' Choice award for her Fences role.

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The acclaimed actress told ET earlier this month that she's always been someone who "dreams big."

"Dreaming is like going to the gym for me. It's what I did every day," Davis shared. "Every day I tackled something. Every day, even when I had obstacles in front of me, even if it was something I could do that made me just a step closer to my dreams, I did it. It's like exercising a muscle."

The 89th Academy Awards airs Sunday, Feb. 26, on ABC in Hollywood, California.

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