Viola Davis is officially "Academy Award Winner Viola Davis."
After a history-making three Oscar nominations -- Davis is the first black woman to be nominated three times by the Academy -- she finally took home the statuette for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fences. It is her first win.
"There's one place where all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. And that's the graveyard," Davis began, after kissing her husband and Meryl Streep. "People ask me all the time, 'What kind of stories do you want to tell?' And I say, exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories. The stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost."
"I became an artist -- and thank God I did -- because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life. So, here's to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people," Davis continued of Fences' late playwright. "Oh captain, my captain, Denzel Washington. Thank you for putting two entities in the driving seat, August and God. And they served you well."
"To Dan and May Allen Davis, who are the center of my universe, who taught me how to hold an award, how to lose. My parents. I'm so thankful God chose you to bring me into this world," she said to a tearful audience, including her husband. "And to my husband and my daughter, my heart, Genesis. You teach me every day how to live, how to love. I am so glad that you are the foundation of my life."
The 51-year-old actress was first Oscar nominated for Doubt in 2008, followed by a Best Actress nod for The Help in 2011. Davis wasn't the only history maker, as earlier in the show, Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight, making him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.