Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer Lead 2012 Oscar Nominations

The Help costars could continue the tradition of making Hollywood history for Black actors.

Posted: 01/24/2012 08:45 AM EST
Octavia Spencer Viola Davis

This morning, the list for the best and brightest in film for Hollywood was finally announced.  Viola Davis was nominated for Best Actress for her role as the stoic, proud maid Aibileen Clark in the 1960s period drama The Help

Davis’s stiffest competition comes from her friend, two-time Academy Award winner and now 18-time nominee Meryl Streep for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. If Davis wins the Best Actress award, she will become only the second African-American woman in history (after Halle Berry in 2002) to receive that award in the Academy’s 84-year history.

The Help costar Octavia Spencer received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her turn as the spunky and spirited "revenge pie baker" Minnie Jackson. Last year the 39-year-old actress told Anderson Cooper that she beat out A-list actresses Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique and Jennifer Hudson for the breakout screen role. Spencer’s potential win in this category will put her in the ranks of Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg and of course, Mo’Nique and Hudson.

Having two Black actresses nominated in two major categories at this year’s Oscar telecast makes one wonder how fun the upcoming ceremony would be if originally tapped host Eddie Murphy worked the stage. But of course now we’ll never know. With nine-time Academy Award veteran host Billy Crystal once again helming emcee duties, even if we get few fresh surprises we know at least we will be promised laughs. All in all, it should make for a very interesting night.

In addition, Siedah Garrett, who famously wrote "Man in the Mirror" for Michael Jackson, received a nomination for best original song for "Real in Rio" from Rio.

The Help received four nominations, included one for best picture.  Click here for the complete list of nominees

Watch the 84th Academy Awards broadcast on Sunday, February 26 on ABC.

 

 

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(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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