Viola Davis just officially became the third Black woman in history to have won all four major entertainment awards.
On Sunday night, the actor completed her EGOT after winning a Grammy award for her performance of the audiobook version of her memoir Finding Me. During her acceptance speech, she gave her appreciation for everything she’s been through for bringing her to this place. “I wrote this book to honor the 6-year-old Viola,” Davis said. “To honor her life, her joy, her trauma, everything. And, it has just been such a journey—I just EGOT!” The actor also previously won an Emmy in 2015 for her performance as Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder, an Oscar for her role as housewife Rose Maxson in 2016’s Fences, and two Tony awards for her performances in the Broadway production of Fences and King Hedley III.
Only 18 people have ever achieved the status of EGOT. Davis is the fourth Black person to receive the title, along with Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend and Jennifer Hudson. Other EGOT recipients include Mel Brooks, Audrey Hepburn, Richard Rodgers, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, John Gielgud, Jonathan Tunick, Marvin Hamlisch, Scott Rudin, Mike Nichols, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Robert Lopez, Tim Rice, and Alan Menken.
In a January interview with the Recording Academy about potentially becoming a member of this exclusive club, the actor said that achieving an EGOT would be a “huge accomplishment.” She continued, “I think that everybody wants their life to mean something. I believe in the Cherokee birth blessing, which is, ‘May you live long enough to know why you were born.’ I do believe that you literally wanna blow a hole through this world in whatever way you can.” Davis concluded, “A lot of people don’t know how to do that. A lot of people haven’t found that thing that they’re passionate about, that they can do. Some have. But we all are looking for that, blowing a hole through this earth before we leave it. I think about that in my work a lot. I really found that thing that I love to do. So I always wanna make it meaningful.”