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8 Things To Know About Cynthia Erivo, Only Black Actor Nominated In Acting Categories For 2020 Oscars

Cynthia Erivo

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 05: Cynthia Erivo attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

33-year-old Cynthia Erivo who is the star of “Harriet” is the only Black actor nominated in the acting categories for the 2020 Oscars.

The double nominee at the 2020 Oscars recently praised Joaquin Phoenix for his acceptance speech at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards earlier this week, in which he criticized the lack of diversity among nominees at the ceremony.


In recognition of her talent on the big screen, the stage and on TV, we have listed some facts that you should know about the first time Oscar nominee.

  • Cynthia is not just a movie star, she’s also a renowned stage actor and is making waves on TV right now.
  • She rose to fame for her role in Celie in the Broadway production of The Color Purple on Broadway alongside Jennifer Hudson.
  • Her performance earned her the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She also shared the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album with her castmates.
  • In addition to The Color Purple on Broadway, Cynthia starred in the West End productions of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical.
  • She is a double nominee at the 2020 Oscars. The actress is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her performance as Harriet Tubman in Harriet. She received a second Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for “Stand Up,” a song Cynthia co-wrote and performed for the film.
  • Should Cynthia win just one of these awards, she will EGOT. This means she will have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.
  • Cynthia is currently starring as Holly Gibney in the HBO series The Outsiders. She can soon be seen playing Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin in the National Geographic anthology series Genius: Aretha.
  • She previously starred in Widows alongside Viola Davis and Bad Times at the El Royale, with Chris Hemsworth and Dakota Johnson. Harriet is only Cynthia’s third feature film.
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