With the recently finished 89th Academy Awards, many can look back and discern if any of the many award winners in that and other awards ceremonies past have achieved some special milestone of a certain combination of awards. One of these super-achievements is the so-called “Triple Crown” of acting, wherein an actor wins at least one relevant accolade from the “Holy Trinity” of American acting awards: the Oscars (film), the Emmys (television) and the Tony awards (Broadway). Not a lot of actors are that versatile in their abilities but the few who did and do have what it takes are immortalized into something of an elite honor roll.

Last Sunday February 26, American actress Viola Davis joined that list of triple-crown winners as its twenty-third member.

Eight nominations, four awards

Viola Davis, born in 1965, began her career in acting on the off-Broadway stage in 1992, then got her Screen Actors Guild card from appearing as a minor character in the 1996 film adaptation of a play, “The Substance of Fire”. Flitting as work demanded from the theatre, the big screen and the boob tube, her earliest nomination from a triple-crown award-giving body was for a stage role also in 1996. But it was not until 2001 when she got a Tony for ‘Best Featured Actress in a Play’ (similar to ‘best supporting’) for a role in “King Hedley”. After that she went almost a decade with only major nominations.

Then in 2010 she got another Tony for ‘Best Actress in a Play’, this time for “Fences”, a play that will figure for her later on.

Davis then received her first Emmy – going two out of three for the crown – in 2015 for her lead role as murdering law professor Annalise Keating in ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder”. By then she was a highly prominent actress across the three mediums, which ultimately culminated Sunday night when she won a ‘Best Supporting Actress’ Oscar for the film adaptation “Fences”, her second Tony win.

Having won half of her eight total triple-crown nominations (3 Oscar, 3 Tony, 2 Emmy), Viola Davis also had the honor of being the first African-American to gain the Triple Crown distinction.

In illustrious company

With her becoming number 23 in the winners of the Triple Crown Of Acting, Davis finds herself a peer among some of the best actors and actresses in any medium, since the feat was first done in 1953 by Helen Hayes and Thomas Mitchell.

Other notables who are still around today include Dame Maggie Smith (“Harry Potter”), Al Pacino (“Godfather”), Christopher Plummer (“Sound of Music”) and Helen Mirren (“Excalibur”). And having won in the Oscars and other ought be enough now for her, as trying to add a Grammy too (the “EGOT” feat) could be overreaching already.