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Samuel L. Jackson, despite being a household name and onscreen for most of his life, had never won an Oscar up until last weekend. In a non-televised event, Denzel Washington proudly presented Jackson with an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement at the Governors Awards.
Jackson has appeared in more than 150 films throughout his lifetime. Django Unchained, Jurassic Park, Pulp Fiction, Star Wars, Deep Blue Sea, and Die Hard with a Vengeance, to name a short but impactful few.
Upon accepting the honorary award, Jackson touched on his seemingly lifelong friend Washington, saying, “We’ve come a long way and done a lot of things.”
Samuel L. Jackson is the G.O.A.T for many.
With characters and worlds that placed Jackson in roles underwater, on Earth, and in outer space, he’s proven over the course of his career there is no role in the universe he cannot play. Though his first Academy Award, Denzel even pointed out the irony due to Jackson’s greatest total box office gross of all time, over $27 billion worldwide.
Samuel L. Jackson went on to reflect on his storied career while acknowledging his early lesser-known roles, including Gang Member Number Two, Bum, Hold-Up Man, and Black Guy. Jackson has lived through Hollywood’s best and worst representations of Blacks on screen and participated in the development and furtherance of Black excellence across generations with grace and authenticity.
Jackson credits his family and fans.
“When I got the opportunity, I tried to represent this business the best I do now,” he said after thanking his wife of 42 years, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and their daughter Zoe, calling them “his biggest critics and biggest fans.”
“Thanks to every person who has ever bought a ticket to any movie I was in. It’s truly been an honor and a pleasure to entertain you,” Samuel L. Jackson concluded in his emotional speech.