Watch Viola Davis’ History-Making Oscar Acceptance Speech (Video)

“O Captain, my Captain, Denzel Washington,” the “Fences” actress salutes her co-star

Last Updated: February 27, 2017 @ 9:16 AM

Viola Davis didn’t just make history Sunday night with her first Oscar win for “Fences,” she also gave an emotional acceptance speech that brought the room to tears.

“There’s one place where all the people with the greatest potential are gathered, and that place is the graveyard,” she began her speech. “People ask me all the time, what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say, exhume those bodies…exhume those stories.

“The stories of the people who dreamed big, and never saw those stories to fruition. People who fell in love, and lost. I became an artist and thank god I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.”

She also thanked playwright August Wilson and of course, co-star and director Denzel Washington.

“O Captain, my Captain, Denzel Washington,” she said, referencing the famous Walt Whitman poem. “Thank you for putting two entities in the driving seat, August and God. And they served you well.”

Before she took to the stage, Davis stopped to embrace Meryl Streep, to whom she lost the Best Actress Oscar in 2012.

The speech was so good that it prompted host Jimmy Kimmel to joke, “Viola Davis was just nominated for an Emmy for that Oscar speech.”