Regina King Wins Supporting Actress Oscar For 'If Beale Street Could Talk'

The actress thanked her mother as she accepted the award.

Regina King took home the Oscar for Actress In A Supporting Role at the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday for her performance in “If Beale Street Could Talk.” 

“To be standing here representing one of the greatest artists of all time ― James Baldwin ― is a little surreal,” she said in her acceptance speech. Thanking Baldwin and director Barry Jenkins, she added, “It’s appropriate for me to be standing here because I’m an example of when support and love is poured into someone.”

She teared up as she addressed her mother, Gloria King, who was also her date for the evening.  

“Thank you for teaching me that God is always leaning, always has been leaning in my direction,” she said. 

Based on the 1974 novel by Baldwin, “If Beale Street Could Talk” was a critical hit upon its release in December but was largely overlooked during awards season. 

Regina King wins the Oscar for Actress In A Supporting Role.
Regina King wins the Oscar for Actress In A Supporting Role.

One exception was King’s portrayal of Sharon Rivers, a driven mother determined to free her daughter’s boyfriend from prison. She took home the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for the role in January. 

“Everyone loves her because Regina has played so many wide-ranging, diverse characters in her work,” Jenkins said. “She’s brought this full humanity to all of them.” 

This is King’s first Academy Award nomination and her first win.