Academy Awards Acceptance Speeches | Margaret Herrick Library | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

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Year: 2001 (74th) Academy Awards

Category: Actor in a Leading Role

Film Title: Training Day

Winner: Denzel Washington

Presenter: Julia Roberts

Date & Venue: March 24, 2002; Kodak Theatre

Two birds in one night, huh? Oh, God is good. God is great. God is great. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all. Forty years I've been chasing Sidney [Poitier], they finally give it to me, what'd they do? They give it to him the same night. I'll always be chasing you, Sidney. I'll always be following in your footsteps. There's nothing I would rather do, sir. Nothing I would rather do. God bless you. God bless you.

I want to thank the Academy. You know, when I was in college first starting out as an actor, they asked each one of us what we wanted to do. I said I want to be the best actor in the world. All the students in the classroom looked at me like I was a nut. Life has taught me to just try and be the best that I can be, and I thank the Academy for saying to me that on this given night I was the best that I could be. I want to thank Warner Bros. and Alan Horn and Lorenzo di Bonaventura for supporting this film. And Antoine Fuqua, a brilliant young filmmaker, African-American filmmaker. I don't know where you are, Antoine, love you. Ethan Hawke, my partner in crime. So many people, I can't even remember everybody, lawyers, doctors, agents... My beautiful agent, Ed Limato. We've been together for so many years. Hometown boy from Mount Vernon. My beautiful wife. I love you so much. You put up with me, in spite of myself. And my beautiful children at home. I told you if I lost tonight I would come home and we'd celebrate and if I won tonight I would come home and we'd celebrate. Well, I'm coming home, we're celebrating. God bless you all.

© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]