Will Smith has added a fourth NAACP Image Award to his very large award collection! The King Richard star was recognized as this year’s Outstanding Actor In A Motion Picture at the 53rd Annual NAACP Image Awards.
Smith, 53, portrayed Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams. The film depicts how Richard developed his daughters’ talents and abilities, taking them from humble beginnings in Compton to eventually transforming them into tennis icons.
Smith, who appeared via satellite during the ceremony, reflected in his acceptance speech about what an honor it was to portray this real-life character.
“This is one of the greatest honors of my entire career,” Smith said during his speech. “Thank you to the NAACP, and my heart and love to the Williams Family.
Elsewhere, Will Smith, whose varied career accomplishments include landing two No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning four Grammy Awards, won his first SAG Award on Sunday (Feb. 27). The 28th annual SAG Awards were held at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., and were broadcast on TNT and TBS.
Smith won outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role for King Richard, in which he plays Richard Williams, father and coach of future tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams. This is the second year in a row that a Black actor has won the SAG Award in this category.
The late Chadwick Boseman won last year for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. This is the first time in SAG Awards history that Black actors have taken this award in back-to-back years. Smith is seen as the front-runner to win the Academy Award on March 27.
His performance in King Richard was praised by the Williams sisters as they commemorated the film’s release back in November 2021. Smith is also nominated for an Academy Award later this month for this role. He was previously nominated in 2002 for “Ali” in 2002 and in 2007 for his role in “The Pursuit of Happyness.”