On Friday evening, two nights before the 94th Academy Awards, Samuel L. Jackson received an honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for this decades long career. But before the legendary actor took to the podium, guests at the 2022 Governor’s Awards felt the euphoric bromance between Jackson and his presenter Denzel Washington.
“Sam and I go back, in theater, to the Negro Ensemble Company, because of a pretty good play, A Solider’s Story,” said Washington from the Ray Dolby Ballroom.
As the A Journal for Jordan director read through Jackson’s on screen achievements, it was the acknowledgment of the actor’s charitable contributions that left an indelible impression.
“Here’s what you don’t know. These are—and there’s a few of them—the organizations that Samuel L. Jackson and his wife LaTanya Jackson give to: Alzheimer’s Association, American Institute for Stuttering, American Red Cross, Artists for a New South Africa, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Black Economic Alliance…” said Washington.
He continued: “The Brain Trust at Cedars-Sinai, Broadway Cares, Equity Fights AIDS, Carousel of Hope, Children’s Defense Fund, Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Hollyrod Foundation for Austin and Parkinson’s Disease, In a Perfect World Foundation, Joseph Lowery Institute for Social Change, Magic Johnson Foundation. Spelman College, Morehouse College, NAACP, Legal Defense Fund, National Action Network , Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the United Negro Fund and the Urban League.”
The two-time Oscar winner then directed the audience, which include Magic and Cookie Johnson, Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo, Alfre Woodard and more Black Hollywood elite, to watch Jackson’s Governor’s Award tribute video.
What happened next was a testament to the dual icon’s 40 year plus friendship as each man embraced each other as only true brothers could.
When Washington handed his dear friend his statue, Jackson said with a wide grin: “As Denzel said, we have come a long away.”
As much as the men’s bond is strong, the newly minted Oscar winner did acknowledge who has truly been by his side, from his blunders to blockbusters: “The dream has been shared with my partner in crime, critic in residence, my rock solid foundation and my best friend: LaTanya,” said Jackson.