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Angela Bassett to receive long-awaited Oscar after unexpected move from the Academy that sparks debate

The 9-1-1 star has been previously nominated for her roles on What's Love Got to Do with It? and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Angela Bassett attends the 2023 Time100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2023 in New York City
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz ColonOnline News WriterNew York
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Almost 30 years after Angela Bassett was first nominated for an Oscar for her role as Tina Turner in 1993's What's Love Got to Do with It?, she is finally getting her long-awaited, and very much deserved, Oscar.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday that the actress alongside Mel Brooks and Carol Littleton will be receiving an honorary Oscar at this year's Governors Awards.

During the 1994 Academy Awards when the celebrated star was first nominated for Best Actress, Holly Hunter took the award for her role in The Piano. She was nominated again for Best Supporting Actress in 2023 for her role as Marvel's Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, though the award went to Jamie Lee Curtis for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

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In a statement released Monday, Academy President Janet Yang said: "The Academy's Board of Governors is thrilled to honor four trailblazers who have transformed the film industry and inspired generations of filmmakers and movie fans."

She added: "Across her decades-long career, Angela Bassett has continued to deliver transcendent performances that set new standards in acting."

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She noted that the honorary award is meant to "honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or outstanding service to the Academy."

One Sheet movie poster advertises 'What's Love Got to Do With it' (Touchstone Pictures), starring Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett as Ike and Tina Turner, 1993© Getty
Angela was first nominated for an Oscar in 1994

The three Oscars will be presented at the 14th annual Governors Awards on Saturday, November 18, 2023 in Los Angeles, during which Sundance Institute's Michelle Satter will also be honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

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As soon as news of Angela's incoming honorary Oscar win was announced, her fans were quick to celebrate her on social media, though many had mixed feelings about the decision.

Courtney B Vance and Angela Bassett attend the 66th Annual Academy Awards, held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, 21st March 1994© Getty
The actress at the 1994 Oscars

"She should have won for Black Panther!" one fan suggested, as others added: "Just give her a real one," and: "Give that lady all of the Oscars!" as well as: "Angela Bassett should have been an Oscar winner by now."

Angela Bassett during 51st Annual Golden Globe Awards at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States© Getty
The star won the Best Actress Golden Globe for her role as Tina

Angela has previously opened up about feeling she deserved an Oscar for her role as the late 'Proud Mary' singer. During a 2018 appearance on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live, after the late night host read a comment from a fan maintaining they thought Angela deserved the award, she replied: "Yeah, me too."

Angela Bassett attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California© Getty
Angela at the 2023 Oscars

However, earlier this year speaking with Gayle King on CBS Mornings ahead of the 2023 Oscars, she explained why she didn't feel "robbed" after her first nomination.

"Of course, in the moment you're hoping and praying and wishing [you'll win]," she confessed.

Angela Bassett, who played Tina in 'What's Love Got to Do With It,' helped induct Tina Turner into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in October 2021.© Getty
The actress inducting Tina into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in October 2021

She then added: "But I never... I don't walk away thinking 'I've been robbed,'" and noted: "That's too negative of an emotion to carry with me for the rest of my life."

Angela maintained: "I choose to believe there was a reason why it didn't happen."

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