Will Smith wins best actor for ‘King Richard’

94th Academy Awards - Red Carpet
Posted at 11:23 PM, Mar 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-27 23:23:50-04

The Fresh Prince became a king and finally won his first Oscar.

Will Smith took home his first Academy Award on Sunday night for playing Richard Williams — father and tennis mentor to Venus and Serena Williams — in “King Richard.”

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Smith spoke shortly after an onstage confrontation with comedian Chris Rock, who made a crack at his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith noted, in tears, that Richard Williams was also fiercely protective of his family. “I want to be a vessel for love,” he said.

He also apologized to the academy and his fellow nominees. “This is a beautiful moment,” he said. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father. But love will make you do crazy things.”

The win comes for his third nomination. He was previously nominated for “Ali” in 2002 and “The Pursuit of Happyness” in 2007.

Smith beat out fellow nominees Javier Bardem, Andrew Garfield, Benedict Cumberbatch and Denzel Washington, who trumped Smith for the 2002 best actor Oscar with his win for “Training Day.”