NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

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NAACP Image Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture
Viola Davis by Gage Skidmore.jpg
The 2022 recipient: Viola Davis
Awarded forOutstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture
LocationBaltimore, Maryland
Presented byNAACP
First awardedEstelle Evans for The Learning Tree (1969)
Currently held byViola Davis for The Woman King (2022)

This article lists the winners and nominees for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. The award has also been called Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture. Out of 12 films which featured African-Americans in leading roles in 1980, Cicely Tyson was the only female in that category. She played opposite Richard Pryor in Bustin' Loose. Because of this, she and officials at the annual NAACP Image Awards program decided that she should not accept the award.

Winners and nominees[edit]

For each year in the tables below, the winner is listed first and highlighted in bold.


Year Actress Film Ref
1969 Estelle Evans The Learning Tree [citation needed]


Year Actress Film Ref
1970 Barbara McNair If He Hollers Let Him Go [citation needed]
1971 Jane Fonda Klute [1]
Virginia Capers Big Jake
Susan Clark Skin Game
Rosalind Cash The Omega Man
Stephanie Faulkner The Bus Is Coming
Diana Sands Doctors' Wives
1972 Diana Ross Lady Sings The Blues [citation needed]
1974 Ester Anderson A Warm December [2]
Yvonne Elliman Jesus Christ Superstar
Paula Kelly The Spook Who Sat by the Door
Janet MacLachlan Maurie
Paulene Myers Maurie
1975 Diahann Carroll Claudine [3]
Rosalind Cash Uptown Saturday Night
Vonetta McGee Thomasine & Bushrod
Madge Sinclair Conrack
Clarice Taylor Five on the Black Hand Side
1976 Denise Nicholas Let's Do It Again [citation needed]
1977 Cicely Tyson The River Niger [citation needed]
1978 Cicely Tyson A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich [citation needed]
1979 Mavis Washington Fastbreak [citation needed]


Year Actress Film Ref
1980 Irene Cara Fame [citation needed]
1982 Jayne Kennedy Body and Soul [citation needed]
Wilhelmenia Fernandez Diva
Rosalind Cash Wrong is Right
1983 Jennifer Beals Flashdance [citation needed]
Pam Grier Tough Enough
Diahnne Abbott The King of Comedy
1984 Alfre Woodard Cross Creek [citation needed]
1985 Tina Turner Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome [citation needed]
1986 Whoopi Goldberg The Color Purple [citation needed]
1987 Traci Wolfe Lethal Weapon
Nichelle Nichols Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Helen Martin Hollywood Shuffle
Kelly Jo Minter Summer School
Sandra Reaves-Phillips 'Round Midnight
1988 Whoopi Goldberg Fatal Beauty [4][5]
Pam Grier Above the Law
C.C.H. Pounder Bagdad Café
Beverly Todd Moving
1989 Ruby Dee Do the Right Thing [6][7]
Whoopi Goldberg Clara's Heart
Sheryl Lee Ralph The Mighty Quinn
Beverly Todd Lean on Me


Year Actress Film Ref
1992 Whoopi Goldberg The Long Walk Home [8]
Tyra Ferrell Boyz n the Hood
Ruby Dee Jungle Fever
Lonette McKee
Mary Alice To Sleep with Anger
Robin Givens A Rage in Harlem
1993 Whoopi Goldberg Sister Act [9]
Halle Berry Boomerang
Robin Givens
Alfre Woodard Grand Canyon
Rosie Perez White Men Can't Jump
1994 Angela Bassett What's Love Got to Do with It [10]
Whitney Houston The Bodyguard
Janet Jackson Poetic Justice
Leleti Khumalo Sarafina!
Alfre Woodard Bopha!
1996 Angela Bassett Waiting to Exhale [11]
Jennifer Beals Devil in a Blue Dress
Halle Berry Losing Isaiah
Whoopi Goldberg Boys on the Side
Whitney Houston Waiting to Exhale
1997 Whitney Houston The Preacher's Wife [12]
Whoopi Goldberg Ghosts of Mississippi
Queen Latifah Set It Off
Jada Pinkett Smith
Phylicia Rashad Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored
1998 Vanessa Williams Soul Food [citation needed]
Vivica A. Fox Soul Food
Pam Grier Jackie Brown
Nia Long Love Jones
Lynn Whitfield Eve's Bayou
1999 Angela Bassett How Stella Got Her Groove Back [13]
Halle Berry Bulworth
Regina King Enemy of the State
Oprah Winfrey Beloved
Alfre Woodard Down in the Delta


Year Actress Film Ref
2000 Nia Long The Best Man [citation needed]
Monica Calhoun The Best Man
Rosario Dawson Light It Up
Lisa Gay Hamilton True Crime
Debbi Morgan The Hurricane
2001 Sanaa Lathan Love and Basketball [citation needed]
Angela Bassett Boesman and Lena
Nia Long Big Momma's House
Jada Pinkett Smith Bamboozled
Vanessa Williams Shaft
2002 Halle Berry Swordfish [citation needed]
Vivica A. Fox Two Can Play That Game
Whoopi Goldberg Kingdom Come
Regina King Down to Earth
Alfre Woodard K-PAX
2003 Angela Bassett Sunshine State [citation needed]
Vivica A. Fox Juwanna Mann
Sanaa Lathan Brown Sugar
Jennifer Lopez Maid in Manhattan
Thandie Newton The Truth About Charlie
2004 Queen Latifah Bringing Down the House [14]
Halle Berry Gothika
Beyoncé The Fighting Temptations
Keisha Castle-Hughes Whale Rider
Gabrielle Union Deliver Us from Eva
2005 Kerry Washington Ray [citation needed]
Angela Bassett Mr. 3000
Kimberly Elise Woman Thou Art Loosed
Irma P. Hall The Ladykillers
Gabrielle Union Breakin' All the Rules
2006 Kimberly Elise Diary of a Mad Black Woman [citation needed]
Rosario Dawson Rent
Queen Latifah Beauty Shop
Zoe Saldana Guess Who
Zhang Ziyi Memoirs of a Geisha
2007 Keke Palmer Akeelah and the Bee [citation needed]
Beyoncé Dreamgirls
Penélope Cruz Volver
Sanaa Lathan Something New
Queen Latifah Last Holiday
2008 Jurnee Smollett The Great Debaters [citation needed]
Halle Berry Things We Lost in the Fire
Taraji P. Henson Talk to Me
Angelina Jolie A Mighty Heart
Jill Scott Why Did I Get Married?
2009 Rosario Dawson Seven Pounds [citation needed]
Angela Bassett Meet the Browns
Dakota Fanning The Secret Life of Bees
Queen Latifah
Alfre Woodard The Family That Preys


Year Actress Film Ref
2010 Gabourey Sidibe Precious [citation needed]
Sandra Bullock The Blind Side
Taraji P. Henson I Can Do Bad All By Myself
Sophie Okonedo Skin
Anika Noni Rose The Princess and the Frog
2011 Halle Berry Frankie & Alice [citation needed]
Janet Jackson Why Did I Get Married Too?
Queen Latifah Just Wright
Zoe Saldana The Losers
Kerry Washington Night Catches Us
2012 Viola Davis The Help [citation needed]
Paula Patton Jumping the Broom
Adepero Oduye Pariah
Zoe Saldana Colombiana
Emma Stone The Help
2013 Viola Davis Won't Back Down [15]
Halle Berry Cloud Atlas
Emayatzy Corinealdi Middle of Nowhere
Loretta Devine In the Hive
Quvenzhané Wallis Beasts of the Southern Wild
2014 Angela Bassett Black Nativity [16]
Nicole Beharie 42
Halle Berry The Call
Jennifer Hudson Winnie Mandela
Kerry Washington Peeples
2015 Taraji P. Henson No Good Deed [17]
Viola Davis The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Gugu Mbatha-Raw Belle
Tessa Thompson Dear White People
Quvenzhané Wallis Annie
2016 Sanaa Lathan The Perfect Guy [18]
Viola Davis Lila & Eve
Keke Palmer Brotherly Love
Teyonah Parris Chi-Raq
Zoe Saldana Infinitely Polar Bear
2017 Taraji P. Henson Hidden Figures [19]
Angela Bassett London Has Fallen
Madina Nalwanga Queen of Katwe
Ruth Negga Loving
Tika Sumpter Southside with You
2018 Octavia Spencer Gifted [20]
Halle Berry Kidnap
Danai Gurira All Eyez on Me
Natalie Paul Crown Heights
Amandla Stenberg Everything, Everything
2019 Amandla Stenberg The Hate U Give
Viola Davis Widows
Sanaa Lathan Nappily Ever After
KiKi Layne If Beale Street Could Talk
Constance Wu Crazy Rich Asians


Year Actress Film Ref
2020 Lupita Nyong'o Us
Cynthia Erivo Harriet
Naomie Harris Black and Blue
Jodie Turner-Smith Queen & Slim
Alfre Woodard Clemency
2021 Viola Davis Ma Rainey's Black Bottom [21]
Issa Rae The Photograph
Janelle Monáe Antebellum
Madalen Mills Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Tracee Ellis Ross The High Note
2022 Jennifer Hudson Respect [22]
Andra Day The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Halle Berry Bruised
Tessa Thompson Passing
Zendaya Malcolm & Marie
2023 Viola Davis The Woman King [23]
Danielle Deadwyler Till
Regina Hall Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.
Keke Palmer Alice
Letitia Wright Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Multiple wins and nominations[edit]




  1. ^ "1971 Image Award Winners". IMDb. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  2. ^ "1974 Image Award Winners". IMDb. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  3. ^ "1975 Image Award Winners". IMDb. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  4. ^ Snow, Shaun. "1988 Image Award Nominees". LA Times. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "Nominees for 21st Image Awards Announced". 11 November 1988.
  6. ^ Snow, Shauna (11 November 1988). "Nominees for 21st Image Awards Announced". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  7. ^ "NAACP Image Award Nominees Announced".
  8. ^ "NAACP Image Award Nominees Announced". The Associated Press. October 16, 1991. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  9. ^ "1994 Image Award Winners". IMDb. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  10. ^ "1995 Image Award Winners". IMDb. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  11. ^ Snow, Shauna (22 February 1996). "5 Films Head Nominations for NAACP Image Awards". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  12. ^ "1997 Image Award Winners". IMDb. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  13. ^ "The Crisis". The Crisis Publishing Company, Inc. 1 April 1999. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  14. ^ "2004 Image Award Winners". IMDb. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  15. ^ Couch, Aaron (February 1, 2013). "2013 Image Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  16. ^ Couch, Aaron (February 22, 2014). "2014 Image Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  17. ^ Washington, Arlene (February 6, 2015). "2015 Image Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  18. ^ "2016 Image Winners". Variety. 6 February 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  19. ^ Hipes, Patrick (December 13, 2016). "Ruth Negga, Angela Bassett and Taraji P. Henson nominated". Deadline. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  20. ^ Variety Staff (January 15, 2018). "NAACP Image Awards: The Complete Winners List". Variety. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  21. ^ "2021 NAACP Image Awards: The Complete Winners List". Entertainment Tonight. March 29, 2021.
  22. ^ "NAACP Image Awards 2022 Full Winners List: 'The Harder They Fall,' Jennifer Hudson and Will Smith Take Top Honors". Variety. February 26, 2022. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  23. ^ "Angela Bassett, 'Abbott Elementary' Win Top Honors at 2023 NAACP Image Awards". Variety. February 25, 2023. Retrieved February 26, 2023.