The 63-year-old is known as one of the greatest actors of our time, and he has been recognized twice by the Academy for two of his performances. His first Oscar came in 1994, for his role as Andrew Beckett — an HIV positive man who is fired from his job and seeks the help of a lawyer [Denzel Washington] — in, Philadelphia. The A-lister beat out other fantastic stars like Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Fishburne, Daniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson. During his speech, the father-of-four noted two very important men in his life.
“I mention their names because they are two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated with, to fall under their inspiration at such a young age,” the star said while accepting his award. “I wish my babies could have the same sort of teacher, the same sort of friends.”
“And there lies my dilemma here tonight. I know that my work in this case is magnified by the fact that the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels,” he continued. “We know their names. They number a thousand for each one of the red ribbons that we wear here tonight. They finally rest in the warm embrace of the gracious creator of us all.”
Tom wouldn’t have to wait long for his second Oscar, as it would come the following year for his fantastic performance as the title character in Forrest Gump. At the time, the Captain Phillips star would become the first actor since Spencer Tracy to win back-to-back Oscars.
“I — man, I feel as though I’m standing on magic legs in a special effects process shot that is too unbelievable to imagine and far too costly to make a reality,” Tom said during his acceptance speech. “But here is my mark, and there is where I’m supposed to look. And believe me, the power and the pleasure and the emotion of this moment is a constant the speed of light. It will never be diminished, nor will my appreciation and the meaning between two simple words that I can only offer you here: Thank you. God bless you in this room and God bless you all around the world.”
Tom might soon have his third Oscar, as he is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood at the 92nd Academy Awards — his first nomination since 2001’s Cast Away.