MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Mount Vernon native Denzel Washington's performance as a former (fictional) Negro Leagues baseball player in "Fences" won him his first ever Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award.
He was given the statuette for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role at the 23rd annual ceremony hosted Sunday, Jan. 29 in Los Angeles.
The show recognizes outstanding performances in film and primetime television in 2016 as chosen by all active SAG members.
The 62-year-old Washington not only stars in "Fences," but he directed the film as well, which is up for an Oscar award for "Best Picture." Washington has also been nominated for an Oscar, making him the only black actor to land eight Oscar nominations.
Mayor Richard Thomas was among those locally to express the hometown pride. “Denzel Washington has made Mount Vernon proud over and over again," said Mayor Richard Thomas.
"His commitment to his craft has made him the most nominated African-American in the history of the Academy Awards. He has broken barriers and inspired young people through his art and charitable works.
"Through all his successes, he has never forgotten where he came from. He has continued to support the Boys and Girls Club of America after his start at the Mount Vernon branch. He has given generously of his time, talent, and resources to his hometown. His grace and humility are examples to us all. The entire City of Mount Vernon celebrates his achievements and we are rooting for him to take home the gold statue at the Academy Awards in a few weeks.”
The 89th annual Academy Awards air Sunday, Feb. 26 on ABC.