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You know what? I never really factor Hollywood into anything. I'm a black actor, so I cant really control what Hollywood thinks. I gotta go do my thing, and my jokes have got to be funny. Whatever I do has got to be great.
Only now, she talks to me, in my dreams. And I cant wait to go to sleep tonight because we got a lot to talk about. I love you.
And after she whipped me, she would talk to me and tell me why she whipped me. She said I want you to be a southern gentleman. She still talks to me now.
We would go places. And I would wild out. And she would say, Act like youve been somewhere. And then when I would act the fool, she would beat me. She would whup me. And she could get an Oscar for the way she whupped me because she was great at it.
Shes not here tonight. And this is going to be the toughest part. But she was my first acting teacher. She told me to stand up straight. Put your shoulders back. Act like you got some sense.
This is probably going to be the toughest part of this speech. My daughter shares my grandmothers name, Marie. My grandmothers name is Estelle Marie Talley.
I want to talk to you later. Both of you. Because Oprah got allowed me to meet somebody by the name of Sidney Poitier. And, yes, Sidney Poitier said, I saw you once. And I looked in your eyes and there was a connection. And he says, I give to you responsibility. So, Im taking that responsibility tonight. And, thank you, Sidney.
I want to thank my daughter for telling me just before I got up here, If you dont win dad, youre still good. Im just ¦ I see Oprah and I see Halle. I just want to say your names.
Im glad Im with you. I got a chance to meet a whole lot of people, experiencing this. And other people I want to thank, I want to thank my sister. Four feet, eleven inches of nothing but pure love.
I want to thank my managers, Jaime King and Marcus King. Lets live this African American dream. Its beautiful. Im glad Im with you. I aint never leaving you.
I thank you for taking a chance on this film. And thank you for waiting 15 years to get me to do it. I want to thank you. I want to thank Crusader. I want to thank my agents. I want to thank Rick Kurtzman. I want to thank Kim Hodges. I want to thank Steve Smooke.
I got so many people to thank tonight. First I want to start it out with Taylor Hackford. Taylor, you took a chance, man. I mean that love for Ray Charles was deep, down in the earth. Its cracked open. And its spilling. And everybodys drowning in this love.
I guess we got to do it again. Oh, Ah! Yeah, youre ready. Thats for Ray Charles. Give it up for Ray Charles and his beautiful legacy. And thank you, Ray Charles, for living.
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