American Gangster Oscar History: This is the first Academy Award nomination for the 83-year-old. 2008 Scorecard: She took home the SAG Award for outstanding supporting actress. Before She Hit Oscar: She was an aspiring writer. At age 9, her first poem – called "The Graveyard" – was published in the Amsterdam News. Hitting Close to Home: "In the film, I see some of the very streets I lived on," the Harlem native told the NPR. "This film is where I come from. I don't know who I'd be if I weren't this child from Harlem, this woman from Harlem. It's in me so deep."