Domingo Makes History with ‘Rustin’

Actor, Writer, and Director Colman Domingo made history this year with his Best Actor award Oscar nomination.

“For his role in ‘Rustin,’ Domingo became only the second openly gay man to earn a nomination for playing a gay character,” the New York Times writes. The last openly gay actor to be nominated was Ian McKellen, who was nominated for his performance in “Gods and Monsters” in 1999.

And Domingo’s Oscar nomination also marks only the second time that more than one black actor – who wasn’t Denzel Washington or Will Smith – has been nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars, according to Variety. The first time was in 2004, when Actors Jamie Foxx and Don Cheadle were both nominated.

But Domingo is no overnight success. He’s been a fan favorite for his roles on stage and screen – including playing the role of zombie apocalypse survivor Victor AMC’s “Fear of the Walking Dead.”

From a Primetime Emmy Award to two Tony Award nominations to  an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award, Domingo has received various accolades over the years. But there’s something special about making Oscar history.

“We’re in the middle of the Doming-sance,” Host Stephen Colbert recently told Domingo on his late night show.

“I like that!” the Oscar-nominated star replied and added: “I’m having a moment where, suddenly, … a big wave coming back to me … all that I’ve poured in for years,” Domingo recently told Host Stephen Colbert during an interview.

Domingo Makes History with History

His transformation for his portrayal of civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in the Netflix film “Rustin” (2023) is creating buzz in Hollywood and beyond.

“I didn’t discover Rusin until maybe my Junior year at college, at Temple University. I joined the African American student union. And, I think, in a conversation, his name came up,” Domingo explains.

Rustin is the civil rights leader who organized the famous 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Yet Rustin, who is responsible for organizing the march, which brought over 100,000 peaceful protestors to the nation’s capital, was not a household name. He’s been long overlooked.

“I think he was marginalized in history books because I think he wasn’t the face of the movement,” Domingo added.

Audiences worldwide now know Rustin’s key role in the country’s civil rights movement thanks to the award-winning performance by the passionate Afro-Latino actor.

“I worked hard to make sure that I was just trying to get the spirit of this guy,”


Who is Colman Domingo?

Domingo told Out magazine that he’s “pretty ordinary.”

“Never mind the Emmy he won in 2022 for a deeply compassionate role opposite Zendaya in Max’s Euphoria, or the Tony nomination he received in 2010 for his supporting performance in the historical musical The Scottsboro Boys,” Out writes. 

Born on November 28, 1969, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Domingo’s family is from Guatemala and the modern day Central American country of Belize.

“ … my dad is formerly British Honduras, which is now Belize,” Domingo explains to LMROnline.  “So that’s my whole father’s side of the family. They are all Central Americans, that’s the Latin blood right there.”

He attended the same high school as Actor Will Smith, and went on to earn a degree in journalism from Temple University.

Domingo’s early Broadway roles include the 2005 play “Well” and the 2008 musical “Passing Strange.” He gained acclaim for his role as Mr. Bones in the Broadway musical “The Scottsboro Boys” (2011), for which he received a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical nomination. 

Domingo’s film appearances include supporting roles in “Lincoln” (2012), “Selma” (2014), “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018), and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020). And he received an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male nomination for his role as a ruthless pimp in Janicza Bravo’s “Zola” (2021).


In 2018, the actor branched out and wrote the book for the Broadway musical “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.”

Behind the scenes, Domingo is married to Raúl Domingo, a hairstylist and a makeup artist, since 2014. And they live in Los Angeles with their dog named Nena.

The Oscars are set to air live on March 10, on ABC, where Domingo will hopefully make award show history. 

Pictured here: Colman Domingo speaks at a Juneteenth concert on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, June 13, 2023. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)

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By Sofia Jones

When Sofia Jones is not interviewing Latinx stars for her iHeartRadio podcast, she can be found fostering (and cuddling with) cute small dogs for a South Florida animal rescue nonprofit.

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