Veteran actress Ruby Dee was stunned when she received an Oscar nomination - because she grew up believing African-Americans would never be considered for such awards.
The 83-year-old was shocked last month (22Jan08) when she was named a Best Supporting Actress nominee for her role in American Gangster, having spent her younger years in an industry that failed to recognise the work of its black actors.
She tells the New York Post's gossip column PageSix, "I've never been nominated for an Oscar before. I've never even been to the Oscars before.
"I've been around forever... When I began, black people weren't considered mainstream enough for an Oscar.
"So, in the habit of diminishing expectation, of not being included, for a long time I didn't even feel connected to Academy Awards.
"But somewhere inside my bones I felt, if I didn't die too soon, something spectacular somehow might happen to me."