Best Actress Winner Michelle Yeoh Makes History With Dazzling Speech

Michelle Yeoh won the award for Best Actress at the Oscars, becoming only the second woman of color to win the trophy in the Academy Awards’ near 100-year history.

The actress won for her performance as the complicated mother Evelyn Wang in Everything Everywhere All At Once. The Daniels’ action film, produced by A24, won a hefty number of awards tonight—from Best Supporting Actor and Actress to Best Director and Editing.

“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” Yeoh said, while accepting her award. “This is proof to dream big and that dreams do come true. Ladies, don’t let anyone ever tell you you are past your prime. Never give up!”

With her win, Yeoh has also become the first Asian actress to take home Best Actress. It was fitting that the first-ever woman of color to earn Best Actress, Halle Berry, who won for Monster’s Ball in 2001, announced Yeoh’s win. Berry and last year’s Best Actress winner Jessica Chastain presented both acting categories this year, handing Yeoh her history-making trophy.

“I wouldn’t be standing here tonight without The Daniels, without A24, without my amazing cast and crew, without everyone who was involved with Everything Everywhere All At Once,” Yeoh continued.

Yeoh went on to reference both her family and the film, itself about family bonds and acceptance, in her touching speech.

“I have to dedicate this to my mom, all the moms in the world, because they are really the superheroes. Without them, none of us would be here tonight,” Yeoh said. “She’s 84 and I’m taking this home to her.”

Fans of Everything Everywhere All At Once reveled in Yeoh’s win, celebrating her and her inspiring speech all over social media.

This year’s Best Actress race was particularly tight, with Yeoh going up against Tár nominee Cate Blanchett, who already has two Oscars to her name. The pair have split the wins this awards season, with wins going to Yeoh at the SAG Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards, whereas Blanchett took the title at the BAFTAs and Critics Choice Awards.

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