Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian woman to win the Oscar for Best Actress

Michelle Yeoh For the first time in its 95-year history, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role to an Asian woman

Mar 13, 2023 - 20:54
Mar 13, 2023 - 21:00
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Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian woman to win the Oscar for Best Actress
Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian woman to win the Oscar for Best Actress

Michelle Yeoh, Oscar for Best Actress, the first Asian woman

For the first time in its 95-year history, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role to an Asian woman. Michelle Yeoh took home the Oscar for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once, in which she plays Evelyn Wang, the Chinese first-generation immigrant owner of a laundromat around which the film's absurd multiverse revolves.

Yeh received a long-standing ovation as he walked to the stage to accept his award.

Brandishing the Oscar statuette, she said, "To all the little boys and girls who look like me who are watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibility.

And ladies, don't let anyone ever tell you that you're past your prime."

He dedicated his win to his mother, whom he called a "superhero".

Born in Malaysia, Yeh became a star of Hong Kong cinema before coming to global attention in films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Crazy Rich Asians. This was his first Oscar nomination.

Speaking to All Things Considered's Alyssa Chang last April, Yeh said she saw a cultural moment where Asians could finally find a greater voice in Hollywood and society.

"We just have to rock the boat and say, look at us," he said. "Give us a chance - because guess what? We exist in your society. We're part of society and a very, very complex part of this whole community. That's the only way we're going to have more of a chance - if we fight it can't say more, okay?", I'll turn the other cheek.

Prior to tonight's show, Yeh's work on Everything Everywhere All at Once has earned him numerous accolades, including nominations for a Golden Globe, an Independent Spirit Award, several local Film Critics Awards, a SAG Award, and Critics' Choice Award, and a BAFTA Award.

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