Michelle Yeoh wins Best Actress, making Oscar history

Michelle Yeoh has won the Oscar for Best Actress while making history.

The Malaysian-born actress became the first Asian woman to win the Best Actress Oscar on Sunday for her multifaceted performance in the multiverse Everything Everywhere All at Once.

“Thank you for all the little boys and girls who look like me tonight,” she said. “This is proof that dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anyone tell you you’re past your prime.”

Yeoh’s victory comes nearly 90 years after Luise Rainer, a white actress, won the same category for donning “Yellowface” to play a Chinese villager on “The Good Earth.”

As a nominee, Yeoh was the first in the category to identify as Asian. Merle Oberon, who was nominated for The Dark Angel in 1935 but didn’t win, hid her South Asian origins according to her birth certificate.

Yeoh beat Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (“Tár”) as well as Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”), Ana de Armas (“Blonde”) and Andrea Riseborough (“To Leslie”).

The category also received attention for those who weren’t nominated: In a year of strong performances by black women like Viola Davis (“The Woman King”) and Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”), they were left out. Meanwhile, some criticized the grassroots campaigning for Riseborough by A-listers on social media.

Yeoh appeared to be a locksmith, having seemingly won every award everywhere, including the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild Award, for her nuanced portrayal of Evelyn, a Chinese immigrant mother, laundromat operator preparing for a tax audit.


Yeoh started out in the world of kung fu cinema but rose to fame in 1992 as Jackie Chan’s co-star in ‘Supercop.’ American audiences got to know her even better over the next decade with hits like “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

When she first read the script for Everything Everywhere, Yeoh thought it was “an independent movie about steroids.” Ultimately, she was convinced of the possibility of giving a voice to immigrant mothers and grandmothers who go unnoticed. The Multiverse film was also a showcase for a variety of genres – drama, comedy, sci-fi, and fantasy.

At 60, Yeoh has been in high demand since her prominent role as the controlling matriarch on Crazy Rich Asians. From there, she’s done everything from a Star Trek spinoff to Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Yeoh will be starring in the Disney+ series American Born Chinese later this year. She’s also gearing up to reunite with Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu for the film adaptation of the musical Wicked.


For more information on this year’s Academy Awards, please visit:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/michelle-yeoh-ap-los-angeles-oscar-luise-rainer-b2299431.html Michelle Yeoh wins Best Actress, making Oscar history


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