Michelle Yeoh’s First-Ever Oscar Win Rewrites History, and She Delivered an Empowering Speech
Michelle Yeoh was born in 1962, and her first major win was the title of Miss Malaysia World back in 1983 when she was just 20 years old. Soon after, she starred in a commercial with Jackie Chan, where she caught the attention of a film production company in Hong Kong. She started her acting career in action movies, where she excelled at performing her own stunts. At the 95th Academy Awards, she got her first award for Best Leading Actress, and her speech filled the room with emotion.
The film Everything, Everywhere, All at Once dominated the 95th Academy Awards, first by getting nominated 11 times in 10 categories, and second, by bringing home no less than 7 wins. Thanks to the amazing cast behind the work of art, co-stars Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ke Huy Quan all won their first-ever Oscars.
Yeoh shared the nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role with actresses Cate Blanchett for Tár, Ana de Armas for Blonde, Andrea Riseborough for To Leslie, and Michelle Williams for her role in The Fabelmans.
Yeoh’s first-ever Academy Award win goes down in history, as she becomes the first woman of Asian descent to ever win the award for Best Actress. And the cherry on top is she’s also the first Malaysian-born actress to be honored with the impressive title.
Michelle Yeoh Choo Kheng, now 60, often felt overlooked in Hollywood because of her age, and she noticed she would only receive minor roles as opposed to all the male actors. “The guys are still like superheroes in their sixties and seventies, why does a woman not get the opportunity to be that?” the star shared.
The teary-eyed Yeoh’s thank-you speech empowered everyone in the room and those at home, directing their eyes at the silver screen. She shared, “For all the little boys and girls who look like me, watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof that dreams dream big and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up!”
An emotional Michelle Yeoh and Brendan Fraser, both celebrating their Oscar wins
When asked what being the first Asian actress to win the Oscar for Best Actress means to her, Yeoh replied, “It means the world to me. And hey, I hope I am not the last. This is just the beginning.”
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