Completing her awards season clean sweep — which included Best Actress wins at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards — the Malaysia-born actress became the first Asian woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress on Sunday night for her role as Evelyn Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once. Yeoh beat out peers Cate Blanchett, Ana de Armas, Michelle Williams, and Andrea Riseborough to take home the trophy.
"For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibility," the 60-year-old said in her acceptance speech. "This is proof that dreams dream big and dreams do come true. And ladies — don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re past your prime."
Yeoh is the first non-white actress to win Best Actress at the Oscars in over two decades, a fact that was highlighted when she was presented the award by Halle Berry — who likewise made history when she became the first Black woman who won the award in 2002. Now, Berry and Yeoh are the only two non-white women to take home trophies in this category in the nearly 100-year history of the Academy Awards.
Yeoh is not alone in making history for her work in Everything Everywhere All at Once. Indeed, the film is the most-nominated film this year, with 11 nods across categories like Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director. Prior actually winning the Oscar, Yeoh had made history just by being nominated. And last month her co-star Ke Huy Quan became the first-ever Asian male actor to win a SAG Award.
"I have to dedicate this to my mom, and all the moms in the world," Yeoh said, closing her speech on a note close to home. "She's 84, and I'm taking this home to her. She's watching right now in Malaysia, [Kuala Lumpur], with my family and friends. I love you guys. I'm bringing this home to you."
See how the internet reacted to Yeoh's historic win, below.
Photo via Mike Coppola / Getty Images
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