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Michelle Yeoh becomes first Southeast Asian performer to win Best Actress Oscar

Michelle Yeoh becomes first Southeast Asian performer to win Best Actress Oscar
Michelle Yeoh / Steve Granitz / Contributor / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Michelle Yeoh made history by becoming the first person of Southeast Asian descent to win the Best Actress Oscar at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

Yeoh won the award for her role as laundromat manager Evelyn Wang in the absurdist comedy Everything Everywhere All At Once.

During her acceptance speech, Yeoh dedicated the award to "all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight" and said, "This is the beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof that, dream big, and dreams do come true."

The 60-year-old actress also addressed ageism in Hollywood by adding, "Ladies, don't let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime," to big cheers from the audience.

Yeoh also dedicated her award to her 84-year-old mother, who was watching from home in Malaysia, as well as "all the mums in the world because they are really the superheroes and without them, none of us would be here tonight".

After thanking her directors, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and her family, Yeoh concluded her speech by saying, "Thank you to the Academy, this is history in the making!"

The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star emerged victorious over contenders Cate Blanchett (Tár), Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie), Ana de Armas (Blonde) and Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans).

In addition to her Oscar, Yeoh also won Best Actress in a Film (Comedy or Musical) at the Golden Globes and Best Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards this awards season.

The 2023 Academy Awards took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

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