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

By Ratziel San Juan Published Mar 13, 2023 11:50 am Updated Mar 13, 2023 1:31 pm

First-time Academy Award nominee Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian to win the Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role, thanks to her performance as Evelyn Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

She's also the first Asian actress to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Actress since Merle Oberon in 1935.

Yeoh’s achievement means Everything Everywhere All at Once swept across the three acting categories it was nominated in, as Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis won in the ceremony’s acting categories for supporting roles.

“Ladies, don't let anybody ever tell you that you are past your prime,” Michelle said in her acceptance speech.

The actress used her airtime to pay tribute to her mother and all moms out there in time for women's month.

"I have to dedicate this to my mom, all the moms in the world, because they are really the superheroes. And without them, none of us will be here tonight," Yeoh said, adding that she will take the trophy home to her mother, who is watching the ceremony from Malaysia.

The other frontrunner for Best Actress, Cate Blanchett, previously won the Critics Choice and BAFTA for Tar.

Michelle won the SAG and Spirit Awards late into the awards season, giving her enough momentum for her Oscar push.

Yeoh has appeared in over 70 films and television series, with her extensive credits including Crazy Rich Asians, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

She is the first Asian artist to receive an honorary degree from the American Film Institute. The Best Actress was also previously named TIME's 2022 Icon of the Year.

The 2023 Oscars took place on Monday, March 13 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. It was livestreamed on Disney+.