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Michelle Yeoh makes Oscars history

Michelle Yeoh on Sunday made history by becoming the first Asian woman to win an Oscar for best leading actress at the 95th Academy Awards.

She took home the award for her performance as Evelyn Quan Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

The Malaysian-born Yeoh, who became a star in Hong Kong cinema before crossing over into Hollywood films, is also only the second woman of color to take home the trophy for a leading role. The first was Halle Berry for 2001’s Monster’s Ball.

Yeoh first became familiar to many Western moviegoers with roles in hits like the James Bond film Tomorrow never dies and Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. She recently had prominent roles in Crazy Rich Aliens and Marvel Studios’ Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

“Ladies don’t let anyone tell you you are past your prime,” Yeoh, 60, said during her acceptance speech.

As she left the stage, she added: “Thank you to the Academy—this is history in the making!”

Everything Everywhere All at Once had the most successful night at this year’s 95th Academy Awards in terms of wins, taking home seven trophies out of 11 nominations.

The movie won the night’s biggest prize—best picture—and directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert were awarded the best directing award. Everything Everywhere All at Once also won for best editing and best original screenplay.

Meanwhile, Yeoh’s co-stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quan won in their categories.

In being awarded the trophy for best supporting actress, Curtis beat out Angela Bassett(Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Hong Chau (the whales) Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) and Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once).

Quan was awarded the best supporting actor award, besting Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans) and Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin).

Yeoh’s fellow nominees for best actress in a leading role were Cate Blanchett for Tar, Ana de Armas for Blonde, Andrea Riseborough for To Leslie and Michelle Williams for The Fabelmans.

The Academy made history this by nominating four Asian actors in Yeoh, Quan, Hsu and Chau. While Yeoh is the first Asian woman to win an acting prize in the lead category, two other Asian women—Yuh-Jung Youn for Minari and Miyoshi Umeki for Sayonara—have been awarded trophies for supporting roles.

Yeoh is also recognized as the first “self-identified” actress to be nominated in the leading actress category. Biracial actress Merle Oberon was nominated for 1935’s The Dark Angelbut she chose to hide her South Asian ancestry.

Michelle Yeoh on Sunday made history by becoming the first Asian woman to win an Oscar for best leading actress at the 95th Academy Awards.

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