KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia– Michelle Yeoh’s mother cried for joy for her ‘little princess’ as the Malaysian actress became the first Asian to win the Best Actress Oscar.
Yeoh’s family and two cabinet ministers were among the supporters who roared with joy at Yeoh’s win at a special Oscars party in Malaysia on Monday morning. Her trophy for her performance as a laundromat owner was one of seven Oscars for Everything, Everywhere, at Once, including best picture.
Janet Yeoh, 84, praised the actor for being intelligent and hardworking and a childlike daughter.
“I love my daughter so much and she has made Malaysia proud,” Yeoh said at a press conference after the screening at a Kuala Lumpur cinema. “Malaysia Boleh (Malaysia Can)! ”
Janet Yeoh said she was very proud of “my little princess” who wanted to be a ballerina before she entered the movie world. Yeoh said she pushed her daughter out of her cocoon despite protests from her late husband, a lawyer who she described as “old-fashioned.”
In her acceptance speech, Yeoh dedicated her award to her mother, saying “all the mothers in the world” are the real superheroes.
“It was such a breathtaking moment. I was speechless, I cried,” said Vicki Yeoh, Michelle Yeoh’s niece, who attended the special viewing. “The nominees are really strong, but we had no doubts. We keep telling her you’re going to win… you’re going to be on stage with the golden man.”
Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh, who attended the visit, immediately posted on social media: “Most inspirational quote for all of us aunties – ‘Ladies, don’t let anyone tell you your prime is behind you’ – Michelle Yeoh.”
MPs Sim Tze Sin and Wee Ka Siong thanked Michelle Yeoh for breaking “glass ceilings” for Asian and Malaysian women. They praised her as an icon for resilience and endurance.
Michelle Yeoh, 60, studied ballet before turning to acting. Her first major Hollywood role came in 1997 alongside Pierce Brosnan as a Chinese spy in the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.
She is best known for her role in the 2000 martial arts masterpiece Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a Best Picture nomination that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Yeoh has more recent credits in the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians and 2021 in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
“We are incredibly proud. We hope she continues to break records and win more awards,” said her nephew Kelvin Yeoh.
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