All eyes were on “The Help” actress Octavia Spencer Sunday night at the 84th annual Academy Awards, and history has been made.
Spencer won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress making her the fifth African American to do so in the history of the Academy Awards.
Spencer now shares the honor with past winners Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Hudson and Monique.
Spencer’s Oscar triumph came for her role as a headstrong black maid whose willful ways continually land her in trouble with white employers in 1960s Mississippi.
Before the actress could speak, audience members rose to their feet to honor Spencer with a standing ovation. Spencer wept throughout her breathless speech.
“Thank you, academy, for putting me with the hottest guy in the room,” Spencer said, referring to last year’s supporting-actor winner Christian Bale, who presented her Oscar. “I have to thank my family in Alabama. The state of Alabama. My L.A. family… My Help family.”
Davis then began to break down as the moment sank in.
As the prompter reminded Spencer to keep her speech short, she began rapidly apologizing. “I’m wrapping up. I’m sorry! I’m freaking out! Thank you, world… Thank you!”
Spencer’s 15-year career includes dozens of small parts, often as a nurse, in such movies and TV shows as “Seven Pounds,” ”A Time to Kill” and “The X-Files.”