Congratulations to Michelle Yeoh for her history-making Oscar win for Best Actress!

Considered one of the greatest female action movie stars, Yeoh originally dreamed of becoming a dancer. She began ballet training at the age of five in Malaysia, and in her teen years, attended the Royal Academy of Dance in London. However, a spinal injury ended this dream and she was unexpectedly introduced to the world of acting. After winning the 1983 Miss Malaysia title, she appeared in a commercial alongside Jackie Chan. This encounter led to a contract with D&B Films, a small Hong Kong film production company which cast her in several of its martial arts films. To her, the choreography of action sequences was reminiscent of dancing, and like dance, allowed her to express herself physically. She took to performing her own stunts with the same grace and precision, and soon made a name for herself in Hong Kong cinema with such movies as “The Owl vs. Bumbo” (1984), “Supercop” (1992), and “Wing Chun” (1994), some of which were shown in Sun Sing Theatre in New York Chinatown. In 1997, her role opposite James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) as the equally intelligent and capable agent Wai Lin in “Tomorrow Never Dies” exposed her to a wider Western audience. Global fame and roles in a steady series of hit films followed, including “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2005), “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018), “Shang-Chi” (2021), and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (2022). In her Oscar acceptance speech, the accomplished actress addressed an industry and a society obsessed with youth and particularly hard on women in this regard with the defiant and inspiring message: “And ladies, don’t let anyone ever tell you you are past your prime.” She has only gotten better and better in her craft, and we are over the moon that she’s received this well-deserved recognition for her skillful performance of the role of Evelyn Wang, first-generation Chinese immigrant owner of a laundromat and heroine of the multiverse in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”!

2014.028.197 Movie poster for "Project S" (超級計劃, or Supercop 2, 1993) starring Michelle Yeoh and directed by Stanley Tong Gwai-Lai. Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Collection.