The 95th Academy Awards was historic in terms of the diversity of the winners. For the first time, two mimes of Asian origin have been honored with the Academy Award. Michelle Yeoh (60) won the Oscar for best actress for "Everything Everywhere All at Once", Ke Huy Quan (51) the supporting actor golden boy for the same film. We present the stars of the multiverse spectacle in more detail.
Michelle Yeoh was multicultural from an early age. Born to Chinese parents in Malaysia, she went to boarding school in England at the age of 15. There, the young woman, who was very active in sports, attended the London Royal Academy of Dance. Due to an injury, she had to give up her ballet career. Instead, she studied fine arts and acting.
Yeoh wanted to stay in England, but her mother entered her into the Miss Malaysia 1983 contest without her knowledge. The woman, who was later named one of the most beautiful film actresses of all time by "People" magazine, won the election.
As Miss Malaysia, Michelle Yeoh traveled the world. In Australia, she shot a commercial with Jackie Chan (68), which caught the attention of producers from Hong Kong, his homeland. There she started in the film business. Under the name Michelle Khan, she shot various action films, most of the stunts she performed herself. In "Police Story 3" she fought alongside Jackie Chan - for whom the screenplay for her Oscar film "Everything Everywhere All at Once" was originally written.
In 1997 Michelle Yeoh went to Hollywood. She appeared under her real name in James Bond 007: Tomorrow Never Dies. In terms of film, she then commuted between Asia ("Tiger and Dragon", 2000) and the USA ("Die Geisha", 2002). After a small dip in her career, she returned to the limelight in 2018 with "Crazy Rich", the US surprise hit with an all-Asian main cast - a later highlight for the woman, who has been in a relationship with former Formula 1 team boss Jean Todt (77) since 2004.
So now she became the first Southeast Asian actress to win the Oscar for Best Leading Role. The Japanese Miyoshi Umeki (1929-2007) had already broken the spell in the supporting role category in 1957 with "Sayonara".
In addition to his performance in front of the camera, his extraordinary story is certainly a reason for Ke Huy Quan's Oscar win.
He was born in 1971 in Saigon, the capital of Vietnam at the time. His parents fled with him to the United States in the mid-1970s towards the end of the Vietnam War. In the '80s, Quan became one of the most popular child actors in Hollywood. After doing commercials, he landed the role of sidekick Shorty in 1984's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Another cult film followed a year later with "The Goonies".
As Ke Huy Quan got older, the roles stayed away. He retreated behind the camera. On "X-Men" (2002) he worked on the stunts, on "2046" (2004) he was assistant director to Wong Kar-Wai (64). But then came "Crazy Rich" with Michelle Yeoh. Encouraged by the success of a film with an all-Asian cast, he ventured back in front of the camera. In addition to Everything Everywhere All at Once, he directed the 2022 Netflix film Adventure 'Ohana. This year he continues in the new episodes of the Marvel series "Loki".
The Academy loves comeback stories like this. It is only logical that he now bagged the Oscar - as the second Asian supporting actor after Haing S. Ngor (1940-1996). The Cambodian won for 'The Killing Fields' in 1984.