During Sunday’s (12 March) ceremony, Yeoh took home the penultimate award of the evening for Best Actress for her leading role in Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Despite being up against stiff competition, Yeoh won the category over her fellow nominees, Cate Blanchett (Tár), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Ana de Armas (Blonde) and Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie).
Just as the Malaysian actor’s name was announced, her 84-year-old mother Janet – who was seated among friends, family and other supporters watching the broadcast on a giant screen halfway across the world – tearfully cheered in excitement.
A viral video of the moment has been shared across social media, showing Janet standing as she’s embraced by those close to her amid a sea of screams.
In a subtly sweet nod, she’s also wearing a beautiful white gown, vaguely resemblant of her daughter’s gorgeous white number.
Yeoh’s win not only solidified her place among Hollywood’s elite but more importantly, it also stood as a “beacon of hope” for “all the little boys and girls who look like me,” the actor, 60, noted in her acceptance speech.
Continuing, Yeoh said: “I have to dedicate this to my mum, all the mums in the world because they are really the superheroes and without them, none of us would be here tonight.
“She’s 84. I’m taking this home to her. She’s watching right now in Malaysia, KL, with family and friends. I love you guys. I’m bringing this home to you.”
Her victory also marks the first triumph in over two decades for a Best Actress woman of colour, as well as the very first win for an Asian actor in the category itself.