It was an historic night for the team behind Everything Everywhere All At Once at the 95th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday. The genre-bending crowd-pleaser took home seven Oscars, including Best Picture, as star Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win Best Actress.
Everything Everywhere directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and Yeoh’s co-star Ke Huy Quan, also set new records with their own victories, while other actors, filmmakers, and musicians established historic firsts during the ceremony. Below are 10 winners who made history at this year’s Academy Awards.
Oscar: Best Actress
Capping an incredible four-decade career, Yeoh is the first Asian Best Actress winner and just the second woman of color to win the coveted award. The first was Halle Berry, who claimed the prize 21 years ago for her role in Monster’s Ball (2001). Berry co-presented the Oscar to Yeoh, who portrayed Evelyn, a Chinese immigrant in America with the ability to connect with versions of herself in parallel universes, in Everything Everywhere.
“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” Yeoh, 60, said during her acceptance speech. “This is proof that dream big and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up.”
Ke Huy Quan
Oscar: Best Supporting Actor
Ke Huy Quan, who had once quit acting due to the lack of opportunities for Asian actors, is now the first Vietnamese actor to receive an Oscar. He’s the second Asian actor to win for Best Supporting Actor; the Cambodia-born Haing S. Ngor previously won it for The Killing Fields (1984). Quan portrayed Yeoh’s husband in Everything Everywhere All at Once, and they are now the first two Asian actors to win Oscars in the same year.
“My journey started on a boat,” Quan said during his tearful acceptance speech. “I spent a year in a refugee camp. And somehow, I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage. They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This, this is the American dream.”
Ruth E. Carter
Oscar: Best Costume Design
Having won Oscars for both Black Panther (2018) and its sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), costume designer Ruth E. Carter is the first Black woman to win two Academy Awards. She strove to infuse elements from African tribes and traditions into futuristic superhero attire for the Marvel films.
Carter previously earned Oscar nominations for costume design in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1992) and Steven Spielberg’s Amistad (1997). She is the fifth Black person to win two Oscars, along with actors Denzel Washington and Mahershala Ali and sound engineers Willie D. Burton and Russell Williams II.
“Nice to see you again,” Carter said during her acceptance speech. “Thank you to the Academy for recognizing the superhero that is a Black woman. She endures, she loves, she overcomes, she is every woman in this film.”
Oscar: Best Actor
Although born in Indianapolis, Brendan Fraser is the son of two Canadian parents, lived in Canada during his youth, and has long maintained dual Canadian-American citizenship. He is also the first Canadian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his performance in The Whale.
The Oscar capped an incredible comeback story for Fraser, who had not appeared in major film roles for nine years. He had largely retreated from the spotlight due to physical injuries sustained from his stunt work and in the aftermath of an alleged sexual assault he experienced in 2003.
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay
It was an incredible night for Everything Everywhere All at Once co-directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, better known simply as the “Daniels.” Their film was the dominant winner of the night, earning them both Oscar statuettes for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.
The Daniels are the second duo to split Oscars in three different categories on the same night, with the brothers Joel and Ethan Coen having done the same for No Country for Old Men (2007). The Daniels and Coens are two of just three duos to jointly win Best Director, along with Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins for West Side Story (1961).
M.M. Keeravani and Chandrabose
Oscar: Best Original Song
It was a great night for India at the Academy Awards. Composer M.M. Keeravani and lyricist Chandrabose took home Oscars for “Naatu Naatu,” the high-energy number from the Telugu-language action drama RRR.
It is the first song from an Indian film to win an Academy Award and the first non-English song to win since the Hindi-language “Jai Ho” won 14 years ago for Slumdog Millionaire (2008). Although set in India, the Danny Boyle–directed Slumdog Millionaire is a British film.
Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga
Oscar: Best Documentary Short Film
Director Kartiki Gonsalves and producer Guneet Monga became the first filmmakers to win an Academy Award for an Indian film. They both took home Oscars for The Elephant Whisperers, a documentary short about the bond between an Indian couple and an orphaned baby elephant. No Indian filmmaker has ever been nominated for Best Director, though Satyajit Ray received an honorary award in 1992.
Colin McEvoy joined the Biography.com staff in 2023, and before that had spent 16 years as a journalist, writer, and communications professional. He is the author of two true crime books: Love Me or Else and Fatal Jealousy. He is also an avid film buff, reader, and lover of great stories.