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Octavia Spencer reacts to her first ever Oscar win

posted 27 Feb 2012, 05:50 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 27 Feb 2012, 05:50 ]

Taking Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 'The Help', Octavia Spencer sings for joy at her win backstage.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 26, 2012) (A.M.P.A.S.) - An emotional Octavia Spencer won her first Oscar on Sunday (February 27) for her supporting actress role as a sassy maid in "The Help."

Spencer, 39, was considered the favorite to win the Academy Award for playing an outspoken maid in the 1960s drama about African-Americans who work for rich white families in Mississippi in the early years of the civil rights era.

Spencer, whose mother was a maid and who had never been nominated before for an Academy Award, got a long standing ovation from the audience as she nervously walked to the stage to accept her award.

Spencer's sang her excitement to reporters backstage after her win.

"[Singing] Oscar nominee, but now I'm a winner. Winner," laughed Spencer.

Spencer played Minny Jackson, a maid who refuses to be cowed and who wreaks revenge on a cruel white employer by serving up a disgusting pie.

The film was adapted from the best-selling Kathryn Stockett novel of the same name and became a cultural touchstone and box office sensation, grossing more than $200 million at the global box office.

Spencer told reporters backstage that she was proud to be a part of a stellar group of ladies.

"We just left our egos at the door and worked together as one beautiful unit from Emma, Viola, Bryce, Allison Janney. I mean, it was an award winning cast. So to be a part of that and to just sort of dissolve into the world that we were representing is something that we're supposed to do as actors but it was rare that we did it without judgment with each other," said Spencer.

Known to television audiences for her role on the sitcom "Ugly Betty," Spencer grew up in a family of seven children whose mother worked as a maid.

Spencer's film career was dominated in the previous decade by small parts in films such as "Legally Blonde 2," "Spider-Man," "Bad Santa" and "Beauty Shop."