Octavia Spencer has won her first Oscar, given for Actress In A Supporting Role for her role in "The Help," marking the actress' first win and nomination.
Spencer, 39, beat co-star Jessica Chastain as well as nominees Berenice Bejo of "The Artist," Melissa McCarthy of "Bridesmaids" and Janet McTeer of "Albert Nobbs." The winners of the 2012 Academy Awards were named at a Los Angeles ceremony on Sunday, February 26.
"Thank you Academy for putting me with the hottest guy in the room," Spencer said tearfully, looking at Christian Bale, who presented her with the award. (Check out a video of her speech.)
"That moment for Octavia is what the Oscars are all about," host Billy Crystal said afterwards.
Spencer also thanked director and producer Steven Spielberg "for changing my life."
"The Help" was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
The movie stars Emma Stone as an aspiring writer and college graduate who was raised partially by a black maid in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. She decides to write a book from the perspective of many black domestic workers in the area, including two who are played by Spencer and Viola Davis.
Chastain plays a white woman who employs Spencer's character and treats her and the rest of "the help" as equals. Bryce Dallas Howard plays a white, snobbish woman who disrespects them.
"It is one of those things to be so thrilled to be a part of a film that is about something and means so much to so many people," Spencer said during a candid interview with OnTheRedCarpet.com.
Spencer, an Alabama native, previously starred in films such as "Being John Malkovich" and the 2002 film "Spider-Man." Stone stars in a new 2012 movie about the superhero. Spencer has also had parts on shows such as "Ugly Betty." She can be seen next in the 2012 movie "Smashed," which also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul.
Spencer, known for her sense of humor, had made headlines last week when she said she plans to treat herself to breast surgery after the 2012 Academy Awards.
Check out what Octavia Spencers told reporters backstage after her win.
Check out a trailer for "The Help" below.