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Oscar 2012: Octavia Spencer Wins Best Supporting Actress for ‘The Help’

Spencer picks up her first Academy Award, adding to her trophies from the Golden Globes, SAG and Critics Choice Movie Awards

Octavia Spencer has completed her sweep through awards season by winning the Best Supporting Actress award at the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday.

Spencer — whose role as the outspoken maid Minny in "The Help," has been honored by the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice Movie Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and nearly every other awards body over the last few months — won the Oscar over a field that included her castmate Jessica Chastain, as well as Berenice Bejo ("The Artist"), Melissa McCarthy ("Bridesmaids") and Janet McTeer ("Albert Nobbs").

Also readThe Complete List of Oscar Winners

It was the first Oscar win and the first nomination for an actress whose career has flourished mostly on television. Before "The Help," Spencer was best-known for her recurring role on "Ugly Betty" and had also appeared on the series "CSI," "The Big Bang Theory," "Dharma & Greg" and the Comedy Central show "Halfway Home."

Her film roles include "Never Been Kissed," "Big Momma's House" and "Bad Santa."

Spencer is a longtime friend of both Tate Taylor, director of "The Help," and Kathryn Stockett, who wrote the bestselling book upon which the film is based. Stockett based aspects of the character of Minny on Spencer, who read the part in the audio-book version of the novel before the film was ever made.

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