Oscars 2022: Ariana DeBose wins best supporting actress for 'West Side Story'
DeBose, citing her membership in both the Afro-Latina and queer communities, said the award showed that "there is indeed a place for us," a reference to a song in 'West Side Story.'
Ariana DeBose won her first Academy Award on Sunday for her supporting role as Anita in Steven Spielberg`s remake of the classic musical "West Side Story."
A relative newcomer to feature films, 31-year-old DeBose earned mainstream acclaim for her lively portrayal of Anita, an outspoken Puerto Rican woman who showcases her singing and dancing talents in the song "America."
She also won a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild award and British Academy Film Award for her performance.
"It was the summer of a lifetime and I am most privileged and grateful to spend it with all of you," DeBose said in accepting her award.
DeBose, citing her membership in both the Afro-Latina and queer communities, said the award showed that "there is indeed a place for us," a reference to a song in "West Side Story."
North Carolina-born DeBose trained in dance and had roles in Broadway productions including "Hamilton" and "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical" before appearing in the Netflix television musical "The Prom" as a cheerleader struggling to come out of the closet.
"I am America," she told OUT Magazine in November 2021. "I am damn near a member of just about every marginalized community."
This is the second time the role of Anita has earned the best supporting actress award: Rita Moreno in 1962 became the first Latina actress to win an Oscar for her performance in the original "West Side Story." Moreno, 90, joined Spielberg`s remake as drugstore owner Valentina, a new character written just for her.
DeBose`s fellow supporting actress nominees were Kirsten Dunst for "Power of the Dog," Aunjanue Ellis for "King Richard," Judi Dench for "Belfast" and Jessie Buckley for "The Lost Daughter."