Octavia Spencer, the actress who portrayed Minny Jackson in The Help, was the first actress to openly shed tears at the 84th Academy Awards Sunday night. Spencer won her first Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. Thanking the state of Alabama, the actress, so excited and overwhelmed for her win, whimpered throughout her speech, while shaking her head trying to hold back tears. I'm freaking out, said Spencer, as she finally breaks down in tears at the end of her speech. As Host Billy Crystal put it, That moment for Octavia is what the Oscars is all about.

Octavia's role in The Help also helped her scoop up awards from Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Satellite Awards, Palm Springs International Film Festival, and more.

Spencer worked hard on the long road to her Oscar win. The actress was born in 1972, and grew up in Alabama with six other siblings. She finally stepped in front of the camera in 1995 when director Joel Schumacher gave her a small role opposite Sandra Bullock in A Time to Kill. Spencer worked with Bullock again a year later when Bullock made her directing debut in a short film called Making Sandwiches.

From her start in the entertainment business, the actress only worked her way up, even being named one of the '25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood' by Entertainment Weekly.

Audiences will be seeing a lot more of Octavia Spencer in the future with roles in, Smashed, The Perfect Fit, Lost On Purpose, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife, Snow Piercer, and as of now an untitled Diablo Cody film.