LOS ANGELES — Youn Yuh-jung,” the feisty grandmother in “Minari,” captured more than her grandson’s heart.
Youn, a prominent film and TV actor in her home country of South Korea, won the best supporting actress award at Sunday’s Oscars. She’s the second Asian actress to win in the category, more than four decades after Japanese-born Miyoshi Umeki earned the trophy for 1957’s “Sayonara.”
The first Korean woman to be nominated for an Oscar, Youn’s victory comes one year after academy voters snubbed the South Korean cast of best picture winner “Parasite.”
Youn plays Soon-ja, a card-playing grandmom with a knack for swearing, who’s moved from Korea to join her daughter and stepson in his seemingly quixotic quest to trade dispiriting work in California for farming in Arkansas. Soon-ja and her initially wary grandson form an unlikely but loving bond.
Youn, making a rare U.S. screen appearance in “Minari,” captured a string of honors for the semi-autobiographical film based on the childhood of Korean American director Lee Isaac Chung.
The Screen Actors Guild and the British film and TV academy were among those honoring her performance in “Minari,” which earned Oscar nominations including best picture, director and lead actor for Steven Yuen (“The Walking Dead”).
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