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Moving best supporting actress tributes at 2024 Oscars bring nominees to tears

Jamie Lee Curtis, Mary Steenburgen, Lupita Nyong’o, Rita Moreno and Regina King honored the five women nominated for best supporting actress.
/ Source: TODAY

Though there could only be one winner, all the Oscar nominees for best supporting actress had a moment to collect their flowers.

A star-studded group of previous winners in the category walked the stage March 10 to pay tribute to all five women nominated for their respective roles.

First speaking, Jamie Lee Curtis took a moment to honor her friend (or "bestie"), Jodie Foster, who was nominated for playing Bonnie Stoll in “Nyad.”

"I am beyond proud to be able to talk about one of my besties," Curtis begin, referring to Foster. "So in 'Nyad', Jodie Foster brings a physical intensity, coupled with deep concern and care as Bonnie Stoll to Diana Nyad's fierce best friend motivator and serious ass-kicker. And speaking from personal experience, all of those qualities are very real about Jodie as well."

Curtis concluded her tribute saying, "There is no one you would rather have your back than the multi-talented Jodie Foster."

Mary Steenburgen, Lupita Nyong'o, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rita Moreno and Regina King
Mary Steenburgen, Lupita Nyong'o, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rita Moreno and Regina King speak onstage during the 96th Annual Academy Awards on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, CA.Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The "True Detective" actor mouthed the words, "Thank you, love you," and blew Curtis a kiss from her seat.

Mary Steenburgen then said some heartwarming words about Emily Blunt's performance in "Oppenheimer," which leads the Oscars with the most nominations.

"In the last moments of 'Oppenheimer,' Emily Blunt's character, Kitty Vissering Oppenheimer, refuses to the offered hand of the man who betrayed her husband. Though it was years later, her eyes had lost none of their fury. If you saw only that extraordinary moment, you would know why Emily Blunt is nominated tonight," Steenburgen said, recalling Blunt's performance.

She continued, "Emily, I am so proud to be your friend and I am shaking my head in wonder at the beautiful, heartbreaking and hellbent depths that you braved to play Kitty Oppenheimer."

Next honoring Da'Vine Joy's performance as Mary Lamb in "The Holdovers," Lupita Nyong'o — who won an Oscar 10 years ago — said any viewer can sense her character's "unspoken grief simmering under the surface.

"Da'Vine, my friend, your performance is tribute to those who have helped others heal in spite of their own pain. It's also tribute to your grandmother, whose glasses you wore in the film. What an honor to see the world through her eyes and yours," Nyong'o said.

Randolph wiped away tears as she listened intently.

Taking a moment to speak on America Ferrera's impact as Gloria in "Barbie," Rita Moreno first broke into the song "America," her tune from "West Side Story".

"Your powerful 'Barbie' monologue is perhaps the most talked about moment in the most talked about movie of the past year. Your words and the passion with which you delivered them about the most impossible standards females must strive to live up to galvanized not only women but everyone with a pulse," Moreno said. "America, from one woman to another, congratulations on your tour de force."

Ferrera then blew Moreno a kiss.

Regina King concluded the five-part speeches, acknowledging Danielle Brooks' journey from first spotting "The Color Purple" on Broadway to finally portraying Sofia on the big screen.

"Danielle Brooks, when you were 15 and saw 'The Color Purple' on Broadway with your father, a spark ignited in you and a spark brought you here today. From making your Broadway debut 10 years later as Sofia to 10 year after that, giving this transcendent performance on the big screen, we don't just see Sofia's strength, we see her vulnerability as well. You, you have earned this full circle moment, my friend," King said of Brooks.

Randolph took home the win for the category, earning her first Oscar win.

People loved the moment online. "Honestly just let these former Best Supporting Actress winners give all the awards," writer Jill Twiss wrote on X.

Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the fourth time, the 2024 Oscars are broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, with the red carpet pre-show starting earlier. The 2024 Oscars are available to watch on ABC and various streaming platforms.

Leading the list of nominees include “Oppenheimer” with 13 nominations and “Poor Things” with 11.

The list of performers includes Ryan Gosling performing “I’m Just Ken,” as well as Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, among others. As for the presenters, Bad Bunny, Zendaya and last year’s best actress winner Michelle Yeoh will take the stage.

Follow for complete Oscars coverage, including this year’s winners and unexpected moments.