Steven Yeun Makes Oscars History as First Asian American Best Actor Nominee
By Stacy Lambe
ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images
Steven Yeun just made Oscars history, becoming the first Asian American ever nominated for Best Actor. The recognition comes for his acclaimed performance in the film, Minari, which picked up several nominations at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Additionally, Riz Ahmed, the British Pakistan star of Sound of Metal, was also nominated in the category, marking the first time two men of East or South Asian descent were recognized in the same year.
They have become the fourth and fifth men of East or South Asian descent to ever be recognized in the Academy Awards’ 93-year history. Yeun and Ahmed follow Yul Brynner (1956 for The King and I), Topol (1971 for Fiddler on the Roof) and Sir Ben Kingsley, who was nominated twice. (First in 1982 for Gandhi and then in 2003 for House of Sand and Fog.)
Meanwhile, Miyoshi Umeki and Haing S. Ngor are the only Asian American actors to win Oscars in their respective supporting categories.