Renée Zellweger took home the award for best actress at the 92nd annual Academy Awards. The star won the award for her portrayal of the late Judy Garland in the biopic Judy directed by Rupert Goold.
The actress last won an Oscar for her supporting role in 2003's Cold Mountain. In her acceptance speech, she paid tribute to the legacy of Garland, who died at age 47 in 1969. Zellweger said. "This past year, conversations celebrating Judy Garland across generations, across cultures, has been a really cool reminder that our heroes unite us. Now, the best among us who inspire us to find the best in ourselves, when they unite us - when we look to our heroes, we agree and that matters."
Zellweger then took names of public figures whom she believes share Garland's best attributes. These included Venus and Serena Williams, and Martin Scorsese. Other late icons such as Selena, Fred Rogers, and Harriet Tubman were also paid tribute. The actress continued. "When we celebrate our heroes, we're reminded of who we are as one people united. And, no, Judy Garland did not receive [an Oscar] in her time. [But] I am certain that this moment is an extension of the celebration of her legacy that began on our film set, and it is also representative of the fact that her legacy of unique exceptionalism and inclusivity and generosity in spirit, it transcends any one artistic achievement." "Judy Garland, you are certainly among the heroes who unite and define us. And this is certainly for you,” she concluded.
In the best actress category, Zellweger faced strong competition from Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), and Charlize Theron (Bombshell). Zellweger in her speech also said that she felt "it was an honor to be considered" in the company of her fellow nominees. She also won the best actress at the Baftas, Critics’ Choice and Screen Actors Guild awards. At the Golden Globes, she won the best actress in a drama.