Oscars: Renee Zellweger Wins Best Actress, Dedicates Award to Judy Garland

The star took home the honor for her portrayal of the late icon in the biopic 'Judy.'

Renée Zellweger ended awards season on a high, taking home the honor 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.

Like her acceptance speeches at this year's Golden Globes and Film Independent Spirit Awards, Zellweger — who last won an Oscar for her supporting role in 2003's Cold Mountain — paid tribute to the enduring legacy of Garland, who died at age 47 in 1969.

"This past year, conversations celebrating Judy Garland across generations, across cultures, has been a really cool reminder that our heroes unite us," Zellweger began. "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 named a string of notable figures whom she believes share Garland's best attributes, such as Venus and Serena Williams and Martin Scorsese; along with other late icons including Selena, Fred Rogers and Harriet Tubman.

"When we celebrate our heroes, we're reminded of who we are as one people united," Zellweger continued. "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."

Added Zellweger, "Judy Garland, you are certainly among the heroes who unite and define us. And this is certainly for you."

In the best actress category, Zellweger beat out competition including Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women) and Charlize Theron (Bombshell). Zellweger mentioned in her speech that she felt "it was an honor to be considered" in the company of her fellow nominees. 

The 2020 Oscars aired live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.