Oakwood actress Allison Janney wins first Oscar — and possibly the Internet

Oakwood-raised actress Allison Janney can add Oscar winner to her resume. But that’s not all. 

She may not have taken home the jet ski for the shortest speech, but her opening line quite possibly won the Internet. 

>>Allison Janney slays on the red carpet all season

“I did it all by myself,” Janney said as she began her speech to laughter and applause from the audience. 

After pausing, she continued, “That’s nothing farther from the truth.” 

Fans on Twitter loved the opener. And her speech has already inspired a meme or two. 



Janney earned the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role at the 90th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 4. This is her first Oscar win and nomination. She is the first Daytonian to win an Oscar in a major acting category.

Her long list of credits include Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Primetime Emmy wins for roles including this one, plus TV roles on “Mom,” “The West Wing” and “Masters of Sex.”

>> PHOTOS: Allison Janney’s Red Carpet Night at the Oscars

>> 2018 Academy Award winners

Janney earned the Oscar for her role as LaVona Harding, figure skater Tonya Harding’s chain-smoking, abusive mother in the dramatic dark comedy “I, Tonya.”  

She went on to thank the Academy and her fellow nominees who “represent everything that is good and right and human about this profession.” 

Janney also said she was grateful to “I, Tonya” screenwriter Steven Rogers for giving her this role. 

“Thank you for the gift of LaVona. I did not see this coming, you did. You give new meaning to the word friend.” 

Backstage, the 58-year-old actress told reporters: “I didn’t dare to dream of things like this because I didn’t want to be disappointed,” she said, adding that at one point she “had given up” because she wasn’t getting the roles that would allow her to flex her acting muscles.


Janney also recognized her “I, Tonya” family as well as her parents, Macy and Jervis Janney, who live here in the Dayton area.

“Anyone who takes the time to look, there’s been a long line of creatives to come out of Dayton far before Allison,” her father, Jervis Janney, told us by phone just moments after the win. “We’re just so happy for her. She loves Dayton and always talks about all the support it gives her.”

He admitted the film was difficult for him to watch given the subject matter, including domestic violence and abuse.

>> What Macy Janney had to say about her daughter’s big night

She dedicated her award to her late brother, Henry 'Hal' Janney, saying: “This is for Hal. You're always in my heart.” Hal committed suicide on February 14 2011. 

 In past interviews, Janney has spoken about her sibling's struggle with addiction that led to his suicide and inspired her to take a role in CBS's "Mom." Her character is a recovering addict.

This Monday morning, she’s back on the “Mom” set.

“I’m happy to have a job after something like this because it can go to your head…. I’m going to have a big crash-down after this so I’m happy to have the folks of ‘Mom’ to lift me up,” she told reporters backstage.

Earlier this awards season, she earned a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for her role in “I, Tonya.” 

>> Daytonians who’ve made us proud at the Hollywood Award Shows

>> PHOTOS: Oscars Red Carpet arrivals

The other nominees for best supporting actress were: Mary J. Blige in “Mudbound,” Leslie Manville in “Phantom Thread,” Laurie Metcalf in “Lady Bird” and Octavia Spencer in “The Shape of Water.” 

Not only did Janney, the star of CBS’s “Mom,” win the SAG award for the portrayal of Harding’s mom, but also nabbed the Golden Globe and other major supporting actress awards. 

>> Allison Janney: “Dayton spawns great people”

In September, the former Miami Valley School student was inducted into the Dayton Region’s Walk of Fame. She told us then she’d place that hometown award next to her major acting statues and recognitions. 

In addition to her recent wins for her role in “I, Tonya,” Janney has won seven Emmy awards for her television roles on “Mom” as well as “The West Wing” and a guest role on “Masters of Sex.”

Janney’s career began in 1993 with a role on daytime TV’s “Guiding Light.”

>> The Dayton cookies that Allison Janney has shipped to her on set

Woody Harrelson, a 1979 graduate of Lebanon High School, was nominated for best actor in a supporting role playing Chief Willoughby in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” 

His castmate Sam Rockwell won the award and thanked Harrelson during his acceptance speech.

Other nominees included Willem Dafoe in “The Florida Project,” Richard Jenkins in “The Shape of Water,” Christopher Plummer in “All the Money in the World.” 

This was Harrelson’s third Oscar nomination.

>> Lebanon High School grad up for Oscar

In 2010, he received an best supporting role nomination for his role in “The Messenger.” He was nominated for best actor in a leading role Oscar for the 1996 film “The People vs. Larry Flint.”

Famous for his role as Woody on the 1980s hit series “Cheers,” Harrelson had roles in “White Men Can’t Jump,” “Natural Born Killers,” “No Country for Old Men” and the HBO movie “Game Change.”  

In other local Oscar news, Dave Chappelle (who lives just outside Yellow Springs) introduced one of the Oscar-nominated songs — “Stand Up For Something” from “Marshall,” performed by Andra Day and Common.

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