Octavia Spencer, known for her roles in "The Help" and "Hidden Figures," poses atop her new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during a ceremony in her honor on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

By AFRO Staff

As a young woman, Octavia Spencer drove from Alabama to California with $3,000, a 48-inch TV, a suitcase and “a heart filled with dreams.”

A quarter-century later, the award-winning actress realized another of those dreams when she received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“To be forever cemented in the mythology of this city and the film industry is an amazing honor,” the 52-year-old said in her speech during the ceremony on Dec. 8. “It took me a minute to absorb the profundity of this moment.”

This, she added, was “the culmination of my dreams realized, hard work rewarded after a fair but healthy amount of failure and rejection.”

In the emotional speech, Spencer—of “The Help” and “Hidden Figures” fame—thanked “her tribe,” those who cheered her on through both successes and failures, and persons who otherwise helped her pursue her Hollywood dreams.

“If you happen upon my star, while mine will be the only name you see, remember all the names that I just named,” she said. “The people that I just named today, my village. They’re only a fraction of the people that guide me from behind the scenes. For me this isn’t a solitary achievement — for me it took my family, my tribe, my village. And I thank you.”

On hand to celebrate Spencer’s big day were actors/actresses Viola Davis, with whom she co-starred in “The Help;” Davis’ husband, actor Julius Tennon; Mekhi Phifer; Will Ferrell and Allison Janey. Even the mascot from Spencer’s alma mater Auburn University was there to mark the occasion. 

Spencer later memorialized her special day on Instagram, again thanking fans and other well-wishers for their support. She also gave encouragement to other dreamers like her, “those at a pivotal point in your life and career.”

“Choose the thing that will bring you boundless joy,” she advised. “It took me 15 years to become an overnight success, and the rest is history. Success happens when preparation meets opportunity. Take the time to prepare for YOUR opportunity. God speed, my friends.”

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