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Octavia Spencer Named Hasty Pudding’s 2017 Woman of the Year

By Brandon J. Dixon, Crimson Staff Writer

Octavia Spencer, an Oscar-winning actress and children’s book author, will be the the Hasty Pudding Theatricals 2017 Woman of the Year.

Spencer is widely known for her roles in “The Help,” the “Divergent” film series, and most recently as one of the lead characters in the film “Hidden Figures,” which follows the story of three black women who aid NASA in launching the program’s early space missions. She has won numerous awards for her work, including an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Broadcast Film Critic’s Choice Award and BAFTA Award.

The Hasty Pudding will honor Spencer with a parade through the streets of Cambridge Jan. 26 before presenting her with the traditional “Pudding Pot” in Farkas Hall. The event will be live-streamed on Facebook.

"We could not be more excited to offer Ms. Spencer our Woman of the Year award,” Adam L. Chiavacci ’18, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals' Co-producer, said in a press release. “We are humbled by her talent and are so honored that our little Pudding pot will be sitting alongside Ms Spencer's Oscar and Golden Globe on her mantle.”

The Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year award, established in 1951, has been awarded to actresses including Meryl Streep, Amy Poehler, Kerry Washington, and Helen Mirren in recent years.

Apart from acting, Spencer has also authored a children’s mystery book series and directed a short film. She will appear in “The Shape of Water,” an upcoming fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro.

Hasty Pudding Theatricals announced earlier this month that Ryan Reynolds will be the theatrical company’s 2017 Man of the Year.

—Staff writer Brandon J. Dixon can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BrandonJoDixon.

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