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7 Best Grownup Moments at the Golden Globe Awards

Grownups earned honors, tears were shed, many drinks were slurped — here are the moments to remember forever

spinner image Jennifer Coolidge and Steven Spielberg at the 80th Annual Golden Globes Awards
(Left to right) Jennifer Coolidge and Steven Spielberg
Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images; Matt Winkelmeyer/FilmMagic

Host Jerrod Carmichael started the 80th Golden Globe Awards by acknowledging the elephant in the room: last year’s controversy over the Globe organization’s lack of minorities, which helped keep the show off the air in 2022. But he helped defuse the issue by razzing the Globes’ past — and it didn’t hurt that winners included Angela Bassett, 64, best supporting film actress for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Abbott Elementary’s Tyler James Williams and Quinta Brunson won too. “We just made history with this nomination and with this award and it belongs to all of us, all of you!” Bassett rousingly said. Here are some more of the most memorably historic moments of a show that gave some over-50 talents their due:​

spinner image Michelle Yeoh in a scene from the film Everything Everywhere All at Once and accepting her Golden Globe Award onstage
(Left to right) Michelle Yeoh in "Everything Everywhere All at Once"; Yeoh accepting her Golden Globe Award for best actress in a motion picture – musical or comedy.
A24; Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images

Michelle Yeoh channels the power of turning 60

Best actress in a motion picture - musical or comedy winner Michelle Yeoh showed the scrappy spirit of the uncanny athlete she plays in Everything Everywhere All at Once. She talked about the double hurdles she faced in Hollywood: acting while Asian and aging. “When I first came to Hollywood it was a dream come true  — until I got here!” she recalled. “Someone said to me, ‘You speak English!’ I said, yeah, the flight here was about 13 hours long so I learned.” Few moments were more delicious than Yeoh’s return to the limelight 23 years after she first broke out in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. “I turned 60 last year — and I think all of you women understand this — as the days, the years and the numbers get bigger, it seems that the opportunities start to get smaller as well. I thought, ‘Well, hey, come on girl, you had a really, really good run, you worked with some of the best people. Steven Spielberg, Jim Cameron, Danny Boyle, and so it’s all good.’ And then came the best gift, Everything Everywhere All at Once.” The music came up to play her off, but Yeoh snapped, “Shut up! Please! I can beat you up [like her movie character], and that’s serious.” She finished giving credit to colleagues including her costar, “my hot dog lover Jamie Lee Curtis” (hot dogs feature in an Everything Everywhere scene we won’t spoil). Before graciously concluding, she also said, “And this is for all the shoulders that I stand on.”

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spinner image Jennifer Coolidge in a scene from The White Lotus and holding her Golden Globe Awards trophy
(Left to right) Jennifer Coolidge in "The White Lotus"; Coolidge holding her award for best supporting actress in a limited series.
Fabio Lovino/HBO; Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images

White Lotus star Jennifer Coolidge embraces midlife bloom

​Jennifer Coolidge, who cracked the crowd up as an awards presenter, turned more emotional when she won a supporting actress award for The White Lotus. She was funny, but she spoke painful truths about what it’s like to spend 20 years laboring in small roles as your hopes evaporate and years accumulate. And then she spoke exhilaratingly about the thrill of joining the A-list at 61 in back-to-back masterpiece shows. She teased the show’s creator Mike White, 61, for (spoiler!) killing off her character, but her tribute made him cry. And then their show won best limited series, signifying his own midlife renaissance as a hitmaker after years as a cult figure. Thinking about the both of them is enough to make us sniffle ourselves.

spinner image Steven Spielberg holding his best director trophy at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards; a scene from the film The Fabelmans
(Left to right) Steven Spielberg raising his Golden Globe Award trophy for best director; a scene from "The Fabelmans."
Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images; Merie Weismiller Wallace/Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Steven Spielberg conquers fear in his 70s and wins big-time

Steven Spielberg, 76, confessed that while everybody thinks he’s a big success, he’s been too scared to tell his own life story except in very coded ways, in movies like E.T. and his many childhood-focused films. “I’ve been hiding from this story since I was 17 years old. When I turned about 74 years old, I said you better do it now. Everything I’ve done up to this point has made me ready to finally be honest about the fact that it’s not easy to be a kid.” Honesty is the best policy, and it’s never too late: He won best director and picture for his life story, The Fabelmans.

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spinner image Ke Huy Quan in a scene in the film Everything Everywhere All at Once" and Quan accepting his Golden Globe Award onstage
(Left to right) Ke Huy Quan in "Everything Everywhere All at Once"; Quan accepting his Golden Globe Award for best supporting film actor.
Allyson Riggs/A24; Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images

​​Former child actor Ke Huy Quan completes his comeback

Ke Huy Quan, 51, who won best supporting film actor for Everything Everywhere All at Once, gave hope to everyone who ever dreamed of a new life at midlife. A child star in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984, he got nowhere in his career for decade after decade. “As I grew older, I started to wonder if that was it, if that was just luck. For so many years, I was afraid I had nothing more to offer. No matter what I did, I would never surpass what I achieved as a kid.” But he surpassed it in Everything Everywhere All at Once. We can hardly wait to see what he does as a grownup.

spinner image Ryan Murphy holding the Carol Burnett Award in the press room at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Ryan Murphy poses with the Carol Burnett Award in the press room at the 80th Golden Globe Awards.
Matt Winkelmeyer/FilmMagic

Ryan Murphy turns his spotlight on LGBTQ heroes

Billy Porter, 53, presented producer Ryan Murphy, 57, with the Carol Burnett Award, so Murphy seized the chance to honor Porter, and all the LGBTQ talents who “make a point of hope and progress.” Murphy himself is a cyclone of progress, in groundbreaking hits like GleeAmerican Horror Story, Pose and The Normal Heart. It was deeply moving to hear his shoutouts to Niecy Nash-Betts, Matt Bomer, Jeremy Pope and MJ Rodriguez, who won best TV drama actress last year for Pose, and she never got to accept the award on TV because the scandals kept the show off the air. Murphy hailed Rodriguez as the first trans actress to win the Golden Globe, turning his moment over to the one she unfairly missed out on. Murphy’s whole career has been in this cause, and it was inspiring to hear him say, “Use them as your north stars!”

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spinner image Guillermo del Toro at the 80th Annual Golden Globes and a scene from the film Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
(Left to right) Guillermo del Toro onstage after winning the Golden Globe Award for best animated film; a scene from "Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio."
Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images; Netflix

The importance of being drunk at the Golden Globes

“We’re back!” said an exuberant Guillermo del Toro, 58, whose Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio won best animated film. “Some of us are drunk, what could be better?” He put his finger on the one advantage the Globes event has over the Oscars: It’s loose and informal, and del Toro exemplifies how fun they can be.

spinner image Eddie Murphy speaking onstage after accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Eddie Murphy speaking to the audience after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 80th Golden Globe Awards.
Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images

Eddie Murphy’s advice for success in Hollywood

Eddie Murphy, 61, stood up at his seat to give Tyler James Williams a standing ovation when he won. But everybody in the room leaped up to applaud Murphy when he won the Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to entertainment too numerous to enumerate. His speech wasn’t long, but he contributed the best joke of the evening. “There is a definitive blueprint that you can follow to achieve success, prosperity, longevity and peace of mind,” he said, seemingly very seriously. “It’s very simple, just do these three things: Pay your taxes, mind your business, and KEEP WILL SMITH’S WIFE’S NAME OUTTA YOUR #*$%# mouth!”

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