Back to 2011 Breakout Stars
7. Octavia Spencer
2011 key role: 'The Help'
Part of the reason why 'The Help' earned almost $200 million worldwide this year? Octavia Spencer, who stole the show as Minny Jackson, the Mississippi maid who doesn't take no crap -- unless it's baked in a pie. Spencer made her feature debut in 1996 in 'A Time to Kill' and has over 90 television and film credits to her name, but it was 'The Help' -- and her status as an early favorite for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars -- that allowed her to break out.
Upcoming projects: Spencer stars in 'Smashed,' an ensemble drama about alcoholism as well as Diablo Cody's directorial debut, formerly titled 'Lamb of God.' There's also the Academy Awards.