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Octavia Spencer picks up Harvard Hasty Pudding award

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/26/2017
Actress Octavia Spencer is presented with the Pudding Pot by members of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals after being presented with the annual Woman of the Year Pudding Pot Award at Farkas Hall Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) © The Associated Press Actress Octavia Spencer is presented with the Pudding Pot by members of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals after being presented with the annual Woman of the Year Pudding Pot Award at Farkas Hall Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer paid homage to Mary Tyler Moore and talked about her inspiring film roles Thursday while picking up yet another award: Woman of the Year by Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals.

Actress Octavia Spencer holds her Pudding Pot which was presented to her by Hasty Pudding Theatricals after winning their annual Woman of the Year Pudding Pot Award at Farkas Hall Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) © The Associated Press Actress Octavia Spencer holds her Pudding Pot which was presented to her by Hasty Pudding Theatricals after winning their annual Woman of the Year Pudding Pot Award at Farkas Hall Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Fresh off her nomination for a second Oscar, Spencer was honored with a parade through the streets of Cambridge, followed by a roast and the presentation of her pudding pot.

Actress Octavia Spencer runs through a poster of herself during the presentation of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals annual Woman of the Year Pudding Pot Award at Farkas Hall Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) © The Associated Press Actress Octavia Spencer runs through a poster of herself during the presentation of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals annual Woman of the Year Pudding Pot Award at Farkas Hall Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

"That pot was hard to get," she joked when asked how it compared with an Oscar. "It was difficult to get, but it was one that will be forever indelibly etched in my memories. This has just been so much fun today."

Actress Octavia Spencer is kissed again by members of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals after being presented with the annual Woman of the Year Pudding Pot Award at Farkas Hall Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) © The Associated Press Actress Octavia Spencer is kissed again by members of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals after being presented with the annual Woman of the Year Pudding Pot Award at Farkas Hall Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Spencer won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Minny Jackson in 2011's "The Help." She was nominated Tuesday in the same category for her role in "Hidden Figures," a film about the behind-the-scenes contributions of several black women in the early years of the NASA program.

Actress Octavia Spencer acknowledges the applause of fans as she enters Farkas Hall for the presentation of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals annual Woman of the Year Pudding Pot Award Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) © The Associated Press Actress Octavia Spencer acknowledges the applause of fans as she enters Farkas Hall for the presentation of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals annual Woman of the Year Pudding Pot Award Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Spencer said she was touched by the fans who called her an inspiration Thursday.

Guan-Yue Chen, Hasty Pudding Theatricals President, left, and Dan Milashewski, vice president, kisses actress Octavia Spencer during a parade to honor Spencer as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) © The Associated Press Guan-Yue Chen, Hasty Pudding Theatricals President, left, and Dan Milashewski, vice president, kisses actress Octavia Spencer during a parade to honor Spencer as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

"That really touches my heart because I have the luxury now of getting to choose ... the characters that I play," she said. "One of the things that I like to do is choose movies ... that will allow for a little escapism but also educate while entertaining, and I think 'Hidden Figures' does that on so many levels."

Guan-Yue Chen, Hasty Pudding Theatricals President, left, and Dan, Milashewski, vice president, right, ride with actress Octavia Spencer during a parade to honor Spencer as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) © The Associated Press Guan-Yue Chen, Hasty Pudding Theatricals President, left, and Dan, Milashewski, vice president, right, ride with actress Octavia Spencer during a parade to honor Spencer as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Spencer said Mary Tyler Moore, the iconic actress who died Wednesday, changed "how we view women, and how we view independent women."

Guan-Yue Chen, Hasty Pudding Theatricals President, left, and Dan Milashewski, vice president, kiss actress Octavia Spencer during a parade to honor Spencer as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) © The Associated Press Guan-Yue Chen, Hasty Pudding Theatricals President, left, and Dan Milashewski, vice president, kiss actress Octavia Spencer during a parade to honor Spencer as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

"It's definitely a loss for the entertainment community as well as the public at large because she shaped a generation of independents and she will definitely be missed," she said.

Guan-Yue Chen, Hasty Pudding Theatricals President, left, and Dan Milashewski, vice president, kiss actress Octavia Spencer during a parade to honor Spencer as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) © The Associated Press Guan-Yue Chen, Hasty Pudding Theatricals President, left, and Dan Milashewski, vice president, kiss actress Octavia Spencer during a parade to honor Spencer as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

The Hasty Pudding award has been handed out annually since 1951 to people who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment.

Actress Octavia Spencer, right center, bottom row, poses with members of Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals after a parade to honor Spencer as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Actress Octavia Spencer, right center, bottom row, poses with members of Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals after a parade to honor Spencer as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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