Octavia Spencer hosts luncheon, donates speaking fee to hospital

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer made a surprise major donation on Giving Tuesday to a Memphis charity at a luncheon where she was the star attraction.

WMC's Joe Birch had the privilege of hosting the star of major motion pictures like "Hidden Figures" and "The Help" on Tuesday afternoon.

You know her from the silver screen, but the Octavia we met in person for lunch at The Peabody is a joyful, lively and frequent visitor to Memphis.

"There's something about this city," Octavia said. "Being from Montgomery, Alabama, I feel like this is the embodiment of the genteel quality of the South and I love it. I love coming here."

The Methodist Healthcare Cancer luncheon brought Octavia to Memphis this time where she encouraged patients and caregivers to fight on.

"Know that each sacrifice you make allows you the energy to press on," Octavia said.

Methodist pays a hefty fee to bring stars like Octavia to this event. In a surprise development during the Q-and-A session on stage, Octavia suddenly announced she was inspired to give back her appearance fee.

"In that room, you had physicians, survivors, family members, just so many different researchers, all of these people fighting the good fight," Octavia said. "And it just felt like the right thing to do."

We learned that the actress who plays so many courageous characters on screen truly does have a giving heart of gold, worthy of the three standing ovations she earned in Memphis on Tuesday afternoon.

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