Anthony Hopkins won the best actor Oscar at the 93rd Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. Hopkins, who is 83, won for his performance as an elderly man with dementia in The Father, directed by French novelist and playwright Florian Zeller, who also wrote the acclaimed stage play on which the film is based.
The victory makes Hopkins the oldest ever Oscar winner for acting, an honour previously held by the late Christopher Plummer, who was 82 when he won for Beginners in 2011.
It is Hopkins’s second best actor victory at the Oscars – he won in 1992 for his role as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs.
He had also been nominated for his leading roles in The Remains of the Day and Nixon, as well as for supporting parts in The Two Popes and Amistad.
Hopkins's win consolidated a late surge of momentum for the actor in this year's race, following his victory at the Baftas a fortnight ago. The favourite for the best actor Oscar had been the late Chadwick Boseman for his role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
Also up for this year's best actor prize were fellow Britons Gary Oldman (for Mank) and Riz Ahmed (The Sound of Metal), as well as the Asian American actor Steven Yuen for Minari. Yuen and Ahmed's inclusion marked the first time two Asian actors had been shortlisted in the best actor category.
Hopkins did not pick up his award in person and the anticipated victory speech delivered in his honour by Olivia Colman in London did not materialise. His award crowned a highly unusual Oscars ceremony, which ended shortly after his win was announced.
Hopkins did however share an acceptance speech on Monday morning, which was filmed in Wales, where he is on holiday. In the short clip, he expressed shock at winning the award and paid tribute to Boseman.
He said: “Good morning. Here I am in my homeland in Wales, and at 83 years of age I did not expect to get this award, I really didn’t.
“Very grateful to the Academy and thank you, and I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early.
“And again thank you all very much. Really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honoured. Thank you.” – Guardian/PA