Best actors Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Helen Mirren and Alan Arkin show off their trophies
Photo: © AFP
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Despite all the pre-Oscar indications that the trophy might be hers, Helen Mirren was clearly delighted to take possession of the best actress statuette. "All kids love to get gold stars, and this is the biggest and the best gold star that I have ever had in my life," she said
Photo: © AFP
The face of Dreamgirls actress Jennifer Hudson says it all as she hears her best supporting actress win announced
Photo: © A.M.P.A.S
"It wasn't my reality to think I would be acting in movies - so receiving this honour tonight tells me that it's possible," said best actor winner Forest
Photo: © A.M.P.A.S
26 FEBRUARY 2007
It hardly came as a surprise when Dame Helen Mirren was named winner of the best actress Oscar on Sunday night, but that did little take away from the British performer's joy and excitement when she was honoured with the cinema industry's most prestigious prize.
"All kids love to get gold stars, and this is the biggest and the best gold star that I have ever had in my life," said the movie veteran, who became one of only a handful of women over 60 to win the trophy.
Also enjoying a fairytale evening was former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson, who picked up the gong for best supporting actress. "Oh my God, I have to just take this moment in - I cannot believe this," said the 25-year-old through tears of happiness. "If my grandmother was here to see me now... She was my biggest inspiration."
Texan star Forest Whitaker, who had already collected a slew of trophies for his portrayal of Idi Amin in The Last King Of Scotland, meanwhile went home with the Academy Award for best actor. "When I was a kid, the only way I saw movies was from the back seat of my family's car at the drive-in," said the emotional star. "It wasn't my reality to think I would be acting in movies - so receiving this honour tonight tells me that it's possible."
Celluloid maestro Martin Scorsese was also celebrating as he consigned the disappointments of previous years to history. The renowned filmmaker, who had been nominated on seven previous occasions but never taken home the prize, won best film and best director for his gangster flick The Departed.
Third time proved lucky for veteran character actor Alan Arkin, too, after he received the best supporting actor trophy for his role in Little Miss Sunshine. The New York native, who was nominated in 1967 and 1969, admitted to feeling "deeply moved" by the honour.
One person with a little more practice at making speeches than the other honorees was former presidential candidate Al Gore. The politician made an impassioned plea for people to take climate change seriously when he took to the podium to pick up the best documentary trophy for his much-talked-about environmental film An Inconvenient Truth.
Among the other big winners on the night was the dark fantasy Pan's Labyrinth, which earned three gongs, and composer Ennio Morricone, who received the lifetime achievement award.
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