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Best actor Oscar at last for DiCaprio while underdog Spotlight wins best picture

Published 29/02/2016

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio attends the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio attends the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio accepts the Best Actor award for 'The Revenant' onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (L) and actress Kate Winslet arrive on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Mark Rylance poses with his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, "Bridge of Spies," in the press room during the 88th Oscars in Hollywood on February 28, 2016. AFP PHOTO/FREDERIC J. BROWNFREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Brie Larson, winner of the award for best actress in a leading role for Room, attends the Governors Ball after the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (L) and Kate Winslet attend the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, winner of the Best Actor award for 'The Revenant,' poses backstage at the 88th Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: (L-R) Actor Mark Rylance, winner of Best Supporting Actor for 'Bridge of Spies,' actress Brie Larson, winner of Best Actress for 'Room,' actor Leonardo DiCaprio, winner of Best Actor for 'The Revenant,' and actress Alicia Vikander, winner of Best Supporting Actress for 'The Danish Girl,' pose in the press room during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Loews Hollywood Hotel on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Singer-songwriter Sam Smith, winner of the Best Original Song award for 'Writing's on the Wall' from 'Spectre,' poses at the 88th Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California, on February 28, 2016. / AFP / ANGELA WEISSANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images
Actress Alicia Vikander accepts the award for Best Supporting Actress in The Danish Girl at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
(L-R) Steve Golin, Blye Pagon Faust, Nicole Rocklin, and Michael Sugar, pose with the Oscar for Best Picture, "Spotlight," in the press room during the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood. AFP PHOTO/ROBYN BECKROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Brie Larson (L) accepts the Best Actress award for 'Room' from actor Eddie Redmayne onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Eddie Redmayne (R) and Hannah Redmayne arrive on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Performer Manta Ray arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISSANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images
Thomas Hooper (L), Eddie Redmayne (R) and Hannah Redmayne arrive on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Actress Kerry Washington arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISSANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images
Singer Pharrell Williams and Helen Lasichanh arrive on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Actor Matt Damon (L) and Luciana Barroso arrive on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Actress Rachel McAdams arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Singer The Weeknd arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Actress Margot Robbie arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Singer John Legend arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISSANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images
Will Poulter arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Leonardo DiCaprio, winner of Best Actor for 'The Revenant,' attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Patricia Arquette arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Alicia Vikander attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actors Leonardo DiCaprio (L) and Kate Winslet attend the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Brie Larson attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: (L-R) Best Picture winner 'Spotlight' cast and crew including actress Rachel McAdams, producer Michael Sugar, director Tom McCarthy, screenwriter Josh Singer and actor Michael Keaton, actor Liev Schreiber, and host Chris Rock (C) celebrate onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Brie Larson, winner of the Best Actress award for 'Room,' poses in the press room during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Loews Hollywood Hotel on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Mark Rylance, winner of Best Supporting Actor for 'Bridge of Spies,' poses in the press room during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Loews Hollywood Hotel on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Host Chris Rock (L) says goodnight while actor Michael Keaton looks on onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Songwriter Jimmy Napes (L) and singer-songwriter Sam Smith (2nd R) accept the Best Original Song award for 'Writing's on the Wall' from 'Spectre' onstage presented by singers Common (2nd L) and John Legend (R) during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio accepts the Best Actor award for 'The Revenant' onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Alicia Vikander, winner of Best Supporting Actress award for 'The Danish Girl,' walks offstage at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Singer-songwriter Lady Gaga performs onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Cast and crew of 'Spotlight,' including actors Brian d'Arcy James, Michael Keaton, writer-director Tom McCarthy, actor Mark Ruffalo, producers Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust, screenwriter Josh Singer, producer Michael Sugar, actors Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber, and producer Steve Golin accept the Best Picture award onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Recording artist Sam Smith performs onstage at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: (L-R) BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO from 'Star Wars' appear onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Singer-songwriter Lady Gaga performs onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Actor Sacha Baron Cohen (L) and Olivia Wilde arive on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Singer The Weeknd performs on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Actor Jared Leto arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISSANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images
Actor Michael Keaton arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Actor Mark Ruffalo arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Model Chrissy Teigen attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Recording artist John Legend attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Jacob Tremblay attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Bryan Cranston attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Rooney Mara attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Isla Fisher arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Sandy Powell arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Cheryl Boone Isaacs arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Olivia Munn arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Sam Smith (right) and Jimmy Napes arriving at the 88th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Ian West/PA Wire
Abraham Attah arriving at the 88th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Ian West/PA Wire
Sofia Vergara arriving at the 88th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Ian West/PA Wire
Actor Tom Hardy arrives on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Brie Larson attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actors Sacha Baron Cohen (L) and Isla Fisher attend the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Rooney Mara attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Olivia Munn attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Mindy Kaling attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Andy Serkis speaks onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Singer Andra Day in the audience during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Amy Poehler attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Kate Winslet attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Charlize Theron attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Recording artist Lady Gaga attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Kerry Washington attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Tina Fey attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Cate Blanchett attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Julianne Moore attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Model Chrissy Teigen and musician John Legend attend the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Sylvester Stallone attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Jennifer Garner attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Model Heidi Klum attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Director Tom McCarthy (L) and Wendy Merry McCarthy attend the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Finn Wittrock attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Alicia Vikander attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Leonardo DiCaprio ended years of disappointment while Spotlight was the surprise winner of best picture on an Oscars night dominated by the diversity controversy.

Hollywood heartthrob DiCaprio beat Eddie Redmayne, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon and Michael Fassbender to take home the best actor gong for his role in The Revenant at the 88th Academy Awards.

The star was first nominated for an Oscar 23 years ago in a supporting role, and has since been nominated four more times for acting, including this year, but had never won until now.

Newspaper drama Spotlight was the underdog in the best picture category but was triumphant in beating favourite The Revenant to the coveted award.

Thought of as the top honour handed out by the Academy, Spotlight was not widely expected to win best picture and the film won only one other award on the night, taking the gong for best original screenplay.

Such a sparsely-awarded best picture winner has not appeared since 1952's The Greatest Show On Earth.

Spotlight is about the Boston Globe's investigative reporting on sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

The film, which was nominated for six Oscars, looks at the scandal in Boston, and the collusion and reluctance of the local community to face up to it.

Host Chris Rock did not shy away from the diversity issues plaguing this year's awards and opened the ceremony by declaring Hollywood is "racist" and admitting he considered boycotting the ceremony because of the absence of black nominees.

The comedian, who welcomed the audience in the Dolby Theatre to the "white People's Choice Awards", cracked a series of jokes about the race issue and added the controversy over police shootings of black suspects in the US to his targets.

He said: "Everyone wants to know is Hollywood racist? You have to go at it the right way. Is it burning-cross racist? Fetch-me-some-lemonade racist? No. It's a different kind of racist.

"Is Hollywood racist? You're damn right it's racist but it's sorority racist."

He added: "That's how Hollywood is but things are changing."

Rock ended the ceremony saying the night had been an "amazing experience" but threw in one last diversity dig as he quipped "black lives matter".

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs took to the stage to address the diversity issue and quoted Dr Martin Luther King.

She stressed that all members of the academy and "everyone in this room help deliver that message, each of you is an ambassador who can help influence others in the industry. It's not enough to just listen and agree, we must take action. While change is often difficult, it is necessary."

Accepting his award, which he was widely tipped to win, DiCaprio used his last few minutes on stage to campaign for climate change, adding: " It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating."

Room star Brie Larson was named best actress in a leading role, and The Revenant's Alejandro G Inarritu was named best director for the second year in a row.

The most awards of the night went to Mad Max: Fury Road, which managed to take home six Oscars in total, followed by The Revenant with three and Spotlight winning two.

A British star who scooped a surprise victory was Mark Rylance, who was named best supporting actor for his role in Bridge Of Spies, beating Sylvester Stallone, Mark Ruffalo and fellow Britons Christian Bale and Tom Hardy.

Alicia Vikander picked up the best supporting actress Oscar for her role in The Danish Girl.

Other notable British successes included Amy, the British-made film about the late Amy Winehouse, which won the Oscar for best documentary feature film, and Jenny Beavan, who won best costume design Oscar for Mad Max: Fury Road.

Beavan, who wore a jacket from Marks & Spencer to the Oscars, was famously described as a "bag lady" by Stephen Fry at the Baftas.

British singer Sam Smith picked up the best original song Oscar and dedicated his award to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

Smith co-wrote the song Writing's On The Wall with fellow Briton Jimmy Napes for the latest James Bond movie, Spectre. He follows in the footsteps of Adele, who won the Oscar in 2013 for the Bond instalment Skyfall.

An emotional Smith took to the stage with Napes and said: "I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar. I want to dedicate this to the LGBT community all around the world. I stand here tonight as a proud gay man and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day."

Celebrating his win backstage, Smith said he wished he could discuss his triumph with Sir Ian.

He told the Press Association: "I wish I had his number, I don't know him, I just love Gandalf."

In the winners' room, DiCaprio said: "I also got to talk about something I have been obsessed with - the environment and climate change - on a platform with hundreds of millions of people watching worldwide. This is the biggest crisis our world has ever known, I've been making a documentary about this and the time is now, it is imperative that we act."

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