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Oscar winners 2011: Melissa Leo wins Academy Award for 'The Fighter'

Get more: Academy Awards
02/27/2011 by Corinne Heller

Melissa Leo won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role on Sunday for her role in "The Fighter," marking the actress' first win and second nomination.

Leo, who dropped an expletive during her acceptance speech, beat Helena Bonham Carter of "The King's Speech," Amy Adams of "The Fighter," Jacki Weaver of "Animal Kingdom" and Hailee Steinfeld of "True Grit."

"The Fighter" tells of real-life boxer "Irish" Micky Ward, portrayed by Mark Wahlberg, and how his brother, played by Christian Bale, helped him before he went pro in the mid 1980s.

Leo plays their mother and Amy Adams plays Ward's love interest, a cocktail waitress named Charlene.

"Oh my, oh my God," Leo said on stage. "Oh wow really, really, really, really, really, truly wow. I know there's a lot of people that said a lotta real real nice things to me for several months now, but I'm just shaking in my boots here."

"Thank you David O. Russell. I want to thank the actors, Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, he might run out for a second, Amy, my sweet sister Adams, Jack, our lovely daughters. OK. Yeah, I am kind of speechless. Golly sakes, there's people up there too. When I watched Kate two years ago, it looked so (expletive)!" Leo said, to the shock of the audience.

"This has been a extraordinary journey in getting to know what the Academy is about and first and foremost, thank you Academy, because it's about selling motion pictures and respecting the work!" she said. "Thank you so much."

"I thought "F" stood for "The Fighter," co-host Anne Hathaway joked after Leo left the stage. Leo later apologized for her language.

"The Fighter," directed by Russell, has been nominated for seven Oscars, including one for Adams and Bale, as well as Best Picture.

UPDATE: Bale later won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "The Fighter." He had won a Golden Globe in January for his performance.

Adams told OnTheRedCarpet.com in December that Wahlberg's character is sexy because he defends her from a rude customer in a bar scene.

Leo was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the 2008 movie "Frozen River." She won a Golden Globe in January for her performance in "The Fighter."

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