Oscars 2013: Daniel Day-Lewis of 'Lincoln' wins Best Leading Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis has has won the 2013 Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as iconic President Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's film "Lincoln," marking the British star's third win and fifth nomination.
The winners were announced at a live ceremony that took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and aired live on ABC on Sunday, February 24. Cooper beat Daniel Day-Lewis of "Lincoln," Denzel Washington of "Flight," Hugh Jackman of "Les Miserables" and Joaquin Phoenix of "The Master."
Meryl Streep, who won an Oscar last year for her role as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 film "The Iron Lady," presented the actor with his award.
"I really don't know how any of this happened," Day-Lewis said in his acceptance speech, joking that three years ago, he had committed to play Thatcher.
"Meryl was Steven's first choice for 'Lincoln' and I'd like to see that version," he said.
"Since we got married 16 years ago, my wife Rebecca has lived with some very strange men," Day-Lewis said, referencing his previous eclectic roles. "But luckily she's the versatile one in the family and she's been the perfect companion for all of them."
Spielberg's film focuses on the U.S. leader's final months in office, during which he pushes to end the Civil War, unite the people - including the politicians who oppose him - and pass legislation that would abolish slavery.
"As somebody who grew towards an understanding of that man's life, and this will remain one of the great privileges of my life that I was invited to do that, I would hope that people in this country would allow themselves to re-imagine that man's life and the significance it had in the history of this country," Day-Lewis, a British actor and Oscar winner, told OTRC.com in November.
"It's been a remarkably beautiful experience for me to discover that as an outsider and I suppose because he has been mythologized almost to the point of dehumanization, I would love it if people felt that they would understand his life a little bit, through this film," he added.
Day-Lewis won a Golden Globe for his role last month. He won his first Oscar in 1990, for the film "My Left Foot." He won his second for his leading role in the 2007 movie "There Will Be Blood." He has also been nominated for Oscars for his performances in the films "In The Name of the Father" and "Gangs of New York."
"Lincoln" was nominated for 12 Oscars -- the largest number for a single movie this year. Field and Jones earned individual nods, as did Spielberg.
"The story is quintessentially American, but we hope it's a movie that can speak to audiences worldwide," the director said in a statement to OTRC.com in December. "After all, Lincoln ended his most famous speech, as you hear at the end of our film, looking beyond national boundaries to justice and peace for all nations."
Watch the trailer for "Lincoln" and footage of Daniel Day-Lewis on the red carpet at the Oscars and talking to reporters backstage.