- (Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
Daniel Day-Lewis has become the first man to win the "Best Actor" award three times at the Oscars. During his most recent speech, where he won the Oscar for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, Day-Lewis took the time to thank the former President.
"I really don't know how any of this happened. I am so grateful to the Academy for this beautiful honor. It's a strange thing because three years ago … I had actually committed to play Margaret Thatcher, and Meryl [Streep] was Steven's first choice for 'Lincoln,' and I'd like to see that version," Day-Lewis said as he accepted his award.
Day-Lewis was predicted to be the winner for the category but faced stiff competition from Bradley Cooper ("Silver Linings Playbook); Hugh Jackman ("Les Miserables"); Joaquin Phoenix ("The Master") and Denzel Washington ("Flight"). Day-Lewis' portrayal of Lincoln as he works to enact a historic amendment was, as some said, like watching Lincoln come back to life.
"I'd like to thank Kathy Kennedy, and through you, our mighty team of co-conspirators, at the apex of that human pyramid there are three men I owe this – Tony Kushner, Steven Spielberg, and the mysteriously beautiful mind, body and spirit of Abraham Lincoln," Day-Lewis added.
While "Lincoln" did not take home the award for "Best Film," it did strike a note with critics who praised Day-Lewis' interpretation of the president, as well as Sally Field's portrayal of his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.
"Lewis is viewed as the greatest actor of the current day," Steve Pond, Oscar analyst for Thewrap.com, told USA Today. "Historians will decide whether he deserves comparison with the people of the past. But there's no doubt (Sunday night's award) sealed the deal as our greatest living actor."
Day-Lewis previously took home the award for 1989's "My Left Foot" and 2007's "There Will be Blood." He made certain to thank his wife for her understanding and patience during his preparation for such intense roles.
"When we got married 16 years ago, my wife Rebecca has lived with some very strange men. They were strange as individuals and even stranger as taken as a group. Luckily she's the versatile one in the family, and she's been a perfect companion to all of them," he said.