Anthony Hopkins becomes oldest-ever Oscar winner

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Anthony Hopkins.
Anthony Hopkins.
Photo: Greg Doherty/Getty Images

British actor Anthony Hopkins won his second Oscar on Sunday for his heart-wrenching performance as a man with dementia in The Father.

Hopkins, 83, has a six-decade film, TV and stage career, but is perhaps best known for playing the brilliant but twisted murderer Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 thriller The Silence of the Lambs, for which he won his first Oscar.

His best lead actor win on Sunday made him the oldest actor to get an Academy Award, an honour previously held by the late Christopher Plummer.

In The Father, Hopkins plays an aging man who has refused any help from his family and who is beginning to doubt what is real and what is imagined. It is adapted from a 2012 stage play of the same name.

Hopkins told Variety that playing the role "made me very aware now how precious life is".

Born in Wales, the soft-spoken Hopkins is the son of a baker whose career has seen him playing characters ranging from the late U.S. President Richard Nixon to artist Pablo Picasso, Pope Benedict and director Alfred Hitchcock.

But Hopkins says his first love was music and that he came to acting as a profession by accident. He is also an accomplished pianist and artist who has lived for years in California.

He was made a knight by Queen Elizabeth in 1993, giving him the formal title Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Hopkins won on Sunday over the late Chadwick Boseman, who had been the presumed front runner for a posthumous, first Oscar in his final role in jazz drama Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

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