Oscars 2012 winners: Meryl Streep bags her THIRD as Jean Dujardin beats Clooney and Pitt to Best Actor


Golden Lady Meryl Streep bags her THIRD Oscar… as The Artist's
Jean Dujardin beats George Clooney and Brad Pitt to lift the trophy for
Best Actor
The Artist wins Best Picture, Best Score, Directing and Costume Design
Dujardin makes history by claiming top award for uttering just two words
3D children's fantasy Hugo ties with silent hit by securing five awards
Christopher Plummer becomes oldest winner at 82 for Beginners
Streep gets top honour for The Iron Lady 29 years after last win

Thirty three years after she grasped her first gold statuette, Meryl Streep has secured her hat-trick of Academy Awards.

It
came on a night that saw a film with just two singular words of speech in its
script sweep the board, as The Artist was named Best Picture, Jean
Dujardin Best Actor and the Best Directing gong went to Michel
Hazanavicius.

With awards
for best score and best costume design, too, it was undoubtedly the
Franco-American film's night. But it was an historical ceremony in more
ways than one, as veteran actor Christopher Plummer became the Academy's oldest winner taking the Best Supporting Actor laurels for, ironically enough,
film Beginners.

Scroll down for video highlights

Big star: Meryl Streep scooped her third Oscar at the 84th Academy Awards. The actress was presented the gong for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady

Big star: Meryl Streep scooped her third Oscar at the 84th Academy Awards. The actress was presented the gong for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady

Leading lady through the decades: Meryl in 1979 as they celebrate her win for Kramer Vs. Kramer and last night she donned a gold Lanvin dress to pick up her award

Leading lady through the decades: Meryl in 1979 as they celebrate her win for Kramer Vs. Kramer and last night she donned a gold Lanvin dress to pick up her award

Leading lady through the decades: Meryl in 1979 as they celebrate her win for Kramer Vs. Kramer and last night she donned a gold Lanvin dress to pick up her award

Leading lady through the decades: Meryl in 1979 as they celebrate her win for Kramer Vs. Kramer and last night she donned a gold Lanvin dress to pick up her award

But not even their success could distract from Meryl's towering achievement.

Aptly, the Golden Lady of Hollywood
earned her third honour for her performance of former British Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She won a supporting
actress gong in 1979 and the top award in 1982 for Kramer Vs Kramer and
Sophie's Choice respectively. She had lost 12 times in a row since then.

Looking more golden lady than iron in
a draped metallic gown, Meryl thanked her husband after opening with
the self-deprecating statement statement:
'When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of
America go, “Oh, no, why her again” But whatever,' Streep said,
laughing.

Bosom buddies: 2012's Best Actress and Best Actor Meryl and Jean bond over their golden moment

Bosom buddies: 2012's Best Actress and Best Actor Meryl and Jean bond over their golden moment backstage

One man and his dog: Jean Dujardin and Uggie celebrate after he beats Clooney and Pitt to Best Actor, then The Artist trounces both their films

One man and his dog: Jean Dujardin and Uggie celebrate after he beats Clooney and Pitt to Best Actor, then The Artist trounces both their films

One man and his dog: Jean Dujardin and Uggie
celebrated after he beats Clooney and Pitt to Best Actor, then The
Artist trounced both their films

With
the emotion clearly getting to her, Meryl said that standing at the
winners podium she 'sees my life before my eyes,' and insisted that her
friends are what she holds dear from her career, more than the prizes
it brings.

She said: 'I
really understand I'll never be up here again. I really want to think
all my colleagues, my friends. I look out here and I see my life before
my eyes, my old friends, my new friends.

'Really, this is such a great honor
but the think that counts the most with me is the friendship and the
love and the sheer job we've shared making moves together,' said Streep,
who is the record-holder with 17 acting nominations.

Hugs and kisses: Meryl snuggled up to Oscar as Jean kissed Uggie, the ten-year-old Jack Russell wore a Chopard collar in leather and yellow gold

Hugs and kisses: Meryl snuggled up to Oscar as Jean kissed Uggie, the ten-year-old Jack Russell wore a Chopard collar in leather and yellow gold

Hugs and kisses: Meryl snuggled up to Oscar as Jean kissed Uggie, the ten-year-old Jack Russell wore a Chopard collar in leather and yellow gold

Passing the baton: Last year's best actor Colin Firth and actress Natalie Portman presented awards to their successors Meryl Streep and Jean Dujardin

Passing the baton: Last year's best actor Colin Firth and actress Natalie Portman presented awards to their successors Meryl Streep and Jean Dujardin

Passing the baton: Last year's best actor Colin
Firth and actress Natalie Portman presented awards to their successors
Meryl Streep and Jean Dujardin

At the heart of the action: Tom Cruise presented the award for Best Picture while Christian Bale delighted Octavia Spencer by giving her Best Supporting Actress... and this kiss

At the heart of the action: Tom Cruise presented the award for Best Picture while Christian Bale delighted Octavia Spencer by giving her Best Supporting Actress... and this kiss

At the heart of the action: Tom Cruise presented
the award for Best Picture while Christian Bale delighted Octavia
Spencer by giving her Best Supporting Actress… and this kiss

The
Iron Lady star is only the fifth performer to receive three Oscars.
Jack Nicholson, Ingrid Bergman and Walter Brennan all earned three,
while Katharine Hepburn won four.

'So thank-you to my friends. The ones that are departed and the ones that are here. Thank-you.'

It was a night that went as expected,
with front-runners claiming key prizes. Streep's triumph provided a bit
of drama, since she had been in a two-woman race with Viola Davis for The Help.

Popular choice: Octavia Spencer accepts the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role for The Help during the 84th Academy Awards

Popular choice: Octavia Spencer accepts the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role for The Help during the 84th Academy Awards

Popular choice: Octavia Spencer accepts the
Oscar for best actor in a supporting role for The Help during the 84th
Academy Awards

Popular choice: Octavia received a standing ovation from her peers

Resounding applause: Octavia received a standing ovation from her peers including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

A
new friend would surely be The Artist's Jean Dujardin, the first man to
win an Oscar by uttering two words – and who had the Gallic temerity to
beat All American boys, favourite George Clooney and his dear friend
Brad Pitt.

He bounded to the stage, shaking his fist and beaming from ear-to-ear.

'I
love your country,' he declared and then went on to thank director
Hazanavicius, co-star Berenice Bejo, and his wife in the audience.

Dujardin
says just two words in the film 'thank' and 'you,' which was handy for
tonight as he repeated them vociferously while plunging the pewter
repeatedly into the air.

Nervous Jolie prepares to present her two awards

Nervous Jolie prepares to present her two awards backstage – the brunette smouldered through her appearance on stage enveloped in black velvet

Black and white: Monochrome was the hot theme of the night as presenters Angelina Jolie and Milla Jovovich proved

Black and white: Monochrome was the hot theme of the night as presenters Angelina Jolie and Milla Jovovich proved

Black and white: Monochrome was the hot theme of the night as presenters Angelina Jolie and Milla Jovovich proved

Funny girls: Bridesmaids stars Rose /02/27/article-2106986-11EE2E39000005DC-579_470x423.jpg

'Where have you been all my life' Christopher Plummer is the oldest ever Academy Award winner at 82, he scooped the Best Support Actor gong for Beginners

'Where have you been all my life' Christopher Plummer is the oldest ever Academy Award winner at 82, he scooped the Best Support Actor gong for Beginners

Presenting duos: Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jnr and Ben Stiller with Emma Stone

Presenting duos: Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jnr and Ben Stiller with Emma Stone

Presenting duos: Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jnr and Ben Stiller with Emma Stone made for stellar powered presentations tonight

Then there was the wholly expected yet
joyfully received win for Octavia Spencer, who was rewarded for her performance in The Help.

Resplendent
in white sequins Octavia held her hand to her mouth as the great and
the good of Hollywood jumped to their feet for her, led by Angelina
Jolie – who could be seen heartily cheering for the actress from one of
the front rows.

Horribly,
after this wonderful moment, Crystal misfired with a gag that saw him
say Octavia's performance made him want to hug the first black woman he found which 'from Beverly Hills is a 45 minute drive.'

The dubious joke was met with a weak laugh, but the actress's heartfelt speech ensured a better taste was left in the mouth.

Touching display of friendship: Sandra Bullock wiped her friend George Clooney's face before the ceremony got under way

Touching display of friendship: Sandra Bullock wiped her friend George Clooney's face before the ceremony got under way

Touching displays of friendship, new and old: Sandra Bullock wiped her friend George Clooney's face before the ceremony got under way and Octavia Spencer thanked the Academy for giving her Christian Bale as a presenter – the pair seemed to really hit it off as they chatted backstage

Old and new: Melissa Leo and Bret McKenzie can now bond over being Academy Award winners

Old and new: Melissa Leo and Bret McKenzie can now bond over being Academy Award winners

Academy talents: Former Best Supporting Actress Melissa Leo, who won for 2010's The Fighter, and Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie, who penned Best Song Muppet or a Man for The Muppets, can now bond over being Academy Award winners

Spencer
wept throughout her breathless monologue, in which she apologised for
her disarray between bursts of laughing and crying.

'Thank you, academy, for putting me
with
the hottest guy in the room,' Spencer said, referring to last year’s
supporting-actor winner Christian Bale, who presented her Oscar, the
pair seemed to get on famously and later enjoyed a friendly kiss.

Before taking the stage, Spencer puckered up with The Help co-stars Viola Davis, a best-actress nominee, and
Jessica Chastain, a fellow supporting nominee.

'I share this with everybody,' Spencer said.

The legendary Christoper Plummer matched Octavia in the Best Supporting Actor category.

Plummer is the oldest acting winner ever at 82.

'You’re only two years older than me,
darling, where have you been all my life' Plummer said as he held aloft the statuette.

Gone but not forgotten: The Awards also paid tribute to those stars lost in 2011 including Elizabeth Taylor

Gone but not forgotten: The Awards also paid tribute to those stars lost in 2011 including Elizabeth Taylor)

Paying tribute: Steve Jobs and Whitney Houston were also remember in the video montage

Paying tribute: Steve Jobs and Whitney Houston were also remember in the video montage

Paying tribute: Steve Jobs and Whitney Houston were also remember in the video montage

He joked that he has spent his life rehearsing his
acceptance speech: 'I'm so proud to be in your company,' he said to his
fellow nominees.

He also caused the audience to well up by thanking his wife 'for coming to my rescue every day of my life.'

Earlier, a nervous George Clooney was reassured by his friend, Sandra Bullock.

The motherly actress, who referenced
her German heritage to great comic effect as she presented the award for
best foreign language film which went to Iran's A Separation, tenderly
wiped the actor's face as they chatted before the ceremony began.

His
friends Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt seemed more relaxed, they mingled
with fellow stars excitedly – chatting particularly at length with Meryl
Streep.

Golden couple: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were on sparkling form

Golden couple: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were on sparkling form, they arrived at the event with Brad's parents but he was denied the chance to celebrate a Best Oscar win after the juggernaut of success that is The Artist saw Jean Dujardin reap the honour

Humans are so passe: Uggie the god from The Artist and Kermit and Miss Piggy earned huge cheers

Humans are so passe: Uggie the god from The Artist and Kermit and Miss Piggy earned huge cheers

Humans are so passe: Uggie the dog from The Artist and Kermit and Miss Piggy earned huge cheers from the assembled luminaries

First British triumph at the Oscars came when The Iron Lady won for best make-up design.

British prosthetic artist Mark Coulier who spent three hours each day transforming Meryl Streep into an older Margaret Thatcher shared the Oscar with hair designer J. Roy Helland, who has worked with Meryl for thirty years and was singled out in her speech as her 'other partner.'

Martin Scorcese's Hugo also got off to a running start with a win in the Art Direction category, and later picked up Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects.

Thespians are us: Brad and Angelina enjoy a tete-a-tete with Meryl Streep

Thespians are us: Brad and Angelina enjoy a tete-a-tete with Meryl Streep ahead of the ceremony, they enjoyed the occasion though Brad missed out on Best Actor

Homage to the silver screen: Tonight's show was themed around cinema's golden age, when you watched films on a big screen... 'my i-pad' Crystal quipped

Homage to the silver screen: Tonight's show was themed around cinema's golden age, when you watched films on a big screen… 'my i-pad' Crystal quipped

Crystal had fun with Brangelina and Clooney, jokingly running a commentary on the thoughts in their heads Crystal imagined that Pitt was worrying about parent teacher meetings and that George was panicking: 'Billy didn't tell me that kiss was being filmed.'

Bret McKenzie won the award for best original song with Man or Muppet from The Muppets, after a hilarious skit from Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis.

Rango won for best animated feature film.

Quite an honour: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis prepare to h Galifianakis prepare to present the Oscar Best Original Song to Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie

Quite an honour: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis prepare to h Galifianakis prepare to present the Oscar Best Original Song to Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie

'Please welcome the original girl with the dragon tattoo,' Billy Crystal said as he introduced Angelina Jolie.

With her lips painted red and her dress slit provocatively, she handed The Descendants the prize for best adapted screenplay. Director and co-writer Alexander Payne had brought his mother to the ceremony and, on her insistence, he dedicated the prize to her.

Original screenplay, went to Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris, but the director hadn't made the journey to his hated West Coast and was ensconced in New York.

'The Academy accepts this award on his behalf,' smiles Jolie.

Old friends: Octavia Spencer (L) and The Help director Tate Taylor (2nd L) watch as best actress nominee Viola Davis (C) jokes with Taylor's girlfriend Stacy Keibler (R)

Old friends: Octavia Spencer (L) and The Help director Tate Taylor (2nd L) watch as best actress nominee Viola Davis (C) jokes with Taylor's girlfriend Stacy Keibler (R)

Big hitter Michael Douglas was wheeled out to present the first big award of the night, Best Director.

The winner is Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist. '

I am the happiest director in the world right now,' he said, before going on to thank a long list of people. 'I want to thank Uggie the dog,' before adding in a typical Gallic humourous aside: 'Uggie doesn't care. He doesn't understand maybe. He's not that good.'

OSCARS 2012: FULL LIST OF WINNERS

Best Picture: The Artist

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help

Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Directing: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Cinematography: Hugo

Art Direction: Hugo

Costume Design: The Artist

Makeup: The Iron Lady

Foreign Language Film: A Separation, Iran.

Film Editing: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Sound Editing: Hugo

Sound Mixing: Hugo

Documentary Feature: Undefeated

Animated Feature Film: Rango

Visual Effects: Hugo

Original Score: The Artist

Original Song: Man or Muppet from The Muppets

Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants

Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Live Action Short Film: The Shore

Documentary (short subject): Saving Face

Animated Short Film: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

VIDEO: See all the highlights from the 2012 Oscars

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