Brits rule Oscars as Kate Winslet and Danny's 'Slumdog' pick up gongs

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It was the moment the Reading-born star had been waiting for all her career - being called to the stage to collect an Academy Award. "I'd be lying if I hadn't made a version of this speech. I think I was probably eight years old," said Kate, who won for her performance in The Reader
Photo: © Getty Images 

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The night's big success story was Slumdog Millionaire, which emerged triumphant in eight out of the ten categories in which it was nominated, including best director for Danny Boyle
Photo: © Getty Images 

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Kate celebrates her win with best actor recipient Sean Penn and supporting actress champion Penelope Cruz, who brought home Spain's first female acting Oscar
Photo: © Getty Images 

It was a case of sixth time lucky for jubilant Kate Winslet as she finally took home an Oscar at this year's Academy Awards in LA. As her director husband Sam Mendes looked on, the visibly moved star was called to the podium to collect the coveted best actress statuette for her role in The Reader.

"I'd be lying if I hadn't made a version of this speech. I think I was probably eight years old and staring into a mirror," said 33-year-old Kate, who also thanked her children for "letting me do what I love and who love me just the way that I am".

The night belonged to Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle's rags-to-riches Mumbai-set tale, which bagged eight gongs, including best director and picture. Fifty-two-year-old filmmaker Danny jumped up and down in delight as he received his award, telling the audience: "I swore (to my children) if this miracle ever happened I would receive it in the spirit of Tigger."

There was surprise as Sean Penn pipped favourite Mickey Rourke in the best actor category for his portrayal of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk and there was celebration in Spain as Penelope Cruz picked up the country's first female acting Academy Award.

The brunette beauty was clearly overwhelmed by the honour for Best Supporting Actress, given for her performance in Woody Allen's Spain set romance Vicky Cristina Barcelona. "Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one," she said during her speech.

Other winners included Heath Ledger, who scored a posthumous best supporting actor Oscar for his performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight. The accolade was accepted by his parents and sister, on behalf of his daughter, "your beautiful Matilda". His mother said the family had been truly overwhelmed by how the world of cinema were celebrating his career.

Also singled out for merit was Brad Pitt's film The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. It scooped best picture while British movie The Duchess, which stars Keira Knightley, won an Oscar for best costume design

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Inside the Oscars ceremony

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