Robert Downey Jr wins first Oscar for ‘Oppenheimer’

DailyStar || Shining BD

Published: 3/11/2024 5:47:20 AM

Robert Downey Jr won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in "Oppenheimer," where he played a villainous bureaucrat who seeks to destroy the acclaimed physicist.


Downey played Lewis Strauss, the former chairman of the US Atomic Energy Commission who mounted a behind-the-scenes campaign to strip J. Robert Oppenheimer of his security clearance by tarring him as a communist. Strauss's efforts were later exposed during a congressional hearing, as he sought confirmation to serve as President Dwight Eisenhower's commerce secretary.

"I'd like to thank my terrible childhood and the Academy, in that order," Downey joked before he saluted his wife Susan, who he said found him as a "snarly rescue pet" and "loved him back to life."

Critics praised Downey for playing against his conventional type. Though he has played junkies, hustlers and fast-talkers, Downey is perhaps best known for his multiple film appearances as Marvel superhero Iron Man.

Downey was considered a frontrunner for the best supporting actor Oscar, having collected Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild trophies for his co-staring role.

Randolph won the best supporting actress trophy for playing a grieving mother and cafeteria worker in the comedy set in a New England boarding school. She shed tears as she accepted her award.

"For so long, I always wanted to be different, and now I realize I just need to be myself," she said. "I thank you for seeing me."

British Holocaust drama "The Zone of Interest" was named best international feature. Director Jonathan Glazer addressed the Israel-Gaza conflict in his acceptance speech.

"Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people. Whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza. All the victims of this dehumanization. How do we resist?" he said to cheers and applause.

"The Boy and the Heron," Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki's semi-autobiographical film about grief, was named best animated feature.

The actor earned his first Oscar nomination for playing Charlie Chaplin in 1992's "Chaplin." After battles with scandal and addiction, he earned a second supporting-actor nomination for his role in the war satire "Tropic Thunder."

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