Anthony Hopkins Makes History With Surprise Best Actor Win at the 2021 Oscars

When Anthony Hopkins was named the Best Actor in a Leading Role winner at the 2021 Oscars, he made history. Find out how here.

By Alyssa Ray Apr 26, 2021 3:44 AMTags

And the winner is…

On Sunday, April 25, Anthony Hopkins took home the Best Actor in a Leading Role award at the 2021 Oscars. Hopkins nabbed the acting prize for his performance of Anthony, an aging man who is an unreliable narrator due to progressing memory loss, in The Father.

The 83-year-old actor, who previously won an Academy Award in the same category for his work in The Silence of the Lambs, wasn't present for the awards show. Thus, presenter and last year's Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix accepted the award on Hopkins' behalf.

The Joker actor told the crowd, "The Academy congratulates Anthony Hopkins and accepts the Oscar on his behalf."

Although Hopkins wasn't the frontrunner in this category, as many thought the Oscar would go to the late Chadwick Boseman for his performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, his win is a historic one. Specifically, the celebrated actor just dethroned the late Christopher Plummer as the oldest acting Oscar winner ever. Plummer, who passed away in February at 91, was 82 when he took home the Best Supporting Actor award in 2011 for his performance in Beginners.

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In addition to Boseman, Hopkins was up against Sound of Metal's Riz Ahmed, Mank's Gary Oldman and Minari's Steven Yeun in the category. While this is Hopkins' second win, the Welsh actor has been nominated six times for his work in The Silence of the Lambs, The Remains of the Day, Nixon, Amistad, The Two Popes and, as mentioned above, The Father.

Hopkins' win wasn't the only one for The Father during Sunday's awards show. In fact, The Father's screenwriters Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller took home the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The drama film was also nominated for Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Olivia Colman) and Best Picture.

For all the winners at the 2021 Oscars, click here.