Jean Dujardin won the Oscar for best performance by an actor in a leading role on Sunday for the silent film The Artist, in which he plays an actor in 1920s Hollywood.
Dujardin, largely unknown outside of France until The Artist, became the toast of film festivals and started racking up awards last year for his moving,
virtually silent portrayal of a dashing actor struggling with Hollywood's transition from silent to talking pictures.
Dujardin, 39, is the first French actor to win a best actor Oscar and the first to be nominated since Gerard Depardieu in 1990. French actress Marion Cotillard won the best actress Academy Award in 2008 for La Vie en Rose.