Sandra Bullock won her first Oscar Sunday scooping the best actress award for her role as a feisty southern housewife who mentors a homeless black teenager in the sports drama The Blind Side. The 45-year-old star had been the front-runner for the statuette after winning a virtual sweep of the pre-Oscars awards including the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
"Did I really earn this or did I just wear ya'll down?" the actress joked as she stepped to accept her award. Bullock paid tribute to her fellow nominees and drew a laugh when she told Meryl Streep "you are such a good kisser."
But in an emotional moment, the Miss Congeniality and Speed star thanked her late mother Helga Bullock, a German opera singer who died of cancer in 2000, for pushing her into her acting career.
"I would like to thank what this film was about for me, which are the moms that take care of the babies and the children no matter where they come from," Bullock said.
"Those moms and parents never get thanked. I, in particular, failed to thank one," Bullock said, as her voice broke with emotion. "So if I can take this moment to thank Helga B. for not letting me ride in cars with boys until I was 18. For making me practice every day when I got home, piano, ballet.
"And for reminding her daughters that there's no race, no religion, no class system, no color, nothing, no sexual orientation, that make us better than anyone else. We are all deserving of love."
The Oscar victory comes after the most successful year of Bullock's career when she appeared in two hit films, The Blind Side and The Proposal which have grossed more than 700 million dollars combined.
Bullock's crowning Oscar glory came just a day after she was named top of the flops at the 30th Razzie Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday, the annual eve-of-Oscars spoof which pays homage to the very worst of Hollywood.
Bullock delighted guests at Los Angeles's Barnsdall Theater by appearing to collect her award and handed out DVD copies of her offending performance in the box office flop All About Steve to guests.
"I'll show up again next year if you promise to watch the movie and really consider if it was the worst performance of the year," said Bullock after receiving her "Razzie," a plastic gold spray painted raspberry. "And if it isn't, I'll give back the Razzie."
Other nominees in Sunday's Oscars best actress category included Meryl Streep for her portrayal of legendary television chef Julia Child in Julie & Julia, Britain's Carey Mulligan in An Education, Gabourey Sidibe in Precious and Helen Mirren in The Last Station.