Anthony Hopkins wins in shocking upset over Chadwick Boseman, becomes oldest Oscars acting winner
The final moments of the 2021 award season still had at least one more surprise in store.
In a Best Actor category many thought was a lock for the late Chadwick Boseman to win posthumously, Anthony Hopkins instead won his second Academy Award, for his work in the film The Father. The achievement makes the 83-year-old the oldest person to ever receive an acting Oscar.
Given how the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020, Hopkins' rousing turn as a patriarch with dementia was pegged as a shoo-in for a nomination in the Best Actor category for over a year.
However, his Academy Award win Sunday night is considered an upset by many due to the fact he bested the late Boseman, up for his final, showstopping role as Levee in Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
Legendary actor Henry Fonda previously held the record for oldest Best Actor winner for his role in On Golden Pond in 1982, at age 76. And the late Christopher Plummer last held the title of oldest winner in acting history for his Supporting Actor win for Beginners at age 82.
Hopkins was not in attendance at the ceremony, so last year's winner Joaquin Phoenix, who presented the category, accepted the award on his behalf.
He did however later post an acceptance speech on Instagram, live from his homeland of Wales, stating, "At 83 years of age I did not expect to get this award, I really didn't. And [I'm] very grateful to the Academy, and thank you, and I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early, and again thank you all very much. I really did not expect this. So I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you."
Hopkins' first win in the category came in 1992 for his quintessential portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs.
This article has been updated to include the acceptance speech Hopkins posted to Instagram on Monday.