The Hollywood stars came out Sunday night in Los Angeles for the 86th Academy Awards, the movie industry's most glamorous night, hosted by comedian and talk show host Ellen Degeneres.
A historical drama won the top prize. 12 Years A Slave, the true story about the abduction of a free 19th century American black man into slavery and his eventual release, won the Oscar for best picture.
Steve McQueen the director of 12 Years a Slave dedicated the prize to "all the people who have endured slavery and who are suffering in slavery today."
McQueen, who was nominated for best director but did not win, still made film history. 12 Years a Slave is the first best picture winner directed by a black filmmaker.
The best director winner also made history. Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, who won the best director prize for Gravity, is the category's first Latino winner.
Matthew McConaughey took home the Oscar for best actor for his role in Dallas Buyers Club as a homophobic, rodeo-loving Texan who contracts AIDS and becomes an unlikely savior for gay patients and drug addicts desperate for treatment. McConaughey lost 50 pounds for the role as the real-life crusader Ron Woodroof.
The Oscar for best actress went to Cate Blanchett for her role as a shamed socialite in a downward spiral in the Woody Allen-directed film Blue Jasmine.
The star-studded audience gave newcomer Lupita Nyong'o a thunderous standing ovation when she won the supporting actress category for her role in 12 Years A Slave.
Nyong'o said "it doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's," in a reference to to her depiction of the wretched life of Patsy, a slave.
Jared Leto won the supporting actor category for his turn as an HIV-positive transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club. Leto thanked his mother in his acceptance speech for teaching him to dream big.
Best documentary went to the crowd pleasing story of backup singers 20 Feet From Stardom. One of its stars, Darlene Love, accepted the award singing "I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free" from the gospel song His Eye Is On the Sparrow.
Italy's The Great Beauty won the Oscar for best foreign language film. In accepting the award for his rumination on life and Rome's decadence, director Paolo Sorentino thanked his heroes, including Fedrico Fellini, Martin Scorsese and soccer star Diego Maradona.
Pink sang a rendition of Over the Rainbow as part of a 75th anniversary tribute to The Wizard of Oz, the film starring Julie Garland. All three of Garland's children were in the audience.