As expected, Daniel Day-Lewis won the Oscar for his portrayal of the nation's 16th president, in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, at the Academy Awards Sunday night in Hollywood.
It's the third lead actor Oscar for the British thespian.
"I really don't know how any of this happened," Day-Lewis said while accepting the award. "I do know that I have received so much more than my fair share of good fortune in my life."
Lincoln features the latest in a string of remarkable performances from the actor, who is known to fully immerse himself in his roles.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, an adaptation of Milan Kundera’s novel, was Day-Lewis' first lead role. He played the Czech doctor Tomas during the 1968 Prague Spring.
Day-Lewis offered a masterful rendition, down to the accent. To prepare, he learned Czech and stayed in character during the eight-month shoot.
During the filming of My Left Foot in 1989, Day-Lewis, playing paraplegic Christy Brown, refused to leave his wheelchair and had crew members carry him everywhere. It paid off. He won his first Oscar.
He received his second Oscar nomination for 1993's In the Name of the Father, as a small-time thief falsely implicated in the IRA bombing of a London pub.
In 2002, after a five-year hiatus, Day-Lewis returned with an acclaimed performance as Bill the Butcher in Martin Scorcese’s Gangs of New York.
His second Oscar win came in 2008 for his performance as the misanthropic oil prospector Daniel Plainview in the turn-of-the-century drama There Will Be Blood.
It took two years for Day-Lewis to research and prepare for the role and, at the time, the idea that he could best that performance was unimaginable.
Now, five years later, the Oscar winner is again on the world stage for his interpretation of the 16th president of the United States.
Day-Lewis says his reward was having the opportunity to experience the life of one the world’s greatest men.
“There’s never been a human being that I never met that I’ve loved as much as him, ever," Day-Lewis says. "I doubt there ever will be.”