The previously little-known French actor Jean Dujardin completed an extraordinary year by capturing the Best Actor award at the 84th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday (26 February 2012). Dujardin won for his work in the silent movie 'The Artist', in which he plays a Hollywood star who falls out of favor following the rise of the "talkies".
When the nominations were announced in January, Dujardin was considered the outsider after finding himself up against Brad Pitt for Moneyball and George Clooney, for 'The Descendants'. Clooney was still tipped by many to win the award going into the ceremony, though it was Dujardin who eventually took home the prize. After collecting his prize from last year's Oscar-winner Natalie Portman, the French star said, "Thank you, I love your country.Thank you to the Academy. So many of you here tonight have inspired me. Thank you my wonderful partner Berenice Bejo - my wife, I love you". His role as silent movie star George Valentine won unanimous praise from critics following the release of The Artist.
Dujardin - whose previous credits included a series of light-hearted spy movies - will reportedly begin work on French drama 'A Stormy Summer Night' with JULIETTE BINOCHE.