Sir Anthony Hopkins, 83, scoops up historic Oscar as oldest winner of best actor award for The Father

Sir Anthony Hopkins has become the oldest person to win an Oscar award for acting after being named best actor for his role in The Father.

It is the 83-year-old's second Oscar, his first being 29 years ago after he won best actor for The Silence Of The Lambs.

This is the longest gap between wins by any actor in this category in the history of the Oscars.

Reacting to the news, Hopkins said he "really did not expect" to win the award. He also paid tribute to the late actor, Chadwick Boseman, who was also nominated for the best actor Oscar.

Sir Anthony also recently won the best actor Bafta award for The Father - a film about about a man coming to terms with having dementia.

In The Father, Anthony Hopkins plays a man who is battling with the reality of slipping into dementia. Credit: PA Images

Attendance at the Oscars was limited to 170 people this year due to the pandemic. Audience members rotated in and out during the ceremony.

International nominees for this year's awards accepted their prizes from remote hubs. Many British nominees gathered at the BFI in London's Southbank.

Sir Anthony, who is from Port Talbot but usually lives in Los Angeles, did not accept his award in person. However he did post an acceptance speech online on Monday morning, which was filmed in Wales, where he is on holiday.

In the short clip, he expressed shock at winning the award and paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman.

He said: "At 83 years of age I did not expect to get this award, I really didn't. I am 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."

He has been nominated for six Academy Awards in total.

Other significant wins of the night included best director, won by Chloé Zhao for her film Nomadland. She became the first woman from an ethnic minority background and only the second woman in history, to win the award.

The film, which centres on an American woman who loses everything in the Great Recession and begins living in a van as a nomad, also snapped up best film and best actress.

British actor Daniel Kaluuya's best supporting actor win was also historic, making him the first British actor from an ethnic minority background to win the award.