Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey accepts the Oscar for lead actor for his role in 'Dallas Buyers Club.' (Kevin Winter / Getty Images / March 2, 2014)

Matthew McConaughey has won the lead actor Oscar for his performance in the drama "Dallas Buyers Club."  It was the first Oscar nomination and win for the 44-year-old actor, who lost more than 40 pounds for the movie directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.

McConaughey also won the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild honors for his acclaimed performance in "Dallas Buyers Club." He plays Ron Woodroof, a hard-drinking, homophobic good-old boy who is diagnosed in 1985 as HIV positive and sets out to find the most promising AIDS cocktail that will help him and others fight the disease's death sentence. Given the previous honors, McConaughey was the favorite going into the night.

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The former People magazine Sexiest Man Alive made his feature debut in Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" and has appeared in such films as 1996's "A Time to Kill," 1997's "Contact," 2003's "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," 2011's "The Lincoln Lawyer" and "Bernie," 2012's "Magic Mike" and 2013's "Mud."

McConaughey competed in the lead actor category against Bruce Dern in Alexander Payne's dramedy "Nebraska," Chiwetel Ejiofor in Steve McQueen's harrowing "12 Years a Slave," Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's controversial dark comedy "The Wolf of Wall Street" and Christian Bale in David O. Russell's Abscam sting investigation comedy, "American Hustle."

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