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British actor Daniel Day-Lewis had made history after taking home his third Best Actor Oscar on Hollywood's biggest night.

The 55-year-old star took the prestigious honour for his stunning portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, America's 16th president in Steven Spielberg's award-winning biopic.

Day-Lewis previously won awards for his roles in My Left Foot in 1990 and There Will Be Blood in 2007. He is the only actor to win three Best Actor Oscars.

In his acceptance speech he insisted that he had been blessed with a life filled with good fortune.

"I really don't know how any of this happened. I do know I've received much more than my fair share of good fortune in my life," he said.

He also paid tribute to his wife Rebecca Miller, who he said had "lived with some very strange men" during the course of their 16-year marriage.

Day-Lewis has come a long way since dropping out of school at the age of 13 for his first film, an unaccredited bit part in Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

Throughout his career the British-Irish actor has demonstrated range and attention to detail.

In his breakthrough role as Johnny in 1985's My Beautiful Laundrette, he played a gay man in an interracial relationship. In My Left Foot, which earned him his first Academy Award, he took on the role of Christy Brown, a man with cerebral palsy.

And four decades on, Day-Lewis continues to maintain his status as one of the most talented actors of his generation.

IBTimes UK takes a look back at the acting legend over the years...