Eddie Redmayne has scooped the best actor prize at the Bafta Film Awards for his role as Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.
Redmayne said it was “one of the best nights of my life”.
The film was also named outstanding British film and won a third award for its adapted screenplay.
Coming of age drama Boyhood – shot over 12 years with the same cast – was named best film, with Richard Linklater picking up best director prize.
Patricia Arquette also won the best supporting actress Bafta for her role in the film.
The ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday night was hosted by Stephen Fry.
Julianne Moore won the leading actress prize for her performance as a linguistics professor with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Collecting her award, she thanked “everybody in the Alzheimer’s community who were so generous with their time and telling me their experiences”.
Wes Anderson’s quirky comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel won the most awards on the night – a total of five including costume design, production design, make-up and original music; with Anderson winning his first Bafta for original screenplay.
Jazz drumming drama Whiplash also took three awards – for editing, sound and supporting actor for JK Simmons, who thanked director Damien Chazelle for “the gift of this character”.
World War Two drama The Imitation Game, with Benedict Cumberbatch as codebreaker Alan Turing, won nothing despite its nine nominations.
Redmayne, who was the favourite to win best actor award, arrived on stage to roars of approval from the star-packed audience.
He said of the Hawking family: “I want to thank them for their trust, their generosity and their kindness.
“And for reminding me of the great strength that comes from having the will to live a full and passionate life.”
The Theory of Everything won the first award of the night – for outstanding British film – presented by David Beckham.
Producer Eric Fellner gave “heartfelt thanks” to Professor Hawking and Jane Wilde Hawking, on whose book the film was based: “I hope you all feel we’ve done you proud.”
Prof Hawking had earlier appeared on stage to present the award for special visual effects, alongside leading actress nominee Felicity Jones, which went to Christopher Nolan ‘s sci-fi epic Interstellar.
Jones joked she was with the “only person on the planet more intelligent than Stephen Fry”.
Prof Hawking responded: “Yes, and better looking.”