Patricia Arquette has won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She starred in Richard Linklater’s epic Boyhood, playing the role of Olivia Evans.

The 46 year old fended off strong competition from Laura Dern (Bobbi Grey in Wild), Keira Knightley (Joan Clarke in The Imitation Game), Emma Stone (Sam Thomson in Birdman) and Meryl Streep (‘The Witch’ in Into The Woods).

2015's Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette (L) with her 'Boyhood' colleagues Ellar Coltrane and Richard Linklater

Accepting the award from 2014’s Best Supporting Actor Jared Leto, an emotional Arquette pulled out a sheet of paper and rattled through a pretty exhaustive list of everybody from the rest of the Boyhood cast and crew to the taxpayers of America, and called for a full recognition of equal rights for women across the country.

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The rousing end to her acceptance speech saw fellow nominee Streep up on her feet, clapping and punching the air. On Oscars morning itself, Arquette launched a charity initiative, a website challenge to spend time with the actress as she takes part in various projects to make the world a better place.

Arquette has found a great deal of success with this role, winning the equivalent Golden Globe earlier this year. She made her first film appearance at the age of 19 in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, and has worked with a number of feted directors including David O. Russell, Tim Burton and David Lynch.

The 87th Academy Awards ceremony is being broadcast live on ABC, and is presented by Neil Patrick Harris.

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