Irish actor James Martin not only held a golden Oscar statue at the Academy Awards on Sunday, but he also celebrated his birthday with a room full of celebrities.
Martin, who has Down syndrome, starred in the film “An Irish Goodbye,” about two brothers who come together after their mother’s death. His work in the film is breaking new ground, as he became the first actor with Down syndrome to win a BAFTA award from the British Academy earlier this year, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
At the Oscars, Martin took the stage with the film’s directors, Ross White and Tom Berkeley, and his co-star Seamus O’Hara, to accept the award for Best Live Action Short.
After some quick speeches, Berkeley announced to the audience that it was also Martin’s birthday and asked the crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to him. They happily obliged, with the entire theater joining in.
“This award is actually the second most important thing about today, because it’s this man’s birthday,” Berkeley said. “He’s out here in Hollywood, wearing a leopard print suit jacket, we’d love to use the rest of our time up here to sing for James.”
You can watch the special moment below:
The directors of ‘An Irish Goodbye’ led a chorus of Happy Birthday for the film’s star James Martin after it won best live action short film at the Oscars. #rtenews #oscars #anirishgoodbye #happybirthday #losangeles #hollywood
After the short film won a BAFTA in February, Martin was already looking ahead to the Oscars.
“That might put the icing on my birthday cake — fingers crossed we get an Oscar,” he told the BBC. “We’ll just see what happens on the day.”
Other highlights of the 95th Academy Awards, hosted this year by Jimmy Kimmel, included performances by Lady Gaga and Rihanna, and Brendan Fraser winning the best actor award for “The Whale.”
But the biggest winner of the night was the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which took home seven awards including best picture.
Michelle Yeoh made history by winning the Academy Award for best actress for her role in the film, while Jamie Lee Curtis took home the Oscar for best supporting actress, and Ke Huy Quan won best supporting actor.
Yeoh is the first Asian woman to win the best actress award.
“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” Yeoh said in her acceptance speech. “This is proof that dreams dream big and dreams do come true.”
Congratulations to all the winners!