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Brendan Fraser Caps Comeback With Best Actor Oscar Win For The Whale

Brendan Fraser has scooped an Oscar for his first lead role in a major film for 12 years, in The Whale.

His best actor victory caps a comeback for one of Hollywood’s former leading men who has admitted he was left “in the wilderness” for a decade.

The intense drama of The Whale allowed the Mummy and George of the Jungle star to show a new side to his talents.

Fraser plays a reclusive and morbidly obese English professor who wants to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

Struggling to catch his breath in an emotional acceptance speech, he explained that when he rose to fame, he had not fully realised his career trajectory would not necessarily continue.

“I started in this business 30 years ago, and things – they didn’t come easily to me, but there was a facility that I didn’t appreciate at the time. Until it stopped,” he said.

The Whale is a reference to Moby Dick, and in one of several nautical references, Fraser said he felt like he had “been on a diving expedition on the bottom of the ocean, and the air on the line to the surface is on a launch being watched over by some people in my life”.

They included his sons and manager. He also thanked director Darren Aronofsky for “throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship The Whale”.

“Thank you again, each one and all. I’m so grateful to you,” he added.

Fraser emerged as a major screen star playing George of the Jungle in 1997, then as heartthrob Rick O’Connell in the hit Mummy action trilogy from 1999-2008.

He took on further dramatic roles in Gods and Monsters, The Quiet American and Crash, as well as fantasy roles in Bedazzled and Journey to the Center of the Earth.

But his film work slowed from the late 2000s, amid years of injuries sustained while performing stunts, which resulted in operations on his spine, knee and vocal cords.

And following the breakdown of his marriage, there was a child support payment legal battle, while he also made a sexual assault allegation against a leading Hollywood figure.


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