Anne Hathaway won an Oscar on her second nomination Sunday, confirming her status as one of Hollywood's brightest acting talents -- and an astonishingly powerful singer who "Dreamed a Dream."
The 30-year-old, who took home the Academy Award for best supporting actress, had already won the Golden Globe last month for her role as the young mother and prostitute Fantine in the musical adaptation "Les Miserables."
Her tearful rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" is one of the film's most heart-wrenching moments, the camera following her in relentless close-up, in one long take, as she laments her fate.
"It came true," she said as she accepted her golden statuette.
"We did it upwards of 20 times, but it was the fourth take that (director) Tom (Hooper) came up to me and said, 'You know, I have it. That was the one. I don't imagine we're going to do better than that'," she told an interviewer.
"And I, of course, am like... 'I can do it again.' And I never broke through in the same way again," she added. "So, at the end of eight hours of singing the song, we realized we could have finished after the first 20 minutes."
Hathaway's Oscar win is certain to catapult her into the top tier of Hollywood actresses.
Born in Brooklyn in 1982, the daughter of a lawyer father and actress mother, Hathaway was drawn to acting early on, participating in dozens of school plays before heading to college.
Her first film role came in 2001's Disney film "The Other Side of Heaven." Around this time she successfully auctioned for the lead in "The Princess Diaries," the comedy-drama that effectively launched her career.
After a series of family-oriented films, most notably 2004's "Ella Enchanted" and a sequel to "The Princess Diaries," Hathaway's career took a new direction with a shift towards more adult fare.
In 2005, she appeared as a spoiled socialite in "Havoc," which controversially featured several nude scenes, before she saddled up for Ang Lee's gay cowboy drama "Brokeback Mountain."
Her next film was the hit 2006 comedy "The Devil Wears Prada," where she played the harassed assistant to multiple Oscar-winning Meryl Streep's tyrannical fashionista.
Hathaway said she took the role specifically for the opportunity to work with Streep. "Everything that I have ever hoped to accomplish, she has done and done better than anyone I have ever seen," she said.
In 2007, Hathaway played English author Jane Austen in "Becoming Jane" before a trio of films the following year -- the spy comedy "Get Smart," the critical dud "Passengers" and "Rachel Getting Married."
"Rachel Getting Married" earned her a first Oscar nomination, for leading actress, but she lost out to Britain's Kate Winslet, after a year clouded by controversy surrounding then boyfriend Raffaello Follieri, jailed for fraud.
In 2010, she was equally busy, playing the White Queen in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland," while 2011 saw her in romance "One Day," followed by her 2012 turn as Selena in "The Dark Knight Rises."
She also leant her voice to animated hit "Rio" in 2011, as well as to TV series "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy." Her next film role after "Les Miz" is a reprise of long-lashed macaw Jewel in "Rio 2," due out in 2014.
On Sunday, Hathaway bested fellow nominees Amy Adams for "The Master," Sally Field for "Lincoln," Helen Hunt for "The Sessions," and Jacki Weaver for "Silver Linings Playbook."