Feb. 26, 2012 at 11:29 PM ET
In a tight Oscar race for the best actress trophy, Meryl Streep came away triumphant against Viola Davis, Glenn Close, Michelle Williams and Rooney Mara. Her role as Margaret Thatcher in the biopic "The Iron Lady" had already earned her the best actress award at the BAFTAs and Golden Globes.
The actress received a standing ovation as she took the stage to accept her third Oscar.
"When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, 'Oh no! Oh, come on! Why her? Again?' But whatever," the star joked. But before thanking the Academy, the actress thanked her husband. "Because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech, they play him out with the music and I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives, you've given me."
"This is such a great honor," Streep noted of winning the award, "but the thing that counts the most with me is the friendships and the love, and the sheer joy we have shared in making movies. Thank you, my friends, departed and here, for this inexplicably wonderful career."
The actress last won in 1983 for her role as Sophie in "Sophie's Choice."
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