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Casey Affleck Wins Best Actor Oscar for ‘Manchester By the Sea’

The actor played an angry and agonized handyman in the Kenneth Lonergan film.

Casey Affleck, 89th Annual Academy Awards

Casey Affleck

Lovekin/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

They hype for Casey Affleck has borne fruit.

Affleck took home his very first for his role as the agonized and bitter Lee Chandler in the acclaimed  Manchester by the Sea.” He was previously nominated for a supporting Oscar for his role in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.”

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Affleck beat out Denzel Washington, who was a serious contender for his role in “Fences.” Perhaps Affleck knew this since he began his thank you speech with, “One of the first people who taught me how to act was Denzel Washington and I just met him tonight, so thank you.” He gave a nod to the others in his category also and then finished by thanking his parents for “mostly believing in me” and his brother Ben Affleck in the audience.

Affleck has been a front-runner for the Oscar since “Manchester” hit Sundance, despite the renewed focus on two lawsuits (both of which had been settled out of court) that alleged sexual harassment.

Besides Washington, the other contenders in the Best Actor category included Ryan Gosling for “La La Land,” Andrew Garfield for “Hacksaw Ridge” and Viggo Mortensen for “Captain Fantastic.”

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