Olivia Colman wins best actress Oscar for The Favourite

It was the first Oscar and nomination for Olivia Colman, who is one of the most beloved and prolific actresses in British television.
It was the first Oscar and nomination for Olivia Colman, who is one of the most beloved and prolific actresses in British television.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Britain's Olivia Colman won the best actress Oscar on Sunday (Feb 24) for her performance as a petulant monarch in historical comedy The Favourite.

It was the first Oscar and first nomination for Colman, 45, who is one of the most beloved and prolific actresses in British television. Colman also won the Golden Globe and British Bafta awards for her performance.

The Favourite sees Colman portray Britain's 18th-century Queen Anne as an insecure, frail and tempestuous royal who treats her horde of indoor rabbits as if they were her dead children.

Colman, who keeps a low profile in Hollywood but is regarded as a national treasure in Britain, has said she enjoyed playing the role of a woman who is "filthy and sexy and emotional and sad" rather than attempting to be "gorgeous all the time and a little bit sort of prettily flawed".

The self-effacing actress began her career in England some 20 years ago, racking up credits on comedy sketch shows and in dramatic roles such as television police murder mystery Broadchurch and spy thriller The Night Manager. She will next play the role of a middle-aged Queen Elizabeth in the upcoming third season of the Netflix drama The Crown about the British royal family.