Natalie Portman wins Oscar for best actress

Israeli-American wins for role in "Black Swan"; "Strangers No More" on South TA school also nabs award; "King's Speech" wins best film.

natalie portman oscar_311 (photo credit: Gary Hershorn / Reuters)
natalie portman oscar_311
(photo credit: Gary Hershorn / Reuters)
LOS ANGELES - Natalie Portman won the best actress Academy Award on Sunday for her role as an unhinged ballerina in Black Swan.
The 29-year-old Israeli-American was considered the strong favorite for the award, having dominated the various awards shows leading up to the Oscars.
RELATED:Gallery: Kings Speech wins big at Oscars‘The King’ will reign at the OscarsSouth Tel Aviv school thrilled with Oscar nod
Portman trained five hours a day for six months to prepare for Black Swan, a project she and director Darren Aronofsky first discussed about nine years ago. When they started shooting the film in 2009, it had not secured any financing.
Her character, desperately insecure and possibly still a virgin, contends with professional jealousies and rivalries as she secures the dual lead roles in "Swan Lake."
The film was a commercial and critical hit, with worldwide ticket sales of more than $200 million. As a bonus, Portman last year announced she was pregnant and would marry the baby's father, a dancer she met on the "Black Swan" set. She previously received an Oscar nomination in 2005, for her supporting role in "Closer."
Portman's rivals were four-time nominee Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right, previous Oscar winner Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole, Jennifer Lawrence for Winter's Bone, and Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine.
Israel was also given the spot light for a brief moment when directors Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon won the Oscar for their film Strangers No More in the category for Documentary Short Subject.
The 40-minute American film about South Tel Aviv's diverse Bialik-Rogozin School focuses on the sagas of three foreign, non-Jewish pupils – Esther from South Africa, Mohamed from Darfur and Johannes from Eritrea. The film shows how the school has taken kids from all backgrounds, with the most tragic histories, and given them a new life in a humane environment where race, religion and nationality don’t matter.
The King's Speech took home the top Academy Award, for best picture, giving the British royals drama a total of four Oscars at Sunday's ceremony.
The acclaimed film about the efforts of the future King George VI to overcome a crippling stammer went into the event with a leading 12 nominations. It won such key awards as best actor for its star, Colin Firth.
The best picture award was accepted by its producers, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin.
The following is a compete list of winners at the 83rd annual Academy Awards in Hollywood on Sunday:
    - Best picture - The King's Speech
    - Best director - The King's Speech (Tom Hooper)
    - Best actor - Colin Firth (The King's Speech)
    - Best actress - Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
    - Supporting actor - Christian Bale (The Fighter)
    - Supporting actress - Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
    - Original screenplay - The King's Speech (David Seidler)
    - Adapted screenplay - The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin)
    - Foreign language film - In a Better World (Denmark)
    - Animated feature - Toy Story 3
    - Original song - We Belong Together from Toy Story 3 (Randy Newman)
    - Original score - The Social Network (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross)
    - Film editing - The Social Network (Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter)
    - Cinematography - Inception (Wally Pfister)
    - Sound Mixing - Inception (Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, Ed Novick)
    - Sound editing - Inception (Richard King)
    - Visual effects - Inception (Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley, Peter Bebb)
    - Art direction - Alice in Wonderland (Robert Stromberg, Karen O'Hara)
    - Costume design - Alice in Wonderland (Colleen Atwood)
    - Makeup - The Wolfman (Rick Baker, Dave Elsey)
    - Documentary feature - Inside Job
    - Documentary short subject - Strangers No More
    - Live action short film - God of Love
    - Animated short film - The Lost Thing