February 22, 2015 11:59 PM EST

Eddie Redmayne, as was widely expected, won the Best Actor trophy at the Oscars for his role in The Theory of Everything. Playing Stephen Hawking and conveying both his genius and his struggle with ALS, Redmayne embodied the agile mind and atrophying body of an iconic figure; he becomes the eighth-youngest star to pick up this award in the Oscars’ 87-year history.

Redmayne had been heavily favored, after wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Golden Globes, but his relatively low public profile makes this a somewhat refreshing Oscars moment. “I will be its custodian,” said Redmayne, saying that the award was meant for all sufferers of ALS.

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