Who Is Mark Rylance? His Oscar Win Was Something Of An Upset For Rocky Fans

One of the most contentious categories at the 2016 Academy Awards saw its winner announced Sunday: Mark Rylance won the 2016 Best Supporting Actor Oscar. For most of the time between the nominations being announced in January, until the ceremony on Feb. 28, Creed actor Sylvester Stallone was expected to win, with somewhat of an asterisk next to that win. In a year where there was not a single actor of color nominated in any acting category, Stallone's nomination stuck out because he played a supporting role in the critically beloved Rocky sequel, Creed , which stars the very talented Michael B. Jordan and which was directed by the equally talented Ryan Coogler. However, though Rylance's win came as a surprise, one can't deny that it's incredibly well-deserved.

The category is a tough one, including the likes of Mark Ruffalo for his amazing performance in Spotlight and Mark Rylance for his much heralded role in Bridge of Spies, and, in the end, it was Rylance who came out on top. It was the Bridge of Spies actor's first Academy Awards nomination and his first win, which he humbly accepted while declaring that, "It's a wonderful time to be an actor, and I'm proud to be a part of it." The fact that a first-time nominee would beat such big names in order to take home the coveted golden statuette was truly heartwarming, though not as heartwarming as his speech, which also took time to praise the other actors in the category for their own skill and talent.

Rylance, who got his start as a professional actor at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre in 1980, has steadily produced amazing work over the course of his career, mainly on stage, with his stage credits far outstripping his film and television credits. Nonetheless, he's appeared in such projects as Wolf Hall and The Other Boleyn Girl, and has been nominated 36 times over the course of his career for awards like the BAFTA, the Golden Globe, and the SAG Award. Taking home his very first Oscar for his very first nomination is an accomplishment that he should totally be bragging about forever. You know, if Rocky fans will ever let this one go.