Ex-Hollyoaks actress Rachel Shenton became an Oscar winner overnight when her film The Silent Child scooped Best Live Action Film.
And her acceptance speech was one of the most powerful moments of the awards ceremony.
The 30-year-old star, who played would-be WAG Mitzeee Minniver for three years in the Chester-based soap, took to the stage at the Dolby Theatre with fiance Chris Overton and used sign language for the star of her film, youngster Maisie Sly, as she delivered her acceptance speech.
She said: "I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that I'd sign this speech.
"My hands are shaking so I apologise."
She added: "Our movie is about a deaf child being born into a world of silence", the ECHO reports .
"It's not exaggerated or sensationalised for the movie, this is happening, millions of children all over the world live in silence and face communication barriers and particularly access to education."
Backstage, she said: "I'm so, so proud of putting this ability that isn't talked about in front of a huge audience - it's a story that isn't told often so I'm really, really proud of that."
While Chris, who also starred in Hollyoaks as Liam McAllister, added: "It's just incredible, especially for this subject it usually gets swept under the carpet, so this is huge for deaf people."
Rachel is one of just a few actresses to give their Oscars acceptance speeches in sign language
Jane Fonda signed part of her speech as she accepted the best actress award for Coming Home in 1979, as did Louise Fletcher who signed to her deaf parents when she won best actress for One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest three years earlier.
Marlee Matlin, who is deaf, also signed when she won best actress for Children Of A Lesser God in 1987.
The duo's former Hollyoaks co-star Jorgie Porter was among those tweeting a message of congratulations following their win.
She wrote: "I'm absolutely soooooo bloody estastic !!!! Well done RachelShenton and overton54 on the greatest moment ever !!!!!! #Oscar."
Earlier on, Rachel walked the red carpet alongside the film's young star Maisie, who is from Swindon, and also fiance Chris, who directed the film.
Rachel, dressed in a striking black form-fitting gown, and fiance Chris each held one of Maisie's hands as they posed on the red carpet.
Speaking earlier this week, Rachel said she wants to give hope to thousands of kids by turning her story about a deaf girl into a feature film.
The Silent Child tells the tale of four-year-old Libby who is taught sign language by a social worker played by Rachel.
The 30-year-old was inspired to write the film because of her own experience.
When she was 12 her father Geoff went deaf after having chemotherapy and could not hear for the last 18 months of his life.
Rachel said: “This is the first film I have written. It’s incredibly close to me so the writing of the story felt natural.
“People don’t know about this subject so ultimately I wanted people to leave the cinema feeling more educated and to spark a conversation.
“We are now screening in over 600 cinemas in the US. Now I’m working on the feature film version.”
In May, Rachel will show the film in Parliament and hopes that sign language will one day be introduced to the national curriculum, a message at the end of the film.
Figures show that 78 per cent of deaf children in mainstream schools do not receive additional support. For the sake of authenticity the title role is played by a deaf girl - Maisie.
After a nationwide search and the auditioning of 100 children, the youngster won the part.
Rachel said: “She is incredibly natural. She has a strange maturity for a five-year-old. She’s a total joy to be around.
“We went to the Oscars luncheon with all the nominees and we met Steven Spielberg.
“That was very surreal. He said, ‘Congratulations’. Maisie wants to go to Disneyland and see Donald Duck. That’s who she is mainly concerned about meeting.
“She is so unphased by everything that is going on. She doesn’t understand the enormity of it.”
Rachel started drama and dance lessons at eight and went on to land small parts in Waterloo Road and Holby City before Hollyoaks came along in 2010 with the role of glamorous schemer Mitzeee Minniver.
During her three years in the Channel 4 soap Rachel started working with the National Deaf Children’s Society.
Her fiancé Chris directed The Silent Child with a £10,000 budget from crowd funding. She said: “We had 13 crew members and a tiny budget so we are really proud to even be here.”