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"English Patient' wins nine Oscars

Hollywood's most glamorous night turned out to be a bonanza for The English Patient, which claimed nine Oscars on the evening, including best picture.

The complex World War II romance now is tied for third among all-time Oscar winners. The nine awards placed it alongside Gigi and The Last Emperor for most wins.

The all-time leader for most Oscars is Ben-Hur's 11 in 1959, followed by West Side Story's 10 in 1961.

Geoffrey Rush was named best actor for his intricate portrayal of a tortured piano genius in Shine. Frances McDormand of Fargo was honored as the year's best actress.

The biggest surprise of the evening in the acting balloting was a victory by Juliette Binoche as best supporting actress for her role as a passionate angel of mercy in The English Patient.

Cuba Gooding Jr. became the sixth African-American actor ever to win a performance Oscar for his work as a flamboyant pro football player in Jerry Maguire. Gooding _ who joined Hattie McDaniel, Lou Gossett Jr., Sidney Poitier, Whoopi Goldberg and Denzel Washington _ was irrepressible in his acceptance speech to the delight of the audience.

"I know I have a little bit of time so I'm going to rush and get in everyone. You can cut away, I won't be mad at you," the excited Gooding warned the crowd.

Billy Crystal returned to the stage for his fourth appearance as host of the Academy Awards and kept the proceedings entertaining despite the 3{-hour running time.

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