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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Patricia Arquette won her first Oscar on Sunday for her supporting actress role as a mother struggling to bring up two children in the movie "Boyhood."
Arquette, 46, has swept the movie awards this season for playing the ups and downs of an every day mom in the independent coming-of-age drama that was filmed over a span of 12 years.
"To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else's rights" Arquette said, accepting the award. "It's our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America," she added.
The petite, blonde actress, who hails from an acting family that includes brother David Arquette and sister Rosanna, has appeared in more than 40 movies since the late 1980s.
Previously best known for her roles in the TV crime series "CSI" and her Emmy-winning turn as a psychic in "Medium," Arquette was cast in 2002 as divorced mother Olivia Evans in director Richard Linklater's ambitious plan to film the story of young boy growing to adulthood in real time.
Like the other actors, Arquette ages naturally over the course of the film, which sees her return to college as a single mom, marry, leave a violent alcoholic husband, and raise two children.
Arquette grew up in a hippie commune in Virginia and drew much of her character from her own family experiences.
Twice married - once to actor Nicolas Cage - and divorced, she won attention in her early career for unconventional choices and roles that exuded sexuality, including "True Romance" and "Lost Highway."
"At 46, it's really beautiful, I can appreciate how meaningful it is," Arquette said of her Oscar nomination at a recent industry lunch.
Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Sandra Maler