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Last Updated: Monday, 6 March 2006, 10:08 GMT
Witherspoon 'just trying to matter'
Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon has won the best actress Academy Award for her portrayal of singer June Carter Cash in film Walk the Line.

Here is a transcript of her acceptance speech:

Oh, my goodness. I never thought I'd be here my whole life, growing up in Tennessee.

I want to say Johnny Cash and June Carter had a wonderful tradition of honouring other artists and musicians and singers, and I really feel that tradition tonight. It is very important, and I really feel it.

So I want to thank the Academy for this incredible honour. I want to say thank you to so many people who helped me create this role. Everyone at Fox, Cathy Konrad, James Keach, for producing the film.

A very special thank you to Jim Mangold who directed the film and also wrote this character. Who is a real woman. Who has dignity and honour, and fear, and courage, and she's a real woman. And I really appreciate that. It was an incredible gift that you gave me. So thank you.

And T-Bone Burnett for helping me realise my lifelong dream of being a country music singer. Thank you T-Bone.

And I want to say thank you to Joaquin Phoenix who just put his heart and soul into this performance. His commitment and passion for this character and for this performance was just remarkable, and I feel so lucky to have gone on this journey with you.

My grandmother was one of the biggest inspirations in my life - she taught me how to be a real woman
I am so blessed to have my family here tonight. My mother and my father are here. And I just want to say thank you so much for everything, for being so proud of me.

It didn't matter if I was making my bed or making a movie. They never hesitated to say how proud they were of me. And that means so very much to a child. So thank you, mom and dad.

I want to say thank you to my wonderful husband and my two children who should be going to bed. And thank you for loving me so much and supporting me.

And I want to say that my grandmother was one of the biggest inspirations in my life. She taught me how to be a real woman, to have strength and self respect, and to never give those things away. And those are a lot of qualities I saw in June Carter.

People used to ask June how she was doing, and she used to say - 'I'm just trying to matter'. And I know what she means. You know, I'm just trying to matter, and live a good life and make work that means something to somebody.

And you have all made me feel that I might have accomplished that tonight. So thank you so much for this honour.


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