Leeds director’s Golden Globe glory

Wash Westmoreland (left) with fellow writer-director Richard Glatzer.
Wash Westmoreland (left) with fellow writer-director Richard Glatzer.
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It was a golden night for a Leeds-born film director as his leading lady picked up a gong at a glitzy Hollywood ceremony.

American actress Julianne Moore, 54, won the Golden Globe award for her starring role in Still Alice, about a linguistics teacher diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Julianne Moore poses in the press room with the award for best actress in a motion picture - drama for 'Still Alice' at the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Julianne Moore poses in the press room with the award for best actress in a motion picture - drama for 'Still Alice' at the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The film was directed by Leeds-born Wash Westmoreland, a former pupil at Fir Tree Middle School in Moortown, and his partner Richard Glatzer.

Westmoreland, the son of a maintenance engineer and a hair salon receptionist, was born Paul Westmoreland but a nickname picked up at school has stuck. After graduating from Newcastle University, he emigrated to America, eventually settling in Los Angeles.

An old school friend told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I have no idea how he got his nickname but he was always a very special guy at school. He still is.”

It was also a great night for Yorkshire-born actress Joanne Froggatt, who picked up a best supporting actress award in a TV series for her role as maid Anna Bates in Downton Abbey.

Frogatt, born and raised in Littlebeck, near Whitby, has been given some hard-hitting storylines in the past season of Downton.

Her character had to cope with the aftermath of being raped and was then wrongly accused of murdering her attacker.

And she paid tribute to victims of sexual violence in her acceptance speech, reportedly telling the audience: “This is the most shocking moment of my life.

“After the storyline aired I received a lot of letters from survivors of rape.

“Thank you to everyone who wrote - I heard you.”

It was good night-all round for Hollywood’s Brit-pack, with Eddie Redmayne picking up an award for his portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything.

English actress Ruth Wilson, 32, was named best actress in a TV drama for her role in The Affair, which also stars Dominic West. The show was also named best TV drama series.

Ruth beat Claire Danes, who stars in Homeland, to pick up the title.

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