Matthew McConaughey wins best actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actor in "Dallas Buyers Club" Matthew McConaughey (c) with mother Mary Kathlene (L) and wife Camila Alves.

LOS ANGELES - Matthew McConaughey won the Oscar for best actor on Sunday for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club" as a homophobic, rodeo-loving Texan who contracts AIDS and becomes an unlikely savior for gay patients and drug addicts desperate for treatment.

The win is the first Academy Award for McConaughey, once known primarily as a handsome leading man in romantic comedies.

In "Dallas Buyers Club," the actor lost some 50 pounds (23 kg) to play real-life crusader Ron Woodroof, a cowboy who fought the government for access to AIDS medicines in the 1980s.