ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images 1 / 4
ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images 1 / 4

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Christoph Waltz has won the supporting-actor Academy Award for his role as a sociable fiend of a Nazi in "Inglourious Basterds."

The first award of Oscar night went to Austrian-born Waltz, a veteran stage and television actor in Europe who had been virtually unknown in Hollywood before Quentin Tarantino cast him as the prattling, ruthless Jew-hunter Hans Landa in his World War II saga.

Waltz beat four Hollywood veterans: Matt Damon for "Invictus," Woody Harrelson for "The Messenger," Christopher Plummer for "The Last Station" and Stanley Tucci for "The Lovely Bones."