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Dearly 'Departed': Scorsese wins elusive Oscar

Martin Scorsese's mob epic "The Departed" won best picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday and earned the filmmaker the directing prize that had eluded him throughout his career.

Three of the four acting front-runners won: best actress Helen Mirren as British monarch Elizabeth II in "The Queen"; best actor Forest Whitaker as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland"; and supporting actress Jennifer Hudson as a soul singer in "Dreamgirls."

Modestan Mike Glad lost his shot at an Academy Award.

Glad and creative partner Leslie Iwerks were nominated for their short documentary "A Recycled Life." The duo lost to "The Blood of Yingzhou District," about Chinese AIDS orphans who have lost their parents.

Glad and Iwerks' film follows the families who forage and live in the Guatemala City garbage dump. Actor Edward James Olmos narrated the 38-minute project. Glad was the film's producer, co-writer and still photographer. Iwerks served as director, cinematographer, editor and co-writer.

Glad, 60, owns 22 Midas auto-repair shops throughout the Bay Area and Central Valley. He also owns a home and a travel agency in Guatemala. "Recycled Life" was shot over four years, beginning in 2002.

Glad is no newcomer to the arts world. He is an award-winning photographer and owns the Glad Family Trust Animation Collection, the world's most comprehensive animation collection.

Glad and his wife, Jeanne, brought along about 40 family members and friends to watch the show at an Irish pub they rented in Los Angeles for the festivities.

Before the ceremony, Glad said he would feel like a winner whether they won or not.

"You've already won because you're Oscar nominated," he said. "And you'll always be an Oscar nominee."

Bee entertainment writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at mrowland@modbee.com or 578-2284.

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