Winning an Oscar marks the high point in a directorial career that has seen Danny Boyle go from low-budget British movies to films of international acclaim.
It comes 14 years after he made his debut on the big screen with Shallow Grave.
On the way he has made some of the UK's most memorable films including Trainspotting and 28 Days Later.
The 52-year-old began his directing career on stage before moving on to television projects.
He directed two episodes of Inspector Morse among other work on the small screen.
In 1994 he made his first feature film, working with up-and-coming actor Ewan McGregor on Shallow Grave.
He teamed up with McGregor again two years later for Trainspotting, the adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel.
The movie quickly became a cult hit and saw Boyle honoured with a number of awards including best director at the Empire Awards.
He followed it up with the big screen version of Alex Garland's The Beach. Boyle paired up with the writer again for 28 Days Later. The horror movie with its images of a post-apocalyptic London further cemented Boyle's position as one of the UK's leading movie makers.
But nothing could have prepared him for the international success that Slumdog Millionaire has received.
Accepting the Oscar for best director, Boyle jumped up and down excitedly in front of Hollywood's finest.
He explained that it was to honour a pledge he made to his children.
"I swore to them that if this miracle would ever happen, I would receive it in the spirit of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh," he said.