Seven years later he has done it again with 3D fantasy "Life of Pi."
"Thank you, movie god," Mr Lee told the audience at the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday after accepting his award.
"I need to thank Yann Martel for writing this incredibly inspiring book."
Hungry Jennifer Lawrence wins Oscar game
HOLLYWOOD - Jennifer Lawrence became one of the youngest best actress Oscar winners ever Sunday for "Silver Linings Playbook" - using her "Hunger Games" drive to secure Hollywood's highest honour.
"You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell. This is nuts!"
Ms Lawrence said about the standing ovation she received after she tripped on her way up onto the stage in a voluminous Dior Couture gown.
The 22-year-old former cheerleader has now added Academy Award prestige to the fortune undoubtedly made playing Katniss Everdeen in the blockbuster teen movie franchise.
Daniel Day-Lewis wins record third Best Actor Oscar
LOS ANGELES - Daniel Day-Lewis won a record third Best Actor Oscar on Sunday for playing US president Abraham Lincoln in "Lincoln."
Mr Day-Lewis, 55, was the outright favorite to win the Academy Award for his quiet, intense performance as one of America's most revered presidents as he battled to end slavery and the US Civil War.
The British-born actor with dual Anglo-Irish citizenship won virtually every award in the run-up to Sunday's Oscar ceremony, including a Golden Globe, British BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild statuettes.
Known for months of meticulous preparation, Mr Day-Lewis is already the holder of Best Actor Oscars for his roles as a paraplegic Irish writer in "My Left Foot" (1989) and a greedy early 20th century oil baron in "There Will Be Blood" (2007).
Affleck's 'Argo' wins best picture Oscar
HOLLYWOOD - Ben Affleck's Iran hostage drama "Argo" on Sunday took home the Oscar for best picture, in a unique presentation done by Jack Nicholson in Hollywood and First Lady Michelle Obama by videolink.
"Argo" bested eight rivals for the top prize: "Amour," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook," and "Zero Dark Thirty."
On Mr Nicholson's cue, Mrs Obama - in a glittering silvery gown as stunning as any worn by the stars inside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood - opened the envelope at the White House and declared "Argo" the winner.
"I want to thank Canada. I want to thank our friends in Iran, who live under terrible circumstances," said Mr Affleck, a co-producer of the film, speaking at top speed in the very last minutes of the live prime-time Oscar broadcast.