The Revenant has dominated this year's Baftas, winning three of the biggest awards including best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio.
The outdoor epic was also named best film, while Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu received the best director gong.
DiCaprio, 41, hailed the influence of British actors on his career, including Tom Courtenay, Gary Oldman and his co-star Tom Hardy, as he collected his award.
He also paid tribute to his mother on her birthday.
The American, who is hoping to land his first Oscar later this month, said: "I'm absolutely honoured by this award tonight. I have to say as an actor I've been so influenced by so many British actors throughout the years.
"I want to thank one in particular British actor and that was my partner in this process - Mr Tom Hardy.
"I want to thank you for your fierce loyalty, not only as a collaborator but as a friend. I could not have done this journey without you."
Paying tribute to his mother, he added: "There's one person I have to thank. I would not be standing up here if it weren't for this person.
"I didn't grow up in a life of privilege. I grew up in a very rough neighbourhood in East Los Angeles. And this woman drove me three hours a day to a different school to show me a different opportunity. It's her birthday today - Mom, happy birthday, I love you very much."
DiCaprio beat last year's winner Eddie Redmayne, who was nominated for The Danish Girl, as well as Michael Fassbender, Matt Damon and Bryan Cranston.
Mexican director Inarritu, who won the best director Oscar in 2015 for Birdman, said he was "overwhelmed" and described his Bafta win as "a true honour".
Brie Larson was named best actress for her leading role in claustrophobic drama Room.
The American, who was the overwhelming favourite for the award, was unable to attend the event because she was filming elsewhere.
Collecting the award on her behald, Room director Lenny Abrahamson said: "Brie, looking for a little bit of something light and nice to do after Room, is wrestling a large gorilla in Australia."
He said she is "incredibly honoured" to receive the award and he described her as "one of the best actors of her generation".