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“They are the pinnacle of friendship goals,” another concluded. Forget the prizes, controversies, dresses and jokes the night threw up, for many viewers the highlight of the 88th Academy Awards was the enduring tale of a strictly platonic friendship forged 19 years ago, on the deck of the Titanic.

Of course, both actors’ careers could easily have easily sunk with James Cameron’s epic story of that ill-fated cruise liner.

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Looking at images of them together on the red carpet at the 1998 Oscars, they could scarcely seem further from the slick, seasoned professionals of 2016.

Di Caprio has the air of a 12-year-old wearing his father’s spare suit to a school ball; while Winslet, in dark lipstick and black lace, looks more 'tormented adolescent going through a Goth phase’ than Hollywood star.

Still, that early success set them on course for careers of impressively even stead: both became critically acclaimed as well as box office stars, and for a long time both were united in an inability to claim the biggest prize of all, despite regular awards nominations (including Golden Globe nods for Revolutionary Road in 2008, their first on-screen reunion since the mid-Atlantic).

Leonardo Di Caprio enjoys meeting beautiful women on boats – anyone who has ever seen paparazzi photographs of the 41-year-old in his spare time could tell you that.

But despite the endless run of supermodels, actresses and socialites who have latched on to his arm on various vessels over the years, only one (his mother aside), seems to have stayed the course.

And she just so happens to have been the first, too.Yesterday, as Sunday night’s action from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood was digested, social media melted with nostalgic pride at clips of Kate Winslet, Di Caprio’s original maritime fling, watching her old friend sate his two-decade hunger for an Academy Award, with his performance as a post-watershed Ray Mears in the 19th-century survival epic the Revenant.There was Leo, trussed up in a dinner jacket and reciting his speech with all the calm and poise of a man who has had too much time to practise, when the camera deliberately cut to a tearful Kate (herself a nominee, losing to Alicia Vikander in the Best Supporting Actress category).Eyes fixed on stage, hands clasped in prayer, rocking back and forth: in another context, Winslet might have looked more like a deranged racehorse owner – but this was the Oscars, so any melodrama is forgiven.As the footage circulated online, the internet briefly averted its gaze from Donald Trump, and oohed and ahhed with glee.“LEO AND KATE ARE SO CUTE,” one person calmly Tweeted.

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