Egyptian-American Rami Malek has won the Best Actor Oscars Award for his role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.
“I am the son of immigrants from Egypt. I’m a first-generation American, and part of my story is being written right now,” he said to applause.
“We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself, and the fact that I’m celebrating him and this story with you tonight is proof that we’re longing for stories like this,” Malek said.
Malek was nominated alongside tough competitors: Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born, Christian Bale for Vice, Viggo Mortensen for Green Book and Willem Dafoe for At Eternity's Gate.
The critically and commercially successful Bohemian Rhapsody, that won the Best Motion Picture Drama Award at the Golden Globes, has enabled Malek clinch a series of trophies for this lead role, including a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award (SAG) and a British Academy of Film and Television Award (BAFTA).
Malek, widely praised for his portrayal of the rock icon Mercury, was born in 1981 in California to Egyptian parents.
Malek is a film and television actor whose previous roles include the family action film Night at the Museum and the independent film Short Term 12.
His breakthrough role was as vigilante hacker Elliot Anderson in the television series Mr Robot, which earned him a Critics’ Choice Award and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, as well as a Golden Globe nomination.
He has also appeared in television shows The War at Home, The Pacific, 24, and voice acted in animated series BoJack Horseman.
Malek has spoken fondly of his Egyptian roots in numerous interviews, saying that his father brought him up connected to Egyptian culture and their extended family in the town of Samalut.
He also noted how he fought against being typecast in Hollywood because of his Arab roots, and hopes his success can pave the way for more diversity in the film industry.
In 2017, he accepted an invitation to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in an effort to push for diversity among its members, after widespread criticism in the wake of the 88th Academy Awards.