Ke Huy Quan Cries Tears of Happiness Throughout Acceptance Speech in Historic First Oscar Win

The 51-year-old actor won Best Supporting Actor for 'Everything Everywhere All at Once.'

After dominating much of the 2023 awards season, Ke Huy Quan has closed it out with his first, historic Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor. The 51-year-old star took home the prize for Everything Everywhere All at Once, closing a nearly 40-year gap since Haing S. Ngor became the first performer of Asian descent to win the category in 1985.  

"Thank you, thank you," Quan tearfully said as he delivered another delightful and emotional acceptance speech on Sunday night after being presented the Oscar by last year's supporting actor winners Ariana DeBose and Troy Kotsur.

"My mom is 84 years old and she's at home watching. Mom, I just won an Oscar!" he proudly said through his tears as he held up his Oscar.

"My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp. And somehow, I ended up here on Hollywood's biggest stage. They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it's happening to me. This -- this is the American dream," Quan said. 

"Thank you so much. Thank you so much to the Academy for this honor of a lifetime," he said, before personally expressing his gratitude to his loved ones. "Thank you to my mom for the sacrifices she made to get me here. To my little brother who calls me every day just to remind me to take good care of myself. I love you, brother."

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Quan also gave credit to his Everything Everywhere All at Once family, including directing duo the Daniels, producer Jonathan Wang, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michelle Yeoh and his Goonies co-star and "brother for life," Jeff Cohen, who is now Quan's lawyer. 

"I owe everything to the love of my life, my wife, Echo, who month after month, year after year for 20 years told me that one day my time will come," Quan said. "Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine. To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive."

"Thank you, thank you so much for welcoming me back," he ended his emotional speech. "I love you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

After first making a name for himself in Hollywood with the back-to-back hits Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies, the actor returned to prominence 37 years later with a breakout role as Michelle Yeoh's onscreen husband in the 2022 dramedy about a woman who must connect with parallel versions of herself to save the multiverse from being destroyed. 

"He's a wonderful actor. He was when he was a little kid, and he still is. I'm glad. I'm very happy for him," Harrison Ford, Quan's co-star in Temple of Doom, told ET about his Oscar nomination. 

Since then, Quan cemented his return with a coveted role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a new character in Loki season 2

In the months leading up to the Oscars, the actor became one of the most decorated performers of the year. He previously won the same category at the Golden Globes, the Gotham Independent FIlm Awards, the Saturn Awards as well as dozens of critic association honors. 

"I am so, so, so grateful. I just wanted a job. I cannot believe what this movie has given me. I'm so lucky," Quan previously said about his comeback success and subsequent accolades.

He also reflected on what it was like to be a child star of Asian descent starting out in Hollywood. "I just want doors to be open for all those activists like me, who just want nothing, but just a steady job," he continued. "And I just want all the dreams to come true. That's what I really hope."

The 2023 Academy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel aired live on Sunday, March 12 starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC. In the meantime, stay tuned to for complete Oscars coverage and the full list of winners.


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