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Ke Huy Quan Made Everyone Cry With His Heartfelt, Inspirational Oscar Acceptance Speech

The Oscars got off on the right foot, with host Jimmy Kimmel managing to keep things light, even when addressing you know what. Even the first awards were feel good. Guillermo del Toro won Best Animated Feature for his version of Pinocchio. Then maybe the most heart-warming story had a happy ending: Ke Huy Quan won his Oscar.

The actor, who first achieved stardom as a young kid in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, was an odds-on favorite to win for his comeback turn in Everything Everywhere All at Once. He’s given plenty of speeches over this awards season, but this was the biggie. And he delivered.

Quan started by thanking someone very special. “My mom is 84 years old and she’s at home watching. Mom, I just won an Oscar!” he said, the tears starting right away. He then went into his back story:

“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.”

Among the many people he thanked included his “Goonies brother for life,” Jeff Cohen, who acted with him in the ‘80s staple and inked his EEAAO deal. He also singled out his wife.

“I owe everything to my wife, Echo,” he said, “who, month after month, year after year, for 20 years told me that one day my time will come. 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.”

You can watch his tearjerking speech in the tweet above.