Oscar 2019: Malek, of Egyptian-American Descent, Wins Best Actor for Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Malek won the Best Actor Oscar (at his first nomination) for his portrayal of rock star Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

The 37-year-old star had earlier won the Golden Globe, the SAG-AFTRA and British Academy prizes for the performance.

“We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself,” Malek said during his acceptance speech. “The fact that I’m celebrating him and this story with you tonight is proof that we’re longing for stories like this.”

“I am the son of immigrants from Egypt, a first-generation American,” he went on. “And part of my story is being written right now. And I could not be more grateful to each and every one of you, and everyone who believed in me for this moment. It’s something I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

The win comes at the end of a season marred by controversy surrounding the film and its director.

Director Bryan Singer was fired by 20th Century Fox with mere weeks left on the schedule, reportedly due to his consistent failure to show up on set.

Singer is also at the center of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, some involving minors.

Director Dexter Fletcher (“Rocketman”) was brought in to complete the film.

Despite mixed critical reviews, Bohemian Rhapsody is a huge commercial hit, both domestically and internationally.