Rami Malek gave a passionate speech about finding his identity as he picked up the Best Actor Oscar on Sunday (24.02.19).

The 37-year-old actor - who won the Actor in a Leading Role honour for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in 'Bohemian Rhapsody' - admitted his younger self would have had his ''mind blown'' if he'd realised he would one day be picking up the coveted statuette and hoped the movie would pave the way for more stories about proud outsiders.

He said: ''I think about what it would have been like to tell little bubba Rami that one day this might happen to him and I think his curly-haired little mind would be blown.

''That kid was struggling with his identity, and I think anyone struggling with theirs and trying to find their voice, a film about a gay man an immigrant who lived his life unapologetically and the fact I'm celebrating him and his story is proof we are longing for stories like this.

''I'm the son of immigrants from Egypt, I'm a first generation American 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 is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.''

Rami also gave a touching thank you to his mother, who was in attendance at Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre to see him win, and his late father.

He said: ''My mom is in here somewhere, I love you lady. My family thank you for all of this.

''My dad didn't get to see me do any of this but I think he's looking down on me right now. This is a monumental moment, I'm so appreciative to all of you, to everyone who has had a hand in getting me here.

''The Academy, people who took a chance on me every step of the way.''

And the star joked he was glad his casting in the movie had ''worked out''.

He said: ''I may not have been the obvious choice but I guess it worked out.

''Thank you Queen, thank you guys for allowing me to be the tiniest part of your phenomenal, extraordinary legacy, I am forever in your debt.

''My crew and my cast, I love you, you are my equals, my betters, I could never have been here without you.''

Before taking to the stage, Rami had shared a long kiss with his co-star and girlfriend, Lucy Boynton, and ended his speech with a special message for her.

He said: ''Lucy Boynton, you are the heart of this film, you are beyond immensely talented, you have captured my heart. Thank you so much.''

Rami beat Christian Bale ('Vice'), Bradley Cooper ('A Star is Born'), Viggo Mortensen ('Green Book') and Willem Dafoe ('At Eternity's Gate') to take the honour.