Ke Huy Quan, a onetime child star who gave up acting for two decades, and Hollywood veteran Jamie Lee Curtis won Academy Awards on Sunday for their roles in offbeat, dimension-hopping adventure "Everything Everywhere All at Once."
A weeping Quan, who was born in Vietnam, kissed his gold Oscar statuette as he held it on stage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles in front of the biggest names in show business.
"My journey started on a boat," Quan said. "I spent a year in a refugee camp. Somehow I ended up here on Hollywood's biggest stage."
As a boy, Quan starred in a 1984 "Indiana Jones" movie and "The Goonies" in 1985. The 51-year-old said he had quit acting for years because he saw little opportunity for Asian actors on the big screen.
"They say stories like this only happen in the movies," he added. "I cannot believe it's happening to me. This is the American dream."
Quan's co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, who built a career in horror films such as "Halloween," won best supporting actress for playing a frumpy tax auditor named Deirdre Beaubeirdre.
Curtis, 64, looked upward and addressed her late parents, Academy award nominees Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. "I just won an Oscar," she said through tears.
A crisis response team was on hand in case of an unexpected twist. The group was formed after Will Smith smacked Chris Rock on stage last year, tarnishing the film industry's most prestigious ceremony.
At the start of the show, two U.S. military aircraft flew over the Oscars theater, and host Jimmy Kimmel landed on the stage by parachute, in a tribute to best picture nominee "Top Gun: Maverick."
Comedian Kimmel joked in his opening monologue about the audience reaction to Smith's attack last year.
"If anything unpredictable or violent happens at the ceremony, just do what you did last year - nothing," he told the crowd of A-list celebrities. "Maybe give the assailant a hug."
Kimmel also brought a surprise guest: Jenny, the scene-stealing donkey from best picture nominee "The Banshees of Inisherin."
Guillermo del Toro's "Pinocchio" was named best animated feature, and a German remake of World War One epic "All Quiet on the Western Front" claimed the trophy for best international feature.
The film 'Navalny', about the poisoning that nearly killed Alexei Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition leader, and his detention since his 2021 return to Moscow, won the Oscar for best feature documentary.
"Alexei, I am dreaming of the day when you will be free and our country will be free," his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, said on stage. "Stay strong my love."