Oscars 2023 speeches: Brendan Fraser, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michelle Yeoh among best Oscar winners’ acceptances

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The historic Academy Awards ceremony was full of emotion on the night from its winning stars

Brendan Fraser hailed the virtues of “perseverance” after scooping the Academy Award for best actor at the 95th awards ceremony for his performance in The Whale.

The Hollywood actor, 54, said he felt “light in the head” following his win but said the film, which scooped two Oscars during Sunday’s ceremony, would “change hearts and minds”.

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Fraser beat Elvis’ Austin Butler, Irish actors Colin Farrell from The Banshees Of Inisherin and Paul Mescal from Aftersun, as well as British actor Bill Nighy for Living. The accolade is Fraser’s first Oscar nomination and win.

During his emotional Oscars acceptance speech, Fraser thanked director Darren Aronofsky for “throwing me a creative life-line” and the studio for making “such a bold film” .

“So this is what the multiverse looks like,” he said, picking up the gong. “I thank the academy for this honour… Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship The Whale.”

Fraser’s was just one of a handful of memorable speeches on a night celebrating the year in cinema. Here are other stars who have got people talking with their acceptance speeches.

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Ke Huy Quan

Brendan Fraser (second from R), winner of the Best Actor in a Leading Role award, and (L-R) Ke Huy Quan, winner of the Best Actor In A Supporting Role award, Michelle Yeoh, winner of the Best Actress in a Leading Role award and Jamie Lee Curtis, winner of the Best Supporting Actress award (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)Brendan Fraser (second from R), winner of the Best Actor in a Leading Role award, and (L-R) Ke Huy Quan, winner of the Best Actor In A Supporting Role award, Michelle Yeoh, winner of the Best Actress in a Leading Role award and Jamie Lee Curtis, winner of the Best Supporting Actress award (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Brendan Fraser (second from R), winner of the Best Actor in a Leading Role award, and (L-R) Ke Huy Quan, winner of the Best Actor In A Supporting Role award, Michelle Yeoh, winner of the Best Actress in a Leading Role award and Jamie Lee Curtis, winner of the Best Supporting Actress award (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Ke Huy Quan reflected on his immigrant past as he accepted the Oscar in the best supporting actor category for his role in Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Taking to the stage at the 95th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, he said: “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.”

The Vietnamese-American actor made his debut as a child in the blockbuster Indiana Jones franchise and later starred in 1985 cult classic The Goonies.

Despite the success of those films, he was overlooked for big screen projects and has only appeared in a handful of titles since. However, Quan has taken the 2023 awards season by storm, picking up scores of accolades and making history in the process.

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“They say stories like this only happen in the movies,” he said in his speech at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. “I cannot believe this is happening to me, this is the American dream. Thank you so much to the academy for the honour of a lifetime.”

Michelle Yeoh

Michelle Yeoh gave an inspirational speech after becoming the first Asian to win best actress at the 95th Academy Awards for her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once. She fought off competition from two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, Ana De Armas, Andrea Riseborough and Michelle Williams.

Accepting her prize, the 60-year-old said: “For all the little boys and girls who look like me, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. Dream big, dreams do come true. Ladies, never let anyone tell you you are past your prime.

“I have to dedicate this to my mum, all the mums in the world because they are really the superheroes and without them none of us would be here tonight. She’s 84 and I’m taking this home to her.” She added: “This is history in the making.”

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Jamie Lee Curtis

An emotional Jamie Lee Curtis paid tribute to all the special people in her life shouting “we just won an Oscar” after collecting the best supporting actress gong for her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once.

The US actress, 64, said on the stage: “I know it looks like I am standing up here on my own but I am not. There are hundreds of people and hundreds of people. We just won an Oscar. To my family, my beautiful husband, Christopher Guest, my daughters, Annie and Ruby, my sister Kelly – we just won an Oscar.

“To all of the people who have supported the genre movies that I have made for hundreds and hundreds of thousands, we just won an Oscar together.” Looking up to the sky, she added: “And my mother and father were both nominated for Oscars in different categories, I just won an Oscar.”

Ruth Carter

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever costume designer Ruth Carter dedicated her Oscar win to her late mother and the film’s late star Chadwick Boseman.

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She said: “Thank you to the Academy for recognising the super hero that is a black woman, she endures, she loves, she overcomes, she is every woman in this film. She is my mother. This past week Mabel became an ancestor. This film prepared me for this moment, Chadwick please take care of mum.”

Speaking of her creative team, Carter added: “Together we are re-shaping how culture is represented. I share this with many dedicated artists whose hands and hearts helped manifest the costumes of Wakanda. This is for my mother, she was 101.”

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