‘My Journey Started on a Boat’: Communism Refugee Ke Huy Quan Celebrates ‘American Dream’ During Oscars Speech

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 12: Ke Huy Quan accepts the award for Actor in a Supporting Role at
Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Goonies star Ke Huy Quan celebrated the “American Dream” during his Oscars acceptance speech on Sunday after citing his journey from a boat to a refugee camp as the son of South Vietnamese immigrants.

“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 is the American Dream,” Ke Huy Quan said.

Quan’s family fled from Saigon, South Vietnam, three years after communism overtook the country in the wake of the United States fully withdrawing its presence there.

“Our family was separated for a year,” Quan told Entertainment Weekly.

Quan said that he and his family (father and five siblings) fled to Hong Kong where they lived in a refugee camp while his mother took three of the children to Malaysia.

“Luckily, all of us, the entire family, were able to come to the States safely,” Quan said. “We were so blessed. We came here in 1979, and, as luck would have it, four years later, I would meet a couple of guys who would change my life.”


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