Rami Malek, winner of the award for best performance by an actor in a leading role for "Bohemian Rhapsody". Photo: JORDAN STRAUSS/AP

Rami Malek was the king of the Oscars, winning Best Actor for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the Bohemian Rhapsody.

The biopic won three other awards on Sunday night in Los Angeles.

In Malek's emotional acceptance speech, he compared his journey to that of Freddie's.

"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," said the 37-year-old.

"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."

And in an upset, Britain's Olivia Colman got the Best Actress award for The Favourite, beating frontrunner Glenn Close, who starred in The Wife.

 "Glenn Close - you have been my idol for so long, and this is not how I wanted it to be," a delighted but shocked Colman told her fellow actress, sitting in the audience

Green Book won Best Picture on Sunday night, while Mexico's Alfonso Cuaron was chosen as best director for his film Roma.

Green Book took two other Oscars - for best original screenplay and supporting actor Mahershala Ali, who played a black pianist touring the segregated American South in the 1960s.

The Academy Awards ceremony was held without a host for the first time since 1989 and instead was filled with powerhouse music performances.

These included an emotional duet by Lady Gaga and her A Star is Born director Bradley Cooper of their original song nominee Shallow, which earned Gaga her first Oscar.

British band Queen got the Academy Awards ceremony off to a rocking start with a performance of their hit songs We Are the Champions and We Will Rock You.

Regina King won her first Oscar for her supporting role as a mother fighting for justice in If Beale Street Could Talk.

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