March 03, 2014 01:57:46 GMT
The 30 Seconds to Mars frontman is presented the coveted prize for his 'Dallas Buyers Club' role by last year's winner Anne Hathaway.
The 86th annual Academy Awards kicked off Sunday night, March 2 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, and the first Oscar statuette went to Jared Leto. He was named Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal as transgendered character in "Dallas Buyers Club".
Last year's winner Anne Hathaway presented the award. The 30 Seconds to Mars frontman beat Bradley Cooper ("American Hustle"), Barkhad Abdi ("Captain Phillips"), Michael Fassbender ("12 Years a Slave"), and Jonah Hill ("The Wolf of Wall Street").
"Ellen I love you," the rocker began his speech with a shout-out to host Ellen DeGeneres. "To my fellow nominees - I'm proud to share this journey with you. To the Academy - thank you."
He continued, "In 1971, there was a teenage girl who was pregnant with her second child. She was a high school dropout and a single mum but somehow she managed to make a better life for herself and her children. She encouraged her children to be creative and work hard and do something special. That girl was my mother and she's here tonight. I love you mum, thank you for teaching me to dream."
Leto also brought up social issues, addressing those who "lost the battle to AIDS" and "who have felt injustice because of who you are, or who you love."