Chiwetel Ejiofor was ''quite sick in bed'' when he found out he was nominated for an Oscar.

The 36-year-old '12 Years a Slave' star, who is up for Best Actor at the ceremony in Los Angeles on March 2, really deserves to take home the trophy because he is ''an actor's actor'' and has been a struggling for years, according to his sister Zain Asher.

The emotional CNN correspondent said: ''He works so hard at this and it's taken 20 years to get this kind of recognition. It really is well deserved. He doesn't do it for the money, he doesn't do it for the nominations or the awards, it really is in his blood and is a true passion of his.''

Zain revealed that her brother's success is bitter sweet as their father was killed in a car crash 14 years ago.

She said: ''Everyone is so excited, so emotional, so overwhelmed at this because we have been waiting for this a long time.

''It is kind of a sad day as well because my father isn't alive anymore so he can't see this. When Chiwetel was 12 years old, he was in a car accident with my father and everybody in the car died except for Chiwetel. And so you know that chance at life he was given, he has gone on to make the most of it.''

She added: ''He wasn't a normal kid in the sense that he wasn't always going out partying. It really was from morning until night, Shakespeare, reading plays, reciting stuff and my mother would always get upset because he would scribble Shakespeare on the walls of his bedroom. My mother would have to go and paint over it all the time. It was just hard work and dedication.''