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Troy Kotsur Becomes First Deaf Man To Win Oscar

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Troy Kotsur Becomes First Deaf Man To Win Oscar

Troy Kotsur has become the first Deaf male actor to win an Oscar award.

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The 53-year-old actor bagged the accolate for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his incredible performance in CODA.

Taking to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood to accept his award, Kotsur said: "This is amazing to be here on this journey. I can't believe I'm here.

"Thank you so much to all the members of the Academy for recognising my work.

It's really amazing that our film CODA has reached out worldwide and even reached all the way to the White House.

"They invited the cast of CODA to visit and have a tour of the White House and we met the President, Joe, and Dr Jill."

It's at this point he uses the platform to crack a joke, adding: "I was planning on teaching them some dirty sign language, but Marlee Matlin told me to behave myself, so don't worry Marlee, I won't drop any f-bombs in my speech today.

Credit: ABC
Credit: ABC

"Instead, I really want to thank all the wonderful deaf theatre stages where I was allowed and given the opportunity to develop my craft as an actor."

Safe to say the fans were delighted with the news, with one writing on Twitter: "CODA is a masterpiece. What an absolutely beautiful film.

"I cried during Troy Kotsur's win. just incredible. I cant stop thinking of that movie."

A second said: "Another speech, another intensely powerful reminder that where there is art, there is a way.

"#TroyKotsur brought tears to the audience and his sign language interpreter as he told us how, in the darkness, the arts showed him a path forward..."

Kotsur follows in the footsteps of his co-star Matlin, who became the first Deaf performer to win an Oscar back in 1987.

The 56-year-old star took home the prize of Best Actress for her role in the 1986 drama Children Of A Lesser God.

In Sian Heder's 2021 film, Matlin plays Jackie alongside Kotsur as Frank, who are parents to Ruby, a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) and the only hearing person in her family.

The film sees the family's fishing business threatened, leaving Ruby torn between pursuing her passion at Berklee College of Music and her fear of abandoning her parents.

Kotsur has been one of the breakout stars of the movie, which is available to watch on Apple TV+.

Speaking about the attention both he and the film have received, he told Screen Daily in an earlier interview: "I'm honoured to be nominated with so many fine actors and I'm looking forward to celebrating with them.

"I hope people are able to see me not as a deaf actor, but an actor who happens to be deaf."

Words: Daisy Phillipson

Featured Image Credit: ABC

Topics: TV and Film, Academy Awards, Oscars

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