‘CODA’’s Troy Kotsur becomes first deaf male actor to win an Oscar

His 'CODA' co-star Marlee Matlin was the first deaf female actor to collect an award at the ceremony back in 1987

Troy Kotsur has become the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar, taking home Best Actor in a Supporting Role at tonight’s (March 27) ceremony.

The annual Hollywood awards show is currently underway at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre, celebrating the best in cinema from the last 12 months.

Kotsur played Frank Rossi in Sian Heder’s CODA, a comedy-drama about a young girl called Ruby, the only hearing person in a deaf family. He is now the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar, after his CODA co-star Marlee Matlin became the first deaf female actor to win one of the prestigious trophies back in 1987.

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After being presented the award by Minari star and 2021 Oscar winner Youn Yuh-jung, Kotsur delivered his speech in sign language, with a translator sharing his words with the audience. “This is amazing to be here on this journey, I cannot believe I’m here,” he said. “Thank you so much to all the members of the Academy for recognising my work.”

The winning actor continued to talk about how far the film had reached, including the White House, where the cast had been invited to visit by President Biden. “I was planning on teaching them some dirty sign language but Marlee Matlin told me to behave myself,” he joked.

Kotsur also paid tribute to his father, who was also deaf but was left unable to sign after being paralysed in a car accident. “Dad, I learned so much from you,” he said. “I’ll always love you. You are my hero.” After thanking his family, team and hometown, he added: “I just wanted to say that this is dedicated to the deaf community, the CODA community and the disabled community. This is our moment. To my mum, my dad and my brother Mark – they’re not here today but look at me now. I did it.”

When Kotsur finished his speech, he received a standing ovation during which the actors and crew members present congratulated him in sign language. Watch the moment above.

Elsewhere at the Oscars 2022, Ariana DeBose picked up the award for Actress in a Supporting Role for West Side Story, while Beyoncé kicked off the ceremony with a performance of ‘Be Alive’ from King Richard. You can keep up with all of the winners from the Oscars 2022 as they happen here.

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