Troy Kotsur Makes History As First Deaf Actor To Win A SAG Award

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Troy Kotsur secured his place in Hollywood history Sunday by taking the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in “CODA.”

The Arizona-born actor is the first deaf person to receive the award, a point he graciously acknowledged in his acceptance speech ― which he delivered in sign language.

Recalling his early professional struggles, Kotsur praised “CODA” distributor Apple TV+ for “believing in us deaf actors and casting us authentically as actors who happen to be deaf.”

He then offered a quirky thank-you to his wife, Deanne Bray, for “reminding me to check my fly before walking on the red carpet.”

“CODA,” which stands for “child of deaf adults,” debuted at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and is an English language remake of the 2014 French film “La Famille Bélier.”

Kotsur plays Frank Rossi, a gruff New England fisherman and the father of protagonist Ruby Russi (Emilia Jones), an aspiring musician. The movie also stars Marlee Matlin, who in 1987 became the first deaf actor to win an Academy Award for her role in “Children of a Lesser God.” In addition to Kotsur’s win, “CODA” also received a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Earlier this month, Kotsur also became the first deaf man to receive an Oscar nomination for his “CODA” performance.


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