Troy Kotsur Makes History as First Deaf Man Nominated for Oscar

Marlee Matin, his CODA co-star, became the first deaf person to win in 1986

Troy Kotsur CODA

Veteran stage actor Troy Kotsur has made history as the first deaf man nominated for an Oscar, getting the Best Supporting Actor nod for his work as Frank Rossi, the father of a girl who loves to sing, in Apple TV+’s CODA.

Kotsur’s heartfelt performance as a man struggling to understand his daughter’s passion is not the first time a member of the deaf community has been recognized by the Academy Awards, or even won. In fact, the first deaf person to take home the trophy is someone he knows pretty well: Marlee Matlin, who plays his wife Jackie Rossi in CODA. 

Matlin took home the honor in 1986 for her star-making role in Children of a Lesser God, and she is also known for scene-stealing roles in Seinfeld and The West Wing. She seemed likely to have her work recognized again this year after nominations for the Gotham and Hollywood Critics Association Film Awards, but Academy voters looked elsewhere for the always-stacked Best Supporting Actress category.

Kotsur will face off for the Supporting Actor trophy against Ciaran Hinds (Belfast), Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog), J.K. Simmons (Being the Ricardos), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog). The 2022 Academy Awards will be held March 27th. Check out all of the nominees here, and scroll onwards to watch the trailer for CODA.


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