Oscars 2022: Troy Kotsur makes history as first deaf male actor to win for Coda

Troy Kotsur has made history at the Oscars, becoming the first deaf male actor to win for his role in Coda.

The actor, who starred as Frank Rossi in the heartwarming film, follows in the footsteps of his co-star Marlee Matlin (who played his wife in Coda), after she won in 1986 for Children of a Lesser God.

Speaking on stage alongside an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, Troy, who also made history at the Baftas, paid tribute to director Sian Heder, his father and his family, and expressed gratitude that the film had ‘reached out worldwide.’

‘It even reached all the way to the White House…we met our president Joe and Dr Jill,’ he said. ‘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.’

He also praised the ‘wonderful deaf theatre stages, where I was given the opportunity to develop my craft as an actor.’

Addressing Sian directly he said: ‘You are our bridge and your name will forever be on that bridge, Sian Heder bridge, in Hollywood.’

‘This is dedicated to the deaf community, the Coda community and the disabled community,’ Troy added. ‘This is our moment.’

The movie follows Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones), the only hearing person in a deaf family, as she struggles to balance her dreams of singing and going to music school with her family.

Her parents, played by Troy and Marlee, are concerned about their fishing business, while her brother Leo (Daniel Durant) struggles with his place in the family.

Also making history at the Oscars was West Side Story star Ariana DeBose, who became the first openly gay woman to win in the acting categories.

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