Troy KotsurHeadshot

Troy Kotsur

First Deaf Man to Win an Oscar (Best Supporting Actor, CODA, 2021)

Deaf from birth, the Academy award-winning and history-making CODA actor Troy Kotsur shares the inspiring story of his long road to stardom, the Oscars and beyond.

The first Deaf male actor to win an Academy Award, Kotsur is a gifted, 20-year veteran of the stage and screen who struggled for recognition as an actor because of his difference. For his performance in CODA, he also won a British Academy Film Award, an individual Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award—and was the first Deaf actor to win each one.

Deaf from birth, Kotsur was raised in Arizona and attended Gallaudet University where he studied acting before touring internationally with the National Theatre of the Deaf. He has had numerous, critically acclaimed theater roles, including the Tony award-winning Broadway play Big River. His many screen credits include Wild Prairie Rose and The Number 23 as well as roles for television, including CSI: NY, Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye, Scrubs, Criminal Minds, and The Mandalorian, in which he played a Tusken Raider and developed the fictional sign language that raiders use in the series.

In powerful, inspiring presentations, Troy Kotsur shares his remarkable story of perseverance, despite the constant struggle to land auditions and roles. He explores the beauty and expressiveness of American Sign Language, his love of Deaf culture, and the experience of those who grow up CODA (Child of Deaf Adult), as depicted in the film. Most importantly, he encourages audiences to help break down the many barriers of difference that separate and divide people, and he celebrates the creativity that is unleashed when diverse stories are shared. 

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