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Troy Kotsur becomes first deaf male actor in history to win a solo SAG award

By Brooke Villanueva Published Feb 28, 2022 11:19 am

Troy Kotsur made history as the first deaf male actor to bag an individual award at the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held on Monday, Feb. 28 (Philippine time).

The 53-year-old actor bagged the trophy for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for his incredible stint as Frank Rossi in CODA, reigning supreme over other big stars like Ben Affleck (The Tender Bar), Bradley Cooper (Licorice Pizza), Jared Leto (House of Gucci), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog) in the same category. 

“Thank you so much to all the members of SAG. I’m so proud to be a member. I’ve been a member since 2001, and so now I finally feel like I’m part of the family,” he signed as someone interpreted his words for the audience. 

“And I know you all are artists, and I know you all know what it’s like to be a starving actor. Back then, I used to sleep in my car, I slept in my dressing room backstage, I couch-surfed and all of that. You feel me, right? So thank you so much,” Kotsur added, expressing his heartfelt gratitude to his wife Deanne Bray and daughter Kyra for their unconditional love and support. 

Deadline also reported that in a backstage interview at the prestigious awards show, he signed: “I’m so proud, and it just shows that dreams can come true. You never know when, just to throw that out there. But [this shows the importance of] trusting your gut.” 

According to PEOPLE, he's also the first deaf actor to be nominated for a solo SAG award this year. “Now that I feel like I’ve broken in and received these nominations, I’m so glad that they recognized me—not because I’m deaf but because I’m a talented actor. I’ve already recognized all their work and their talent as artists, but now it’s their opportunity to see my skill as an artist. I don’t care if I win or not,” he said in a previous interview. 

Aside from CODA, Kotsur has showcased his brilliance in other TV and movie projects, including Scrubs (2007), Criminal Minds (2012), Wild Prairie Rose (2016), and The Mandalorian (2019).