Troy Kotsur

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Troy Kotsur
Troy kotsur 2022 1.jpg
Troy Michael Kotsur

(1968-07-24) July 24, 1968 (age 53)
Mesa, Arizona, U.S.
Alma mater Gallaudet University (1987-1989),
Phoenix Day School for the Deaf,
Westwood High School
  • Actor
  • director
Years active1989–present
(m. 2001)
Awards Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (2022)

Troy Michael Kotsur ( /ˈkɒtsər/ ; born July 24, 1968) is an American actor and director in theater, film and television.


His supporting role in the film CODA (2021) earned him a number of accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Critics' Choice Movie Award. He is the first deaf actor to win the latter three awards, and first deaf man and second deaf performer overall to win the former.

Kotsur also directed the feature film No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie (2013).

Early life and education

Kotsur was born in Mesa, Arizona, the biggest suburb of Phoenix, on July 24, 1968, to JoDee (née True) and Leonard Stephen "Len" Kotsur, who was Mesa's police chief. [1] When Kotsur was nine months old, his parents discovered that he was deaf, and they learned American Sign Language so the family could communicate. His parents encouraged Kotsur to play sports and to make friends with hearing children in their neighborhood. Kotsur attended the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf, where he first became interested in acting. He graduated from Westwood High School. In high school, his drama teacher encouraged him to participate in the senior variety show, and he performed a pantomime skit that was positively received and motivated him to pursue theater. [2]

After Kotsur graduated from high school, he interned at KTSP-TV (now KSAZ-TV). While he had aspired to direct films, at the internship he assisted an editor and did not feel connected with people, recalling, "My directing dream poofed after I accepted the fact that I lived in a world that did not use my language." [3] He then attended Gallaudet University from 1987 to 1989 and studied theater, television, and film. [4]


When Kotsur received an acting job offer from the National Theatre of the Deaf, he accepted it and left Gallaudet to tour with NTD for two years, performing in two plays. In 1994, he started working for the Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles, California, acting in and directing several productions. [4] On stage, his roles included Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire , Lenny in Of Mice and Men , and Prince Hamlet in Ophelia. [5]

In 2001, Kotsur and hearing actor Lyle Kanouse were cast together in a Deaf West Theatre production of the 1985 musical Big River . Kotsur and Kanouse both played Huckleberry Finn's father Pap, with Kotsur signing and Kanouse speaking and singing. Big River's success led to the play being performed at the Mark Taper Forum, then to a Broadway revival under Roundabout Theater Company and Deaf West at the American Airlines Theater in New York City. [5] He also had a recurring role on Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye , also working as an ASL specialist for the show. Since then he has had television and film roles.[ citation needed ]

In 2012, Kotsur starred in the play Cyrano, based on Cyrano de Bergerac and a co-production of Deaf West Theatre and The Fountain Theatre. The play, directed by Stephen Sachs, premiered in April 2012. [4] Following Cyrano, Kotsur directed the feature film No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie , which premiered at the Heartland Film Festival in 2013. [6]

In 2021, Kotsur appeared in the feature film CODA in a supporting role as the deaf father to a hearing teenage daughter. Director Sian Heder first saw his performances in Deaf West productions of Our Town and Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo and cast him as part of the ensemble. NPR reported that Kotsur's performance in CODA "awed both audiences and critics". [7] For his performance in the film, Kotsur won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, becoming the second deaf actor, after Marlee Matlin (his CODA co-star) in Children of a Lesser God (1986), to win an Academy Award. [8]

Kotsur is set to star in Flash Before the Bang, a sports drama television show with an all-deaf cast. [9]

Personal life

Kotsur is married to actress Deanne Bray with whom he has one daughter.



2007 The Number 23 Barnaby
2008 Universal Signs Chris
2009 See What I'm Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary SelfDocumentary
2013 No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie MattAlso director
2016Wild Prairie RoseJames Hansen
2021 CODA Frank RossiAcademy Award Best Supporting Actor


2001 Strong Medicine LarsEpisode: Fix"
2002–2005 Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye Troy Myers5 episodes
2003 Doc TroyEpisode: "Rules of Engagement"
2006 CSI: NY Dennis MitchumEpisode: "Silent Night"
2007 Scrubs Mr. FrancesEpisode: "My Words of Wisdom"
2012 Criminal Minds John MyersEpisode: "The Silencer"
2019 The Mandalorian Tusken Raider Scout #1Episode: "Chapter 5: The Gunslinger"

Theatre credits

1989In a Room SomewherePlay by Suzan Zeder, directed by Victor Brown [4]
1991–1992Treasure IslandBased on Treasure Island ; tour under National Theatre of the Deaf [4]
1992–1993Ophelia Hamlet Based on Hamlet's character Ophelia; tour under National Theatre of the Deaf [4]
199325 CentsHarryNew York Deaf Theatre production [10]
2001 Big River Pap Finn/The DukeKotsur shared role of "Pap" with Lyle Kanouse; produced under Deaf West Theatre [5]
2002Big RiverPap Finn/The DukePerformed at Mark Taper Forum; Kotsur shared role of "Pap" with Lyle Kanouse [5]
2003Big RiverPap Finn/The Duke Broadway revival under Deaf West Theatre and Roundabout Theatre Company; Kotsur shared role of "Pap" with Lyle Kanouse [11]
2012CyranoCyranoBased on Cyrano de Bergerac ; produced under Deaf West Theatre [4]
2014 Spring Awakening Adult MenProduced under Deaf West Theatre [12]


Ovation Awards Best Lead Actor in a Play Cyrano Nominated [4]
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor CODA Won [13]
British Academy Film Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Won [14]
Critics' Choice Awards Best Supporting Actor Won [15]
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated [16]
Gotham Awards Outstanding Supporting Performance Won [17]
Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Male Won [18]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won [19]
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Won

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