Mesa man Troy Kotsur wins best supporting actor Oscar for his role in “CODA”

For people like Sherri Collins, who is the first deaf executive director for the Arizona Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, it is a night she won’t forget
Published: Mar. 27, 2022 at 6:54 PM MST
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(AP) - Troy Kotsur has won the best-supporting actor Oscar for his role in “CODA.” Kotsur on Sunday night became the second actor who is deaf to win an Academy Award. His “CODA” co-star Marlee Matlin was the first when she won best actress for “Children of a Lesser God” in 1987.

He dedicated the film to the deaf and disabled community and signed “this is our moment.” For people like Sherri Collins, who is the first deaf executive director for the Arizona Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, it is a night she won’t forget. “As I am sitting and watching the Oscars, watching our hometown boy, our Mesa boy, win this Oscar, I had the hugest smile on my face and an incredible feeling of pride,” said Collins.

Collins said watching Kotsur and the film represent her culture on a world stage is inspiring to so many. “Oftentimes, in mainstream media, we don’t see people who look like us. It is so wonderful to see our community represented at this scale,” said Collins.

Kotsur was barely known as an actor before “CODA,” but was considered a heavy favorite for the Oscar after the acclaimed performance and wins earlier in awards season.

He beat out fellow nominees Ciaran Hinds, Jesse Plemons, J.K. Simmons and Kodi Smit-McPhee. He thanked his dad, paralyzed in a car accident: “You are my hero.”

The City of Mesa and Mesa Public Schools congratulated Kotsur on his win. “Congratulations to Westwood High alum Troy Kotsur for making history tonight!” tweeted Mesa Public Schools.

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