Oscar Actors: Kotsur, Troy–Background, Career, Awards

March 2, 2022
Troy Kotsur Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance: No

Social Class: middle; father, police chief

Race/Ethnicity/Religion

Family:

Education: graduated from Westwood High School, his drama teacher encouraged him to participate

Training: Gallaudet University, 1987-1989; studied theater, TV, film.

Teacher/Inspirational Figure: highschool teacher

Radio Debut:

TV Debut:

Stage Debut:

Broadway Debut:

Film Debut: The Number 23 Barnaby, 2007; aged 39

Breakthrough Role:

Oscar Role:

Other Noms: CODA, 2021; aged 53

Other Awards: Gotham, SAG awards

Frequent Collaborator:

Screen Image: character actor

Last Film:

Career Output:

Film Career Span:

Marriage: actress

Politics:

Death:

 

Troy Michael Kotsur (born July 24, 1968) is a deaf American actor best known for his supporting role in the 2021 film CODA, for which he earned the Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination and won the Gotham Award for Outstanding Supporting Performance and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.

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

Kotsur was born in Mesa, Arizona on July 24, 1968 to Jodee and Leonard Stephen “Len” Kotsur, who was Mesa’s police chief.

When Kotsur was 9 months old, his parents discovered he was deaf, and they learned American Sign Language so the family could communicate.

The parents encouraged Kotsur to play sports and 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 pantomime skit that was positively received and motivated him to pursue theater.

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 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.”

He then attended Gallaudet University from 1987 to 1989 and studied theater, television, and film.

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.

On stage, his roles included Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire, Lenny in Of Mice and Men, and Prince Hamlet in Ophelia.

In 2001, Kotsur and hearing actor Lyle Kanouse were cast in Deaf West Theatre production of the 1985 musical Big River. Kotsur and Kanouse both played Huckleberry Fin’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.

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 TV and film roles.

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.

After Cyrano, Kotsur directed the feature film No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie, which premiered at the Heartland Film Festival in 2013.

In 2021, Kotsur appeared in the feature 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.

Kotsur is set to start in Flash Before the Bang, a sports drama TV show with an all-deaf cast.

Kotsur is married to actress Deanne Bray.

Filmography

2007 The Number 23 Barnaby
2008 Universal Signs Chris
2009 See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary Self Documentary
2013 No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie Matt Also director
2016 Wild Prairie Rose James Hansen
2021 CODA Frank Rossi
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Strong Medicine Lars Episode: Fix”
2002–2005 Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye Troy Myers 5 episodes
2003 Doc Troy Episode: “Rules of Engagement”
2006 CSI: NY Dennis Mitchum Episode: “Silent Night”
2007 Scrubs Mr. Frances Episode: “My Words of Wisdom”
2012 Criminal Minds John Myers Episode: “The Silencer”
2019 The Mandalorian Tusken Raider Scout #1 Episode: “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger”
Theatre credits
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1989 In a Room Somewhere Play by Suzan Zeder, directed by Victor Brown [9]
1991–1992 Treasure Island Based on Treasure Island; tour under National Theatre of the Deaf [9]
1992–1993 Ophelia Hamlet Based on Hamlet’s character Ophelia; tour under National Theatre of the Deaf [9]
1993 25 Cents Harry New York Deaf Theatre production [10]
2001 Big River Pap Finn/The Duke Deaf West Theatre; Kotsur shared role of “Pap” with Lyle Kanouse [11]
2002 Big River Pap Finn/The Duke Performed at Mark Taper Forum; Kotsur shared role of “Pap” with Lyle Kanouse [11]
2003 Big River Pap Finn/The Duke Broadway revival under Deaf West Theatre and Roundabout Theatre Company; Kotsur shared role of “Pap” with Lyle Kanouse [12]
2012 Cyrano Cyrano Based on Cyrano de Bergerac; produced under Deaf West Theatre
2014 Spring Awakening Adult Men Produced under Deaf West Theatre