Troy Kotsur Wiki, Height, Age, Girlfriend, Wife, Family, Biography, & More – WikiBio


Troy Kotsur

Troy Kotsur is an American actor and film and stage director who is well known for playing the role of Frank Rossi in the 2021 coming-of-age comedy-drama film ‘CODA,’ which earned him the title of Best Supporting Actor at the 94th Academy Awards. He is the first male deaf actor to win an Oscar.

Wiki/Biography

Troy Michael Kotsur was born on Wednesday, 24 July 1968 (age 53 years; as of 2021), and he hails from Mesa, in the multi-city region East Valley, Arizona. Although Kotsur was born with hearing impairment, his parents discovered it when he was 9 months old. While talking about how his mother discovered his deafness, in an interview, he said,

I was in the crib when my mother spoke behind me but I didn’t respond…She came back with two pans from the kitchen. She banged real loud but I still didn’t hear.”

Soon after, his hearing parents learned American Sign Language (ASL) to help Kotsur develop communication skills. At the age of eight, he was fascinated by films when he came across the American epic space film ‘Star Wars,’ which he watched 28 times. While talking about the same in an interview, he said,

It was so visual, the costumes, it just blew me away. I watched it again and again. And it got me hoping that someday I could make a movie.”

Childhood picture of Troy Kotsur

Childhood picture of Troy Kotsur

He attended Phoenix Day School for the Deaf in Phoenix, Arizona, which did have a theatre department. The standing ovation he received after appearing in a school pantomime fueled his passion for acting. Although he caught the acting bug at the age of twelve, he took to the stage at Westwood High when his drama teacher, Jay Jones, encouraged Kotsur to perform a pantomime skit in the senior variety show. During his sophomore year, he enrolled in Westwood High School, Mesa. He also played varsity basketball during his college days. His first play was Susan Zeder’s ‘In a Room Somewhere,’ directed by Victor Brown, in 1989. After a short internship at KTSP-TV, in 1987, Kotsur moved to Washington, D.C., to study theatre at Gallaudet University, but he quit the course in 1989 after securing a job at the National Theater of the Deaf (NTID).

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 6′

Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper

Eye Colour: Hazel Green

Troy Kotsur

Family

Parents & Siblings

Childhood picture of Troy Kotsur with his family

Childhood picture of Troy Kotsur with his family

Troy Kotsur grew up as the only deaf member of his family. His father, Leonard Stephen Kotsur (also known as Len Kotsur), was a police chief in Mesa, who died in 2001. When Kotsur was 17, his father got into a car accident, which paralysed his body from the neck down. Consequently, a communication gap arose between Kotsur and his father.

Troy Kotsur's father, Leonard Stephen Kotsur

Troy Kotsur’s father, Leonard Stephen Kotsur

His mother, JoDee Louise True, was a tailor. She died in 2000. After his parent’s death, Kotsur stopped visiting the East Valley as often, but later, he and his wife recently bought a home in Mesa. Troy Kotsur grew up with three brothers. When Troy was 7, his younger brother, Brett Kotsur, who was 4 then, drowned in a swimming pool in their backyard. Unfortunately, no one saw him drowning and he was underwater for almost forty minutes, an accident that led to severe brain damage and dysfunctionality. Consequently, after his revival, Brett had to depend on a ventilator for his 21 year-long-life.

Childhood picture of Troy Kotsur's brother Brett Kotsur

Childhood picture of Troy Kotsur’s brother Brett Kotsur

His older brother Kevin Kotsur works as assistant chief of police in Avondale, meanwhile, his other brother Brian Kotsur worked at Mesa Fire and Medical Department.

Troy Kotsur with his brother Brian Kotsur

Troy Kotsur with his brother Brian Kotsur

Troy Kotsur's brother, Kevin Kotsur

Troy Kotsur’s brother, Kevin Kotsur

Wife & Children

On 1 September 2001, Troy Kotsur got married to the American actress Deanne Bray. Bray was born deaf and is bilingual in ASL and English. She is best known for her title role in PAX TV’s Canadian-American television series ‘Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye’ (2002-2005). Later, she became an ASL teacher. In the summer of 1993, Troy Kotsur and Deanne Bray made acquaintance in Chester, Connecticut at the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTID). Deanne was visiting NTID while Troy was a part of NTD tour company, Sunshine Too. They came into a relationship in February 1997. After a four-year-long relationship, the couple got married in 2001. Together, they have a daughter named Kyra Monique Kotsur, an actor who played the role of Jule in “Arrival & Departure.

Troy Kotsur with his wife, Deanne Bray, and daughter, Kyra Monique Kotsurr

Troy Kotsur with his wife, Deanne Bray, and daughter, Kyra Monique Kotsurr

Career

After he graduated from high school, Kotsur interned at KTSP-TV (now KSAZ-TV), a television station that was Phoenix’s CBS affiliate at that time, As an editor at KTSP-TV, he mostly sat in the editing room disconnected from people. While majoring in theatre at Gallaudet University, he ended up working with the NTID’s touring company, Sunshine Too, from 1990 to 1991. as an actor. Kotsur made it to the silver screen via an e-mail interview. His experience led him to Hollywood, where he worked with the prestigious deaf theatre, Deaf West Theatre.

Theatre

At NTID, he toured with the plays ‘Treasure Island’ (1990-1991) and ‘Ophelia’ (1991-1992). In 1994, he started working with the Deaf West Theatre, Los Angeles. In 1997, he worked alongside American Deaf artist Chuck Baird in Lyle Kessler’s play ‘Orphans.’

Troy Kotsur, alongside American Deaf artist Chuck Baird, in Lyle Kessler's play 'Orphans' (1997)

In 2011, he starred in an ASL adaptation of “Big River,” a musical play based on Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” The broadway show debuted at the American Airlines Theater in New York City. The play featured a combination of hearing and signing actors for each role. In the play, Kotsur, alongside hearing actor American Lyle Kanouse, played the role of Huckleberry Finn’s drunkard, greedy, and backwoods father, Pap.

Lyle Kanouse (left) in vocal role and Troy Kotsur (right) as Papp in sign language role in the play Big River (2011)

Lyle Kanouse (left) in the vocal role and Troy Kotsur (right) as Papp in the sign language role in the play Big River (2011)

Other ASL theatrical productions under his include ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ as Stanley, ‘Of Mice and Men’ as Lenny, and ‘True West’ as Lee.’ In 2012, he played the titular role in Stephen Sachs’s ‘Cyrano,’ a co-production of Deaf West Theatre and The Fountain Theatre.’ In the play, Kotsur played the role of a brilliant ASL poet who loves the alluring hearing woman, Roxie—but she has a yen for Cyrano’s loutish rock-musician brother Chris, and doesn’t understand ASL. His performance in the play earned him the nomination for an Ovation Award (Los Angeles’s counterpart of Broadway’s Tony Award) for Best Lead Actor in a Play.

Troy Kotsur (Center) as Cyrano in 2012

Troy Kotsur (Center) as Cyrano in 2012

Other Deaf West productions in which he appeared include ‘Our Town’ (2017), American Buffalo (2017), and ‘Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo.’

(Left to right) Troy Kotsur, Matthew Ryan Pest, Paul Raci in American Buffalo (2017)

(Left to right) Troy Kotsur (as Teach), Matthew Ryan Pest, Paul Raci in American Buffalo (2017)

He was nominated for the 2015 LA Drama Critics Circle Award in the Deaf West Theatre’s theatrical production ‘Spring Awakening’ in which he appeared as an adult man. In 2018, he started touring with the romantic play ‘Arrival & Departure’ by Stephen Sachs.

Troy Kotsur as Sam in Arrival & Departure (2018)

Troy Kotsur as Sam in Arrival & Departure (2018)

Film

In 2007, he made his film debut with the American thriller film ‘The Number 23’ in which he played the role of Barnaby.

The Number 23

In 2009, he was featured in the documentary ‘See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary.’ In 2016, he starred as James Hansen in the indie drama film ‘Wild Prairie Rose.’ Set in 1952, the film follows a woman named Rose Miller who returns to her rural hometown of Beresford, South Dakota to care for her ailing mother, where she falls in love with a deaf man.

Troy Kotsur as James in Wild Prairie Rose (2016)

Troy Kotsur as James in Wild Prairie Rose (2016)

Kotsur rose to prominence with the 2021 coming-of-age comedy-drama film ‘CODA’ in which he played the supporting role of Frank Rossi, the deaf father to a hearing teenage daughter who is a fisherman. CODA’s director Sian Heder first saw Kotsur’s performances in Deaf West productions of ‘Our Town’ and Edward Albee’s ‘At Home at the Zoo.’ In the film, Kotsur’s wife’s role was played by Marlee Matlin, who was the first female deaf actor to earn an Oscar nomination in 1987 for ‘Children of a Lesser God’ (1986).

Kotsur’s breakthrough performance in the film includes the scene in which he asks his daughter to sing while he touches her throat, so he can feel the vibrations of her voice.

Direction

In 2013, he made his directional debut with the American drama film ‘No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie,’ which premiered at the Heartland Film Festival. The film narrates the story of a deaf actor who plays the role of a superhero on a children’s television show and helps a young deaf boy who gets bullied at school. In addition to directing the film, he also played the role of Matt.

No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie (2013)

Apart from No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie, he has directed various ASL plays at Deaf West Theatre like Aladdin And The Wonderful Lamp, Eye, Aesop Who?, The Giving Tree, Three Musketeers, Lone Star, and Where’s the Cross?

Short Film

In 2017, he featured in the short film ‘Father’s Day Breakfast’ as Stephen. The short film follows a deaf father, Stephen, and a hearing son, Michael and their journey to show each other how much they care.

 

Television

In 2001, he made his television debut with the American medical drama ‘Strong Medicine’ in which he played the role of Lars in an episode titled “Fix.”

Strong Medicine

He came into the limelight when he played the recurring role of Troy Myers in ‘Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye’ (2002-2005).

Troy Kotsur as Troy Myers in 'Sue Thomas F.B.Eye'

Troy Kotsur as Troy Myers in ‘Sue Thomas F.B.Eye’

Other TV series in which he appeared include Doc (2003), CSI: NY (2006), and Scrubs (2007). In 2012, he appeared as John Myers, an escaped inmate who sews his victims’ mouths shut, in the American police procedural crime drama ‘Criminal Minds’ in the episode titled “The Silencer.”

Troy Kotsur as John Myers in Criminal Minds (2012)

Troy Kotsur as John Myers in Criminal Minds (2012)

A Star Wars fan since childhood, his dream came true when he was cast in ‘The Mandalorian’ (2019) the first live-action series in the Star Wars franchise. In the Emmy-nominated series, Kotsur played one of the Tusken raider scouts from a tribe of nomads on the planet Tatooine, becoming the first deaf actor to appear in a Star Wars production.

#swedit from Consumed by Star Wars Feelings

Troy Kotsur as a Tusken raider in The Mandalorian (2019)

Awards

For the Film ‘CODA’ (2021)

  • “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” at British Academy Film Awards (2021)
  • “Best Supporting Actor” at Critics’ Choice Movie Awards (2021)
  • “Outstanding Supporting Performance” at Gotham Independent Film Awards (2021)
  • “Best Supporting Male” at Independent Spirit Awards (2021)
  • “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role” and “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture” at Screen Actors Guild Awards (2021)
  • “Best Supporting Actor” at Academy Awards (2021)

    Troy Kotsur at Academy Awards (2021)

     

Others

  • Received the Best Actor award (2012) by Los Angeles Drama Circle Critics

Favourites

  • Film: Jaws’ (1975) and ‘E.T’ (1982)

Facts/Trivia

  • While talking about his parent’s support in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, he said,

    Of course, they wanted what was ‘safe’ for me, but over time, my parents learned that part of my personality is being a risk-taker…I was born a storyteller.

  • An avid lover, Kotsur has a pet dog named Stella. He posts various pictures with Stella on his Instagram account.
  • The production team of the TV show ‘Criminal Minds’ took the extraordinary step of rewriting a character in an episode from a hearing role into a deaf role solely so they could hire Kotsur. Apparently, the Criminal Minds casting director was fascinated by Kotsur’s performance in the hit theatrical production ‘Cyrano,’ staged at the Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles. Thereafter, the casting director convinced the TV team to change the role in the upcoming episode from a hearing character to a deaf character and hired Kotsur.
  • Kotsur developed a fictional sign language for the Tuskens in The Mandalorian (2019).
  • He is a non-vegetarian.
    A snippet featuring Troy Kotsur that shows he is a non-vegetarian

    A snippet featuring Troy Kotsur that shows he is a non-vegetarian

  • Once, in her Facebook post, Deanne Bray revealed that she got married to Troy Kotsur twice, first in September 2001 and then in November 2001.
    Deanne Bray's Facebook post

    Deanne Bray’s Facebook post



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