The 53-year-old star’s Academy Awards journey began in her hometown of Mesa, Ariz. Kotsur, who is the first deaf male actor to be nominated for an Oscar, was born deaf to a hard of hearing family, and he and his parents learned American Sign Language to communicate.
As he shared in a recent episode Hollywood Reporterpodcast of Award ChatterjeeHis father was a big part of his childhood and used to take him into golfing, water skiing and camping and coached their sports teams. But when Kotsur was 17 years old, his father was hit by a drunken driver and paralyzed from the neck down. “My father was unable to sign or communicate with me anymore,” Kotsur said on the podcast through an ASL interpreter. “It was a complete communication breakdown and that moment changed everything for our family.”
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