History was made at the 94th Annual Academy Awards when Troy Kotsur accepted this year’s Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in CODA, which also won Best Picture that night. The actor, who also earned a SAG Award and several other accolades for the role, became to first deaf person to win in that category and the second to ever win an Oscar after Marlee Matlin, who also plays his wife in the acclaimed Apple TV+ exclusive.
As it tends to happen with first-time Oscar winners, there is sure to be newfound interest in the actor’s career, including among the people who still have yet to see the Academy’s latest choice for the best film of the previous year. Perhaps that is where we will start with our recommendations of Troy Kotsur movies and TV shows (some of which you might already recognize).
CODA (Apple TV+)
The only hearing member of a Massachusetts family (Emilia Jones) wrestles with choosing between following her dreams of studying music and staying home for support when their fishing business falls on hard times.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Troy Kotsur: As struggling fisherman and devoted father Frank Rossi, Troy Kotsur gives a magnificent and genuine performance in CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) - for which director Sian Heder based her Academy Award-winning screenplay on the French 2014 film La famille Bélier, which garnered attention from the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, after its Best Picture win.
CSI: NY - Season 3, Episode 12 (Paramount+)
A former Marine turned detective (Academy Award nominee Gary Sinise) leads a team of forensic investigators to solve crimes in New York City.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Troy Kotsur: Years before playing a married couple in CODA, Troy Kotsur and fellow Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin (for Children of a Lesser God) played husband and wife in a deaf family whose teenage daughter is murdered in a Season 3 holiday episode of CSI: NY - the Manhattan-set edition of CBS’ popular crime procedural - titled “Silent Night.”
Susan Thomas: F.B.Eye (Tubi, Pluto TV)
A deaf federal agent (Deanne Bray) uses her talent for reading lips to solve mysteries, along with the help of her trusted hearing-ear dog, Levi, in Washington D.C.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Troy Kotsur: Before making his sole guest appearance alongside his future onscreen wife from CODA, Marlee Matlin, on CSI: NY, Troy Kotsur had a recurring role as an FBI informant also named Troy alongside his real-life wife, Deanne Bray, who played the title role of Susan Thomas: F.B.Eye - a boundary-breaking, fact-based crime procedural for which Kotsur also served as an ASL consultant.
Wild Prairie Rose (Tubi)
A woman (Tara Samuel) returns to care for her ailing mother (Suanne Spoke) in her rural hometown in South Dakota, where she meets and begins to fall in love with a deaf farmer (Troy Kotsur), much to her peers’ concern in the early 1950s.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Troy Kotsur: Deanne Bray has a small part alongside her husband Troy Kotsur, giving yet another inspiring performance as the male lead of the heartwarming, boundary-breaking 2016 romance Wild Prairie Rose, which also stars fellow Susan Thomas: F.B.Eye cast member Tara Samuel in the title role.
No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie (Rental)
A deaf actor (John Maucere) aspires to see his popular superhero character taken more seriously in hopes to be an inspiration to a young fan of his (Zane Hencker) who is struggling to come to terms with his hearing impairment.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Troy Kotsur: Troy Kotsur appeared alongside both Deanne Bray and Marlee Matlin (as herself) in his 2013 directorial debut No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie, which is based on a character originally created by star John Maucere.
The Number 23 (Amazon Rental)
An animal control officer (Jim Carrey in an unusually darker role) becomes obsessed with how the number 23 seems to be related to various aspects of his life as he also begins to notice similarities between himself and the central character of a mysterious novel that turns more violent with every page.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Troy Kotsur: In 2007, Troy Kotsur made his feature film debut in the small, supporting role of Barnaby in The Number 23 - a bizarre conspiracy thriller from director Joel Schumacher.
Scrubs - Season 6, Episode 16 (Hulu, Amazon Prime)
A tastefully comical and uniquely imaginative inside-look at the medical field from the perspective of the diverse and somewhat eccentric staff at a California hospital.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Troy Kotsur: The same year he made his feature film debut, Troy Kotsur made a memorable guest appearance on a Season 6 episode of Scrubs called “My Words of Wisdom” as a deaf man whose declines an offer for a procedure that could give his also deaf son the ability to hear, which proves to be an educational moment for J.D. (Zach Braff) and Turk (Donald Faison).
The Mandalorian - Season 1, Episode 5 (Disney+)
In the midst of the Galactic Empire’s defeat, a masked, planet-hopping bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) takes on the responsibility of protecting a gifted child that he was initially assigned to deliver for a vengeful crime syndicate.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Troy Kotsur: You might not have realized that a disguised Troy Kotsur played a Tusken Raider on the first season of The Mandalorian, for which he also helped develop a special form of sign language used by the nomadic desert dwellers for “Chapter 5” of the hit Disney+ original set in the Star Wars universe.
I think I speak for many when I say that, following his monumental Oscar win, I am looking to seeing what Troy Kotsur will appear in next. He is set to star alongside his wife, Deanne Bray, in Flash Before the Bang - based on the true story of an all-deaf high school’s track and field team - which is now in pre-production.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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