CODA's Troy Kotsur made history at Sunday's SAG Awards, becoming the first deaf actor in the award show's history to claim an individual win.
He prevailed in the category of Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, beating out Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
Kotsur said via an ASL interpreter in his acceptance speech,
"Wow. Thank you so much to all the members of SAG. I am so proud to be a member. I've been a member since 2001, and so now I feel like I'm finally part of the family."
He continued on to say,
"I know you all are artists, and I know you all know what it's like to be a starving actor. Back then, I used to sleep in my car. I slept in my dressing room backstage, I couch-surfed, and all of that, you feel me, right? So, thank you so much. I'm so grateful to SAG for protecting us, actors."
He also thanked his wife Deanne Bray, saying,
"She is still here with me today. She's been with me through all these years of struggle. Thank you so much for being my backbone, and thank you for supporting me. I love you."
Kotsur became the first solo deaf actor to receive an individual SAG Award nomination this year. He told The Hollywood Reporter in January,
"Now that I feel like I've broken in and received these nominations, I'm so glad that they recognized me. Not because I'm deaf but because I'm a talented actor. I've already recognized their work and talent as artists, but now it's their opportunity to see my skill as an artist. I don't care if I win or not."
Earlier this month, Kotsur made history when he became the second deaf performer to receive an Oscar nomination. Matlin was the first in 1987 and went on to win the award for best actress for her role in Children of a Lesser God.