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Hazleton family rooting for Oscar nominee

Troy Kotsur, is the first deaf actor nominated for an award for his role in the movie 'CODA'. His family is from Hazleton.

HAZLETON, Pa. — Robert Kotsur is Troy's first cousin, their dads were brothers.

He says while Troy's parents aren't alive to see this big night and huge accomplishment, he knows they are beaming with pride as is his family at home.

Not everyone can say they've heard the words 'And the Academy Award goes to,' in person, not everyone can say they have been nominated for an Academy Award either. Robert Kotsur can't say it for himself either, but he can say it for his cousin, Troy Kotsur.

Their families grew up in Luzerne County before Troy's parents moved to Arizona. That's where Troy became an actor.

"Troy's grandfather, our grandfather was a miner. My grandmother worked in Hazleton in the silk mill so to come from that and for Troy to reach the pinnacle of success as an actor," said Robert.

Troy is the first deaf actor nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the movie "CODA". He also made history when he won a SAG award earlier this year for the film.

He's up for Best Supporting Actor, hoping to bring home that Oscar.

"When he started winning all these awards, it was amazing. For him to get this recognition and for the deaf community, it's fantastic. We are super excited for him," said Robert.

Troy plays a father and fisherman who is struggling to understand his hearing daughter Ruby's dreams to sing.

"Last year when the movie was picked up by, it won Sundance, it was picked up on Apple. Troy had sent us a link, we watched the movie before it came out on Apple. I mean it was probably one of his best performances," Robert said.

Starring alongside Troy in the movie is Marlee Matlin. Matlin is the first deaf actress to ever win an Academy Award. It was for her role in the 1986 movie, 'Children of Lesser God'.

Robert thinks the movie and all the nominations and awards that followed will leave a lasting impact on the deaf community, "For him to be working with Marlee Matlin and to hopefully, fingers crossed, repeat history is just amazing."

We had to ask Robert when they open that envelope, whose name does he hope to hear? "For supporting actor, I think it's gotta be Troy. I mean everyone is just so excited," he said.

Robert tells us he's been in contact with Troy. He's busy but eager for Sunday.

He says Troy got to meet the President and First Lady Thursday.

Robert plans to watch the Oscars with Troy's brother, hoping to hear a familiar name after that famous line, 'And the Oscar goes to...'.

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