It doesn’t matter what language you speak, love is easy to comprehend. Troy KotsurOscar nominated performance by ‘Stills of Grace in CODA has captured the hearts of audiences.

Star Kotsur’s 53-year-old journey to the Academy Awards began at his home in Mesa (Ariz.). Kotsur, the first Deaf Male Actor to win an Oscar, was born into a hearing family. His parents taught him American Sign Language so he could communicate with them.

He shared this on an episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s podcast Awards chatter, his father was a huge part of his childhood and would take him golfing, water skiing and camping and would coach his sports teams. Kotsur’s dad, who was 17 years old, was struck by a drunken driver. He was paralysed from the neck. Kotsur, an ASL interpreter said that his father couldn’t sign or communicate anymore with him. “It was a total communication breakdown, and everything changed for our family in that instant.”