Film and TV

Key to the City, Stolen Oscar: It's Been a Big Week for Mesa's Troy Kotsur

Mesa-born actor and Oscar winner Troy Kotsur (left) was honored with the key to the city on Thursday. Two days later, his precious Academy Award was stolen.
Mesa-born actor and Oscar winner Troy Kotsur (left) was honored with the key to the city on Thursday. Two days later, his precious Academy Award was stolen. City of Mesa
Even for someone who won an Oscar this year, Mesa-born actor Troy Kotsur has had an eventful few days.

On August 11, Kotsur, who was the first deaf man to win an Academy Award for acting (Best Supporting Actor for his role in the movie CODA), received the key to the city of Mesa from Mayor John Giles.

“We’re beyond proud of Troy’s accomplishments and so thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate him in his hometown,” Giles said during the ceremony. “Troy’s story is one of perseverance and he sets a remarkable example of dedication and commitment in achieving one of the highest honors of his field.”

Kotsur and his family have a long history in Mesa. He was born there in 1968 and attended Westwood High School, and his family has lived there for generations; his father and grandfather were Mesa police officers.

“It is such a special honor to receive the key to the city of Mesa, the place where I was born and raised, and will always consider home. I’m grateful for the love and support of everyone in the community who have stood by me and supported me through the years,” Kotsur said at the event. “I’m very proud to be able to share this recognition with my family and friends, right here in my hometown.”

Then, just two days later, Kotsur announced in a since-deleted tweet that his Jeep had been stolen — with his Oscar inside.

"A little kid stole my Jeep while I have Oscar in my Jeep," the tweet began. "The city of Mesa, Az found my Jeep and Oscar award too! Thanks!" The message was accompanied by a photo of Kotsur with some Mesa police officers.

After the key presentation ceremony, Giles interviewed Kotsur for an upcoming episode of the It’s Always Cool in Mesa podcast, which is available on Apple, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. For more information, visit the city of Mesa website
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Jennifer Goldberg is the culture editor and Best of Phoenix editor for Phoenix New Times.