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Keivonn Woodard, 10, of Bowie, Maryland, is creating history. He is the first Black deaf actor and the second-youngest Emmy nominee ever.

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Woodard was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series on Wednesday for his role on HBO’s “The Last of Us,” a post-apocalyptic zombie series based on the hit 2013 PlayStation video game of the same name. He is the category’s youngest nominee ever.

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Woodard plays Sam, an eight-year-old deaf artist diagnosed with leukemia who debuts briefly in Episode 4 before taking on a greater role in Episode 5. Although Sam’s video game counterpart is not deaf, the series’ creators altered to allow a deaf actor to play the character Woodard’s performance was labeled “astonishing” and “fantastic,” and the episodes he appeared in as heartbreaking and a “standout” on the critically-praised show.

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Maryland Native Keivonn Woodard Is The First Black Deaf Actor Nominated For An Emmy  was originally published on