In a groundbreaking achievement, 10-year-old Keivonn Woodard from Bowie, Maryland, has etched his name in Emmy history as the first Black deaf actor to earn an Emmy Award nomination. Woodard’s remarkable nomination comes in the esteemed category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, where he earned recognition for his outstanding performance in HBO’s gripping series, “The Last of Us.”  


The Last of Us,” a post-apocalyptic zombie series based on the 2013 video game of the same name, showcases Woodard in the role of Sam, a young boy battling leukemia in the midst of a world ravaged by chaos. What sets Woodard’s portrayal apart is the decision by the show’s producers to cast a deaf actor for the character, a move that not only brought authenticity to the role but also highlighted the importance of representation in the entertainment industry.  

In his historic nomination, Keivonn Woodard not only became the youngest-ever nominee in the Outstanding Guest Actor category but also secured the title of the second-youngest Emmy nominee overall. His nomination is a testament to his exceptional talent and the impact of diversity and inclusion in the world of entertainment.  

Beyond his acting career, Woodard harbors a passion for hockey and dreams of becoming the first deaf Black player in the National Hockey League (NHL). His journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring young actors and athletes alike, proving that determination and talent can break down barriers and shatter ceilings.  

Keivonn Woodard’s Emmy nomination is not only a personal milestone but also a significant step forward in the ongoing pursuit of inclusivity and representation in the entertainment industry. His story resonates with the power of diversity, reminding us all that talent knows no boundaries and that dreams can be achieved, regardless of age, background, or abilities.

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