Facts about Paul Raci

Paul Raci is 73 years old
Born: April 7, 1948
Birthplace: Chicago,
Best known as: The deaf mentor in the The Sound of Metal

     

     

Paul Raci Biography

Veteran actor Paul Raci earned sudden recognition in 2020 with his role in the drama The Sound of Metal. The film was nominated for an Oscar as the year’s best picture, and Raci was nominated as best supporting actor.

Paul Raci was born in Chicago as the hearing son of deaf parents, and he learned sign language as a boy. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, during two tours of duty there aboard the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea. In the 1980s he began doing theater in Chicago, including a lead role in the play Children of a Lesser God alongside actress Marlee Matlin, who later won an Oscar in the feature film version of the play.

Raci later moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a sign-language interpreter in city’s court system and continued to do theater with Deaf West Theater. He took a variety of small roles and bit parts in the movies and on TV — characters with names like Dark Gray Suit (The Visitor, 1998), Lie Detector Operator (CSI, 2000) and Scruffy Man (Life, 2008).

The Sound of Metal starred Riz Ahmed as a heavy metal drummer and former addict who loses his hearing; Paul Raci played the leader of a retreat for deaf addicts who becomes his mentor. Raci landed the role because of his sign language ability and history of living and working with the deaf. Raci won the Independent Spirit Award as best supporting male, and was nominated for the Academy Award as well.

Extra credit

Paul Raci’s last name is pronounced Ray-see, he said in a 2021 interview with the website Rotten Tomatoes.


     

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