Oscars Audience Erupts Into ‘Happy Birthday’ Song For Down Syndrome Actor After His Film Wins Award

A theatre full of Hollywood’s significant players erupted into the “Happy Birthday” song at the Oscars on Sunday in honor of James Martin, an actor with Down syndrome who starred in a film that had just won an Acadamy Award.

Martin, along with filmmakers Tom Berkeley and Ross White, took the stage after “An Irish Goodbye” won the category for Best Live Action Short Film.

Berkeley told the crowd that winning the award was only one of the most important things happening on Sunday.

“This award is actually the second most important thing about today, because it’s this man’s [Martin] birthday,” Berkeley said as he called Martin to the microphone.


the guys who made An Irish Goodbye used their Oscar acceptance speech to have every A-lister in Hollywood sing Happy Birthday to their star, James Martin. iconic! pic.twitter.com/J4LLHwMla3

— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) March 13, 2023

“He’s out here in Hollywood, wearing a leopard print suit jacket, we’d love to use the rest of our time up here to sing [Happy Birthday] for James,” he added.

The star-studded crowd then joined in, and they all sang “Happy Birthday” to Martin, who seemed overjoyed.

During the broadcast, the camera panned from Martin to the various actors and actresses in the theater as they sang.

The Oscar-winning short film is about two brothers who come together after their mother’s death. Martin plays the role of Lorcan, who has Down syndrome.

The Irish actor previously appeared in “Marcella” in 2016 and in a TV movie titled “Ups and Downs” the following year.

Speaking to ITV ahead of his appearance at the Oscars, Martin said he was working at a Starbucks serving coffee a few months before his trip to Hollywood.

“I always tell people, never judge a book by its cover, we’re all human beings we know how to act,” he shared.

Days before Martin appeared at Tinseltown’s biggest night, he checked out O’Brien’s Irish Pub in Los Angeles, where he played his harmonica.

Incredible scenes!! 🤯🤯🤯

Watch our main man #JamesMartin bring the house down at @ObriensIrishPub in Los Angeles!

The Irish have ARRIVED ☘️🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/XgYqJCvWMI

— An Irish Goodbye (@AnIrishGoodbye_) March 8, 2023

Video of the fun moment circulated on social media.

Related: Oscar Winner Ke Huy Quan Gets Emotional About ‘The American Dream’

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