WATCH: James Martin’s Oscars ‘Happy Birthday’ – whole audience sings to actor with Down Syndrome

It was a magic moment: the entire Oscars audience singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to actor James Martin, who has Down Syndrome, and who is star of ‘An Irish Goodbye’ which won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

The film was written and directed by Ross Whiteshot in Antrim and features the acclaimed Belfast actor. It was the only Irish or British short to make the Oscar shortlist.

James Martin, told Channel 4’s Ruben Reuter that ‘Winning the Oscar would be a great birthday present’ as the ceremony takes place on his birthday.

People with Down syndrome or autism are well able to act, Martin said in the interview, saying “it takes time to practice, but turn that light on, and that’s what makes you a brilliant actor”.


It was a special moment for James Martin.

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