Nyle DiMarco

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Nyle DiMarco
DiMarco in 2016
Nyle Thompson

(1989-05-08) May 8, 1989 (age 34)
Alma materGallaudet University
  • Model
  • actor
  • Deaf activist
Years active2014–present
Modeling information
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[1]
Hair colorDark brown[1]
Eye colorBlue[1]
AgencyWilhelmina Models (New York), CESD Talent Agency (Los Angeles)[2]

Nyle DiMarco (born May 8,[3] 1989)[4] is an American model, actor, and Deaf activist. In 2015, DiMarco was the winner of The CW's reality television series America's Next Top Model in season 22, becoming the second male winner and the first Deaf winner. In the following year, he and professional dance partner Peta Murgatroyd were the winners of the ABC televised dance competition Dancing with the Stars in season 22.

Early life[edit]

DiMarco was born in Queens, New York as Nyle Thompson, explaining in his book that along with his brothers, he changed his last name from Thompson to DiMarco, his mother's maiden name, while at university. He is of English, Scottish, Italian and German descent.[5] DiMarco grew up in Frederick, Maryland, where he attended the Maryland School for the Deaf,[6] and went on to graduate from Gallaudet University in 2013,[7] with a degree in mathematics.[5] American Sign Language (ASL) is his native language but he uses English fluently in writing. Nyle also gets by with lip reading and nonverbal communication.[8] He has a fraternal twin brother, Nico,[9][10] and an older brother, Neal.[11]


DiMarco in 2015 for 2(x)ist

In 2013, DiMarco had a leading role in the independent film In the Can, an American Sign Language Films production.[9][12] In 2014 and 2015, he played the recurring role of Garrett Banducci in Switched at Birth on the Freeform network.[12]

DiMarco was doing freelance modeling for about a year before he was contacted by America's Next Top Model producers in 2015.[8] They scouted him via his social media without realizing he was deaf.[6][8] He was named the winner of the season after beating out Mamé Adjei in the season finale.[13] He is the only deaf male in the show's history, the first deaf winner, and the second male to win.[13]

Shortly after winning the competition, DiMarco signed with Wilhelmina Models in New York City.[1][14]

On March 8, 2016, DiMarco was announced as one of the celebrities who would compete on season 22 of Dancing with the Stars. He was partnered with professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd.[15][16] DiMarco is the second deaf contestant to compete on the show after Marlee Matlin. On May 24, 2016, DiMarco and Murgatroyd were announced as the winners of the season. DiMarco became the first deaf celebrity to win any global version of BBC Worldwide's Dancing with the Stars franchise.

In 2016, DiMarco appeared in the Hulu comedy series Difficult People.[17] Later on, he appeared on Tóc Tiên's music video for "Big Girls Don't Cry" in January and Alex Newell's music video for "Basically Over You (BOY)" in March.

In June 2016, DiMarco walked for Giorgio Armani at Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017.

DiMarco was featured on DIVERSEability Magazine's 2017 Summer issue. He was also honored as DEAF LIFE Magazine's "Deaf Person of the Year" (January 2017 issue).

DiMarco played the lead role in Dan + Shay's "Tequila" music video, which premiered in February 2018.

Dancing with the Stars performances[edit]

Dimarco was partnered with professional ballroom dancer Peta Murgatroyd on the 22nd season of the ABC televised dance competition Dancing with the Stars.

Dimarco was the show's second deaf contestant, the first being Marlee Matlin in 2008.

Week # Dance / Song Judges' scores Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-cha-cha/"Cake by the Ocean" 8 7 7 No Elimination
2 Rumba/"Stole the Show" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Tango/"Verge" 8 8 9 Safe
4 Samba/"Trashin' the Camp" 8 8/91 9 Safe
52 Viennese Waltz/"I Get to Love You" 9 10/103 10 No Elimination
6 Quickstep/"Hey! Pachuco!" 8 8 9 Safe
7 Foxtrot / "Beautiful Day" 10 9 10 Safe
8 Paso Doble/"Victorious"
Team Argentine Tango/"Habanera"
Trio Jive/"Hit the Road Jack"
Argentine tango/"Unsteady"
Freestyle/"The Sound of Silence"
Cha-cha-cha & Tango Fusion/"Summer"

1 Score by guest judge Zendaya.

2 This week only, for "Partner Switch-Up" week, DiMarco performed with Sharna Burgess instead of Murgatroyd. Murgatroyd performed with Doug Flutie.

3 Score by guest judge Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

4 Due to Tonioli being the judge coaching DiMarco's team during the team-up dance, the viewers scored the dance in his place with the averaged score being counted alongside the remaining judges.

Personal life and activism[edit]

DiMarco at the National Book Festival in 2022

In October 2015, DiMarco came out as "sexually fluid" when asked during an interview with Out magazine about his sexuality.[18]

DiMarco does not consider himself disabled by deafness and sees his media profile as an opportunity to bring awareness to Deaf culture.[8] He views deafness as an advantage in modeling because he is accustomed to communicating without speaking.[19] He believes deaf actors should play deaf roles.[8]

DiMarco is a spokesperson for LEAD-K (Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids). He is also a signer and creative collaborator on The ASL App, an app that teaches ASL.[20]

In 2016, DiMarco started The Nyle DiMarco Foundation, a non-profit organization providing access to resources for deaf children and their families.[21]

DiMarco supported Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign during the 2016 U.S. election.[22] He criticized Republican nominee Donald Trump, after reports surfaced of ableist comments, one directed at deaf actress Marlee Matlin.[23] DiMarco stated, "[T]here are 55 million disabled people living in America. I don't want a president who marginalizes my community."[24]

On November 22, 2020, DiMarco delivered the keynote address at the closing general session of the Annual Convention and Expo of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.[25] In the keynote address, DiMarco drew comparisons between his experiences in education (both in Deaf schools and in hearing schools) and the experiences of learners of world languages negotiating cultural differences. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was fully online, so DiMarco delivered the keynote via video streaming.



Year Title Role Notes
2014–15 Switched at Birth Garrett Banducci Season 3, Ep 18 "It Isn't What you Think"
Season 4, Ep 16 "Borrowing Your Enemy's Arrows"
Season 4, Ep 18 "The Accommodations of Desire"
2015 America's Next Top Model Himself Cycle 22; Winner
2016 Difficult People Doug Episode: Kessler Epstein Foundation
Dancing with the Stars Himself Season 22; Winner
2018–19 This Close Ben Genovese 4 episodes
2019 Station 19 Dylan Episode: Into the Wildfire
2019 What Would You Do? Himself Season 15
2020 Deaf U Executive producer Netflix original reality series
2021 Audible Executive producer Netflix short documentary film
2022 Queer as Folk Leo Season 1, Episode 4

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Title Original artist(s) Director(s)
2016 "Big Girls Don't Cry" Tóc Tiên Đinh Hà Uyên Thư
2016 "Basically Over You (B.O.Y)" Alex Newell Alex Newell & Derec Dunn
2018 "Tequila" Dan + Shay Patrick Tracy


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Critics' Choice Real TV Awards June 21, 2021 Best Unstructured Series Deaf U Won
Academy Awards March 27, 2022 Documentary (Short Subject) Audible (film) Nominated
Critics' Choice Documentary Awards November 14, 2021 Best Short Documentary Audible (film) Nominated


  1. ^ a b c d "Nyle DiMarco". Wilhelmina Models. Archived from the original on July 20, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  2. ^ "Book Nyle". nyledimarco.com. Archived from the original on March 22, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  3. ^ DiMarco, Nyle (May 8, 2016). "My twin, it's our birthday!". Nyle NiMarco verified Instagram page. Archived from the original on May 27, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  4. ^ Beard, Landford (May 25, 2016). "Dancing with the Stars Champion Nyle DiMarco Reveals the Moment He Knew He Could Win". People. Archived from the original on May 25, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2016. ...said the 27-year-old model and activist...
  5. ^ a b Meilan, Ingrid; Gajewski, Ryan (April 25, 2016). "Dancing With the Stars' Nyle DiMarco: 25 Things You Don't Know About Me (I Get Mistaken for Bradley Cooper!)". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on April 26, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Cunningham, Caroline (August 3, 2015). "Q&A with DC Native Nyle DiMarco, America's Next Top Model's First Deaf Contestant". Washingtonian. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  7. ^ "Gallaudet alum to compete on "America's Next Top Model" - Gallaudet University". gallaudet.edu. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e Wang, Yanan (August 7, 2015). "His modeling photos got him noticed, but didn't show one thing: He's Deaf". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Olya, Gabrielle (March 19, 2016). "5 Things to Know About Dancing with the Stars Winner Nyle DiMarco". People. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  10. ^ LaScala, Marisa (August 5, 2015). "Who Is Nyle DiMarco? The America's Next Top Model Contestant Is A First For The Show". Bustle. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  11. ^ "Happy birthday to my older brother Neal!". Nyle DiMarco verified Facebook page. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Schmitt, Kiana (August 26, 2015). "'America's Next Top Model' Welcomes First Deaf Contestant". Canyon News. Beverly Hills, California. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Towle, Andy (December 5, 2015). "Nyle Di Marco Named 'America's Next Top Model'". Towleroad. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  14. ^ Miller, Taylor (February 4, 2016). "Nyle DiMarco Will Make Your Thoughts NSFW For NYFW". BuzzFeed. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  15. ^ "'Dancing With the Stars' 2016: Season 22 Celebrity Cast Revealed Live on 'GMA'". ABC News. March 8, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  16. ^ Bricker, Tierney; Bentley, Jean (February 27, 2016). "America's Next Top Model Winner Nyle DiMarco Is Joining Dancing With the Stars!". E! News. Retrieved March 9, 2016. ...the 26-year-old model/actor/deaf activist....
  17. ^ Miller, Ted (March 9, 2016). "Meet the "Dancing With the Stars" Season 22 celebrity cast". WBAY. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  18. ^ Sauvalle, Julien (October 7, 2015). "ANTM Contestant Nyle DiMarco Comes Out as Sexually 'Fluid'". Out. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  19. ^ "America's Next Top Model's Nyle DiMarco: I'm extremely fortunate not to be able to hear the other models, I love my world quiet!". MTV. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  20. ^ Miller, Ted. "Meet the "Dancing With the Stars" Season 22 celebrity cast". WBAY. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  21. ^ "About the Foundation - The Nyle DiMarco Foundation". The Nyle DiMarco Foundation.
  22. ^ "Hillary Clinton Just Made the Best Use of Silent Autoplay With This Social Video Ad - Deaf activist Nyle DiMarco's memorable spot". Ad Week.
  23. ^ "Deaf Actor Marlee Matlin Hits Back at Donald Trump Over 'Retarded' Comment: 'It Is Unacceptable'". Time.com. October 14, 2016.
  24. ^ "Nyle DiMarco visits Ohio State, offers perspectives on deaf culture". The Lantern. October 19, 2016.
  25. ^ "Keynote Speakers". www.thelanguageeducator.org. Retrieved December 4, 2020.

External links[edit]

Preceded by America's Next Top Model winner
Cycle 22 (2015)
Succeeded by
Awards and achievements
Preceded by Dancing with the Stars (US) winners
Season 22
(Spring 2016 with Peta Murgatroyd)
Succeeded by