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Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin

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Also Known As: Marlee Beth Matlin Died:
Born: August 24, 1965 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Morton Grove, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

When Marlee Matlin won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the film "Children of a Lesser God" (1986), she was the then youngest ever recipient of the award and only one of four actresses to receive it for her film debut. Those facts would be impressive enough on their own, but Matlin was not only an actress; she was also a deaf actress. It was not Matlin's fault that the rest of her career was something of an anti-climax after such a dynamic debut. Nevertheless, Matlin carved out a solid career in films and on television, often winning roles based on her talent alone and forcing producers to alter the role to accommodate her deafness. Her uniqueness made her not only a magnetic screen presence, but an inspiration to anyone struggling with a seemingly insurmountable handicap who still manages to follow their dreams.

When Marlee Matlin won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the film "Children of a Lesser God" (1986), she was the then youngest ever recipient of the award and only one of four actresses to receive it for her film debut. Those facts would be impressive enough on their own, but Matlin was not only an actress; she was also a deaf actress. It was not Matlin's fault that the rest of her career was something of an anti-climax after such a dynamic debut. Nevertheless, Matlin carved out a solid career in films and on television, often winning roles based on her talent alone and forcing producers to alter the role to accommodate her deafness. Her uniqueness made her not only a magnetic screen presence, but an inspiration to anyone struggling with a seemingly insurmountable handicap who still manages to follow their dreams.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Foreclosed (2013)
2.
 Excision (2012)
5.
 What the Bleep Do We Know? (2004) Amanda
6.
 Askari (2001)
7.
 Kiss My Act (2001) Casey
8.
 Where the Truth Lies (1999) Dana Sue Lacy
9.
 Freak City (1999) Cass
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Became deaf from a bout of roseola when she was 18 months old
1973:
At age eight, performed with Children's Theater of the Deaf in Des Plains, IL
:
Acted in community theater
:
Played a supporting role in a Chicago stage production of Mark Medoff's "Children of a Lesser God"
1986:
Feature film debut, the leading role of Sarah in "Children of a Lesser God"
1989:
TV movie debut and first speaking role in "Bridge to Silence" (CBS)
1991:
Played assistant prosecutor Tess Kaufman on TV series, "Reasonable Doubts" (NBC)
1992:
Appeared as herself in Robert Altman's "The Player"
1992:
Portrayed April Hare in episodes of the Disney Channel's "Adventures in Wonderland"
1993:
Performed the national anthem in American Sign Language with country music star Garth Brooks at Super Bowl XXVII; also appeared in Brooks' video "We Shall Be Free"
1993:
Played a terrorized deaf woman in the thriller, "Hear No Evil"
1993:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
1993:
Played Jerry's girlfriend Laura in two episodes of "Seinfeld" (NBC); nominated for an Emmy
1994:
Earned praise for her performance in Lifetime's "Against Her Will: The Story of Carrie Buck"; based-on-fact tale of a mentally-impaired woman who fought against her sterilization in the 1920s
1994:
Had recurring role as Laurie Bay on David E Kelley's "Picket Fences" (CBS); received Emmy nomination
1996:
Played Eric Roberts' sister in Randal Kleiser's "It's My Party"
1996:
Hosted PBS' "People in Motion" a look at how technology is reshaping the lives of people with disabilities
1997:
Starred in the HBO movie, "Dead Silence"
1999:
Reteamed with Eric Roberts in "Two Shades of Blue"
1999:
Producing debut, the Lifetime TV-movie "90 Days at Hollyridge"
2000:
Had a recurring role as a feisty campaign manager on the NBC political drama "The West Wing"
2000:
Earned plaudits for playing a deaf woman on trial in ABC's "The Practice"; scripted by David E Kelley
2002:
Published her first novel <i>Deaf Child Crossing</i>, which was loosely based on her own childhood
2004:
Guest-starred on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" as Doctor Amy Solway; earned an Emmy nomination
2006:
Reprised her role for the final episodes of the NBC White House drama, "The West Wing"
2007:
Joined the fourth season of Showtime's Lesbian themed drama, "The L Word" as fiery artist Jodi Lerner, the new love interest of Bette (Jennifer Beals)
2008:
Joined the ABC reality series, "Dancing with the Stars" as a contestant
2011:
Joined the cast of the fourth season of "Celebrity Apprentice" (NBC)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

John Hersey High School: Arlington Heights , Illinois -
William Rainey Harper College: Palatine , Illinois -

Notes

Inducted into Governor's Hall of Fame for People with Disabilities, California Department of Rehabilitation

Matlin has received honorary PhDs from Marymount Manhattan College, Emerson College and Gallaudet University.

Among Matlin's other awards are a Jefferson Award for greatest public service performd by an individual thirty-five years or younger, a Media Award form the Deafness Research Foundation and a Woman of Achievement Award from the Women's Group/Friends of Tel Hashomer.

"Marlee is magic onscreen. Because of her situation, she does a lot with her face and body. It gives her a very appealing combination of strength and natural vulnerability." --Robert Singer, executive producer/creator of "Reasonable Doubts" quoted in Us, October 1991.

"I don't walk into a room and expect people to say, 'Oh, here's the deaf actress, let's treat her differently.' I never thought of myself in those terms, and I've never let it hold me back. In fact, I would say I've done everything that I've ever wanted to do in my life, except one thing. I have always wanted to be a cop! I'd like to take risks, help some people, make the law work, bust a few other people. You know, have some fun." --Marlee Matlin to Us, October 1991.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
William Hurt. Actor. Met while working together on "Children of a Lesser God" (1986); together for two years.
companion:
Richard Dean Anderson. Actor. Dated in 1987.
companion:
David E Kelley. Producer, screenwriter, TV series creator. Former executive producer of "L.A. Law".
husband:
Kevin Grandalski. Police officer. Married on August 29, 1993; born c. 1965.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Don Matlin.
mother:
Libby Matlin.
brother:
Marc Matlin.
brother:
Eric Matlin.
daughter:
Sarah Rose Grandalski. Born on January 19, 1996.
son:
Brandon Joseph Grandalski. Born on September 12, 2000.
son:
Tyler Daniel Grandalski. Born on July 18, 2002.
daughter:
Isabelle Jane Grandalski. Born December 26, 2003.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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