Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1965-08-24 (56 years old) · Gender: Female · Place of Birth: Morton Grove, Illinois, USA

38 Movies · 33 TV shows

Biography

Marlee Beth Matlin (born August 24, 1965) is an American actress, author, and activist. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Children of a Lesser God (1986) and to date is the only deaf performer to have won an Academy Award. Having won the award at the age of 21, she is also the youngest winner in the category. Her work in film and television has resulted in a Golden Globe award, with two additional nominations, and four Emmy nominations. Deaf since she was 18 months old, due to illness and high fevers, she is also a prominent member of the National Association of the Deaf. Her longtime interpreter is Jack Jason.

Personal Life

Matlin is actively involved with a number of charitable organizations, including Easter Seals (where she was appointed an Honorary board member), the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, VSA arts, and the Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet. She was appointed by President Clinton in 1994 to the Corporation for National Service and served as chair of National Volunteer Week. Matlin was a participant in the first-ever national television advertising campaign supporting donations to Jewish federations. The program featured "film and television personalities celebrating their Jewish heritage and promoting charitable giving to the Jewish community" and included Greg Grunberg, Joshua Malina, Kevin Weisman, and Jonathan Silverman.Matlin received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Gallaudet University in 1987. In October 2007, she was appointed to the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees. In 1988, Matlin received the Samuel S. Beard Award for Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.Matlin attended the 1988 Oscars to present the Academy Award for Best Actor. After signing her introduction in ASL, she spoke aloud the "names of the nominees" and of Michael Douglas, the winner.On April 14, 2009, Matlin released an autobiography, I'll Scream Later. In it, she describes her drug abuse and how it drove her to check herself into the Betty Ford Center. She also tells about her rocky, two-year relationship with her significantly older Children of a Lesser God co-star William Hurt, who she claims was physically abusive to her. She also addresses the sexual abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her female babysitter.She enjoys a sense of humor about her deafness: "Often I’m talking to people through my speakerphone, and after 10 minutes or so they say, 'Wait a minute, Marlee, how can you hear me?' They forget I have an interpreter there who is signing to me as they talk. So I say, 'You know what? I can hear on Wednesdays.'"Matlin has been a strong advocate for the rights of deaf people, accepting television roles only if producers commit to caption the films, remaining openminded and respectful of both signed and spoken communication preferences, and promoting telephone equipment specially designed for deaf persons. She has testified before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources in support of the establishment of the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders. Matlin has also been active in the fight against AIDS, the "Victory Awards" for the National Rehabilitation Hospital, and other causes.In 1991, Matlin received the Bernard Bragg* Young Artists Achievement Award at the Annual International Creative Arts Festival sponsored by the Center on Deafness in Chicago.

Early Life

Matlin was born in Morton Grove, Illinois, to Libby (née Hammer) and Donald Matlin, who was an automobile dealer.She lost all hearing in her right ear and 80% of the hearing in her left ear at the age of 18 months. In her autobiography I'll Scream Later, she suggests that her hearing loss may have been due to a genetically malformed cochlea. She is the only member of her family who is deaf. She and her two older brothers, Eric and Marc, grew up in a Reform Jewish household. Her family roots are in Poland and Russia. Matlin attended a synagogue for the Deaf (Congregation Bene Shalom), and after studying Hebrew phonetically, was able to learn her Torah portion for her Bat Mitzvah. She was later interviewed for the book Mazel Tov: Celebrities' Bar and Bat Mitzvah Memories.She also performed in children's theater as early as seven years old with the Center on Deafness in Chicago. She played "Dorothy" in The Wizard of Oz (1974), and performed in Mary Poppins and Peter Pan as the small company traveled through Illinois, Nebraska, and Indiana. At the age of thirteen, Matlin won second prize in the Chicago Center's Annual International Creative Arts Festival for an essay titled, "If I Was not a Movie Star." Later she planned a career in criminal justice as she began attending Harper Junior College in Palatine, Illinois.Matlin graduated from John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights and attended Harper College.In her autobiography I'll Scream Later, she described two instances when she was molested: by her babysitter at age 11, and by her teacher in high school.

Movies & TV shows

2021.

1 Movie
CODA

CODA

10
2021
Ruby is the only hearing person in her family. Ruby is torn between her love of music and her fear of abandoning her parents when the family's fishing business is threatened.

2020.

2 Movies
The Paley Center Salutes Law & Order: SVU

The Paley Center Salutes Law & Order: SVU

2020
Behind-the-scenes footage, memorable scenes, and exclusive interviews with the actors, creators and crew members are included.
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote

A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote

2020
The West Wing's "Hartsfield's Landing" episode was staged at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. The Act Breaks feature commentary from the former First Lady, the President and the playwright about th...

2019.

3 Movies · 1 TV show
Feeling Through

Feeling Through

2019
While wandering around New York, 18-year-old Tereek encounters Artie, a deaf-blind man trying to get home.
TV
Tamron Hall

Tamron Hall

2019
Tamron Hall is a former news host and journalist.
Connecting the Dots: The Story of Feeling Through

Connecting the Dots: The Story of Feeling Through

2019
'Connecting the Dots' follows the journey of making the groundbreaking film 'Feeling Through'.
Entangled

Entangled

2019
Four brilliant university students are forced to confront themselves in terrifying ways when their Quantum Physics experiment leads to an entangled parallel existence that leaves them questioning who ...

2018.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
This Close

This Close

2018
Kate and Michael, who are both deaf and live in Los Angeles, are about to face new challenges, including a bad breakup, being tokenized at work and a troubling secret, all of which test their bond in ...
CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion

CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion

2018
An investigation into the way media portrayals impact the actual inclusion of people with disabilities in society.

2015.

1 Movie · 2 TV shows
TV
The Magicians

The Magicians

6.11
2015
Brakebills University is a place that specializes in magic. There, amidst an unconventional education of spellcasting, a group of twenty-something friends discover that a magical fantasy world they re...
Some Kind of Beautiful

Some Kind of Beautiful

6.11
2015
Richard Haig is an English professor at Trinity College in Cambridge. Richard has a steady stream of beautiful undergraduates at night. Richard is tired of the game and looking for something more mean...
TV
Quantico

Quantico

5.89
2015
A group of people are at the FBI base. It doesn't make sense that one of them is suspected of masterminding the biggest attack on New York City since 9/11.

2014.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
Cosmos

Cosmos

6.43
2014
Neil deGrasse Tyson provides clarity for the vision of the universe as he voyages across the universe with never-before-told stories that look into the scientific concepts of the laws of gravity and t...
The One I Love

The One I Love

6
2014
On the verge of separation,Ethan andSophie escape to a beautiful vacation house for a weekend to save their marriage. When an unexpected discovery forces the two to examine themselves, their relations...

2013.

2 Movies
4Closed

4Closed

2013
The previous owner of a foreclosed house started a campaign of intimidation and terror when a young family moved in. The man will not stop until he gets his home back.
No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie

No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie

2013
A deaf actor who plays a superhero on a TV show must look beyond the cape to inspire a deaf boy to believe in himself.

2012.

1 Movie
Excision

Excision

1
2012
The pressures of fitting into high school, pleasing her mother, and a burning desire to lose her virginity are some of the things that Alienated teen Pauline struggles with. Everyone around her is con...

2011.

2 Movies · 1 TV show
Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump

Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump

2011
Comedy Central will roast Donald Trump.
TV
Switched at Birth

Switched at Birth

6.88
2011
The story of two teenage girls who were switched in the hospital. Bay Kennish was raised in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother, while a woman who lost her hearing at an early age was rais...
Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade

2011
Award-winning singer Cee Lo Green is one of several stars set to perform in this year’s “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade” on ABC.

2009.

1 Movie · 2 TV shows
TV
Glee

Glee

6.58
2009
In this musical comedy, optimistic high school teacher Will Schuester tries to refuel his own passion while reinventing the high school's glee club and challenging a group of outcasts to realize their...
Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show

Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show

2009
A variety special starring MacFarlane and Borstein. The half-hour special will feature original animation, live-action performances of "Family Guy's" most memorable musical numbers, comedy sketches an...
TV
Celebrity Ghost Stories

Celebrity Ghost Stories

2009
Celebrity Ghost Stories is a show on the Biography Channel. On October 3, 2009, the first episode of the series was aired. Celebrity go back to the places of their haunted experiences to find out the ...

2008.

2 Movies
Sweet Nothing in My Ear

Sweet Nothing in My Ear

2008
A family drama tells the story of a couple who are torn between giving their son a hearing implant or not.
Dispatches from Nicaragua

Dispatches from Nicaragua

2008
There is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of WALKER.

2007.

1 Movie
Baby Einstein: My First Signs - See and Sign with Baby

Baby Einstein: My First Signs - See and Sign with Baby

2007
As babies grow, their eye-hand coordination begins to improve as their ability to interact with their surroundings blossoms. It is the perfect time for My First Signs, A playful introduction to 20 com...

2006.

1 Movie
What the Bleep! Down the Rabbit Hole

What the Bleep! Down the Rabbit Hole

3.75
2006
Interviews with scientists and authors, animated bits, and a storyline involving a deaf photographer are used in this docudrama to illustrate the link between quantum mechanics, neurobiology, human co...

2005.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
My Name Is Earl

My Name Is Earl

6.56
2005
Earl Hickey set off on a quest to repair his karma when he won the lottery.
Baby Einstein: Baby Wordsworth - First Words Around The House

Baby Einstein: Baby Wordsworth - First Words Around The House

2005
A playful introduction to words and sign language!As their communication skills continue to develop, little ones begin to recognize common words and may point to objects or pictures when these items a...

2004.

1 Movie · 3 TV shows
TV
CSI: NY

CSI: NY

5.96
2004
CSI: NY is an American police procedural television series that ran on CBS from September 22, 2004 to February 22, 2013 for a total of nine seasons and 197 original episodes. The show follows the inve...
TV
Desperate Housewives

Desperate Housewives

6.71
2004
Mary Alice Young doesn't like to look down on her friends and family. It's a way of death. Mary Alice ended it all in her perfect house. She's taking us into the lives of her family, friends and neigh...
What the #$*! Do We (K)now!?

What the #$*! Do We (K)now!?

2004
She makes a living as a photographer. During the Fall of the year, as she begins to question her role in life, her relationships with her career and men, and what it all means, she begins to see the w...
TV
The L Word

The L Word

6.6
2004
A group of lesbian friends are in Los Angeles.

2003.

2 TV shows
TV
I'm with Her

I'm with Her

2003
When Patrick Owen was bitten by the puppy of a movie star, he became an overnight sensation. In the blink of an eye, his anonymity and privacy go up.
TV
Nip/Tuck

Nip/Tuck

6.18
2003
Plastic surgeons who are hot. Hotshot. They were Sean McNamara and Dr. midlife crises for Christian Troy as they confront career, family and romance problems

2001.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
Askari

Askari

2001
Set on a game reserve in Africa. Askari is an angry old elephant, the only survivor of the "A' family group which has been anhilitated in a government cull and he has turned rogue. Involved in the cul...
TV
The Division

The Division

2001
The Division has Bonnie Bedelia in it. The San Francisco Police Department's women police officers were the focus of the series. The series ended on June 28, 2004.

2000.

2 TV shows
TV
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

6.83
2000
A Las Vegas team of forensic investigators are trained to solve criminal cases by combing the crime scene, collecting irrefutable evidence and finding the missing pieces that solve the mystery.
TV
Gideon's Crossing

Gideon's Crossing

2000
Ben Gideon, a doctor of great skill and with a great bedside manner, heads the experimental oncology ward at a fictional teaching hospital in New England. Based on the work of Dr. Jerome Groupman, Gid...

1999.

5 Movies · 5 TV shows
Freak City

Freak City

1999
After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a rebellious young woman is disease-stricken. Upon being admitted to a nursing home, she finds hope in the most unlikely of places...
Two Shades of Blue

Two Shades of Blue

1999
Susan Price has written a #1 bestseller, a steamy novel about a woman's search for the ultimate sexual experience entitled, "The Dark Side of Judith." When Susan is framed for the murder of her fiance...
Where the Truth Lies

Where the Truth Lies

1999
A lawyer is defending a political campaign manager accused of murder. Is her client blinded by love?
TV
Judging Amy

Judging Amy

5.74
1999
Judging Amy is an American television drama that was telecast from September 19, 1999, through May 3, 2005, on CBS-TV. This TV series starred Amy Brenneman and Tyne Daly. Its main character is a judge...
TV
The West Wing

The West Wing

5.66
1999
The West Wing gives a glimpse into presidential politics in the nation's capital as it tells the stories of the members of a fictional presidential administration. The politics that these characters d...
TV
Family Guy

Family Guy

6.07
1999
The adventures of the Griffin family are the subject of an animated series. Peter and Lois have three children. Meg is the most unpopular girl in town and the middle kid is not very bright but has a p...
When Justice Fails

When Justice Fails

1999
A detective investigating the murders of two sex offenders gets involved with a district attorney who becomes a main suspect.
TV
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

6.09
1999
Sexually-based offenses are considered heinous in the criminal justice system. In New York City, the detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Specia...
In Her Defense

In Her Defense

6
1999
Sidney J directed In Her Defense in 1998. Furie. Lawyer Andrew Garfield is having an affair with a woman who is blind, played by Marlee Matlin. Andrew Garfield kills him. In the film, the lawyer has t...

1997.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
The Practice

The Practice

1997
Young associates at a bare-bones Boston firm are the focus of a provocative legal drama. People who walk a moral tightrope are the focus of the show.
Dead Silence

Dead Silence

1997
Three escaped convicts are holding a group of students hostage.

1996.

1 Movie · 3 TV shows
TV
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

5.67
1996
The biggest stories in news, politics and pop culture are tackled by The World's Fakest News Team.
TV
Spin City

Spin City

7
1996
The deputy mayor of New York City is Mike Flaherty. Mike runs the city with the help of his odd staff, which includes an anxious press secretary, a sexist, boorish chief of staff, a sharp and efficien...
TV
Blue's Clues

Blue's Clues

7.25
1996
Blue's Clues is an American children's television show that premiered on September 8, 1996 on the cable television network Nickelodeon, and ran for ten years, until August 6, 2006. Producers Angela Sa...
It's My Party

It's My Party

1996
Nick, a gay, HIV-positive architect, begins to display severe symptoms of AIDS and makes preparations to kill himself before he is unable to function normally. He organizes a farewell party for his fr...

1995.

1 TV show
TV
The Outer Limits

The Outer Limits

6
1995
Sometimes there is a plot twist at the end of The Outer Limits. Unlike the original incarnation of the series, which was a pure anthology with each episode completely unrelated to the others, the revi...

1994.

2 Movies · 2 TV shows
Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story

Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story

1994
Carrie Buck is a young intellectually disabled woman who is persuaded to fight against the courts for custody of her newborn daughter after it's taken from her since Carrie has been declared mentally ...
Sesame Street All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!

Sesame Street All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!

1994
Sesame Street All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever! was a 1994 TV special that aired on ABC to celebrate Sesame Street's 25th anniversary. It was originally broadcast on May 18, 1994. The...
TV
ER

ER

5.68
1994
Critical issues faced by the dedicated physicians and staff of the overburdened emergency room were explored in the inner workings of an urban teaching hospital.
TV
Sweet Justice

Sweet Justice

1994
Sweet Justice is an American legal drama. The show ran for an hour on NBC. Columbia Pictures Television produced the series.

1993.

1 Movie
Hear No Evil

Hear No Evil

1993
The target of a corrupt cop is a woman with deafness. The cop wants to keep the coin for himself. A journalist hides a coin in an apartment, then his car explodes, and the cop is after her.

1992.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
The Player

The Player

4.71
1992
A Hollywood studio executive is receiving death threats from a writer.
TV
Picket Fences

Picket Fences

10
1992
The residents of the town of Rome are the focus of Picket Fences.

1991.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
Reasonable Doubts

Reasonable Doubts

1991
In the United States, NBC broadcasted Reasonable Doubts from 1991 to 1993.
The Linguini Incident

The Linguini Incident

1991
A waitress, a barman and an underwear designer are trying to rob a New York restaurant.

1990.

1 Movie

1989.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
Bridge to Silence

Bridge to Silence

1989
A woman with a hearing problem is trying to get her life back together after her husband was killed in a car accident.
TV
Seinfeld

Seinfeld

5.99
1989
In New York City in the '90s, a stand-up comedian and his three offbeat friends deal with the pitfalls and payoffs of life. It's a show about nothing.

1987.

1 Movie
Walker

Walker

1987
In order to install a new government after a coup d'etat, William Walker and his mercenary corps entered Nicaragua in the middle of the 19th century.

1986.

1 Movie
Children of a Lesser God

Children of a Lesser God

1986
James is a teacher at the school. Sarah decided to stay at the school rather than go to the big bad world. She refused to read his lips and only used signs. Will her feelings change over time?

1953.

1 TV show
TV
The Oscars

The Oscars

1953
The film industry is honored at an annual American awards ceremony. The Academy Award of Merit is better known as the Oscar and is given to the various category winners.
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