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Deaf Culture:  Marlee Matlin
Also See "Marlee Matlin (1)"

William C. Melochick
December 11, 2006

Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin is a deaf actress that has appeared in many popular movies and television shows. She lost her hearing to a fever associated with roseola, which is a form of measles. She was only 18 months old at the time. Since then she has learned to sign and even speak with the help of modern technology. She also has used interpreters that the production companies had provided when she was a young acrtress. She also had a Telecommunications device in her dressing room along with a closed-captioned television. At home, Matlin had many signaling devices that would let her know when the doorbell rings, the phone rings, or when her baby cries. She also uses the internet on a daily basis to communicate with friends, family, and fans(Williams, 2001).
Matlin started her acting career with a children's theater group when she was very young. She played Dorothy from "The Wizard Of Oz" when she was only 7 years old. She was very young when she hit it big, winning an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her role in "Children of a lesser God." In 2005 she starred in a movie called "The Bridge To Silence." This was her first speaking role. She was the youngest woman to win the best actress award. She has gone on to star in many films such as "The Player" and "Its My Party." Today she is best known for her roles in many television shows. She has been in many popular shows such as "The West Wing," "Desperate Housewives" and "Sienfeld."She has won prime time Emmy awards for roles in "Law and Order" and "Picket Fences." Matlin has also made many guest appearances on many prime time and educational shows (Matlin, 2006).
Matlin has been an inspiration to many deaf and hard of hearing people. She says that she wants to be a role model to everyone. In a recent interview she stated that, " I hope that through my example, such as my role on "The West Wing," I can help change attitudes on deafness and prove we can really do everything, except hear." (Williams, 2006) She has used her acting career to help promote deaf awareness and equality for deaf and hard of hearing. In 2002 she wrote a book called "Deaf child crossing," which is based on her life experiences when she was growing up. She plans to write a sequel to this book which will chronicle her adult and acting experiences (Lammers, 2002).
I did not know anything about Marlee Matlin before I did this blog. I am in awe of everything that she has accomplished. I have only mentioned a few of the projects that she is involved with. She has done many more television, movie, and theater productions. She is also involved with many charities that benefit both the deaf and hearing communities. She is a huge inspiration to everyone, and she shows you that you can do anything you want if you work hard at it.

Works cited
Lammers, Tim. "Actress Merges Life, Fiction For 'Deaf Child Crossing." An Interview with Marlee Matlin. 10/31/2002. <>

Matlin, Marlee. Official Website. <>

Williams, John. "Marlee Matlin's World of Possibilities." An Interview with Marlee Matlin 5/23/2001. <>



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