Marlee Matlin Biography

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Marlee Matlin is a deaf American actress who was born in 1965 in Morton Grove, Illinois. She lost most of her hearing at the age of 18 months due to Roseola Infantum. Despite studying criminal justice at Harper College, she pursued her passion for acting and made her film debut in Children of a Lesser God, winning an Academy Award and a Golden Globe award for her performance. Matlin is also an active spokesperson for the deaf community, serving on the boards of several charitable organizations such as Very Special Arts and the Starlight Foundation. She has four children with her husband, Kevin Grandalski. Matlin also performed the Star-Spangled Banner in American Sign Language at Super Bowl XLI and was a competitor on the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars. In her autobiography, I’ll Scream Later, she speaks about her abusive relationship with actor William Hurt and her experience of sexual abuse. Through her work and accomplishments, Matlin has inspired others to see that being deaf is not a handicap and that anyone can make a difference in the world.

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Marlee Matlin was born in Morton Grove, Illinois on August 24, 1965. At the age of 18 months, she lost all of the hearing in her right ear and 80 percent of the hearing in her left. Roseola Infantum caused her hearing loss. Marlee is Jewish and has two older brothers. She is a deaf American actress and has starred in many movies and television shows such as “Children of a Lesser God” in 1986, “My Name is Earl” (a television show on NBC) in 2007, and “Sweet Nothing in My Ear” in 2008. Marlee studied criminal justice at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois.

She had always had a passion for acting though and kept her passion all the way through college. Her first film debut was playing the role of Sarah Norman in the movie “Children of a Lesser God. ” After this movie was released, Marlee won an Academy Award for best actress and a Golden Globe award for best motion picture drama actress. Matlin enjoys visiting children of the deaf community. When she was in Nicaragua filming for a movie she visited many deaf children and has continued this tradition ever since.

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She has traveled all around Europe to countries such as Germany, Italy, and England to visit deaf people and to give speeches. Marlee is also a spokeswoman for the National Captioning Institute. In 1995 she testified at a Congressional hearing and helped get a law passed that requires all TV sets 13 inches or larger to be manufactured with built-in chips to provide “Closed Captioning” on their screens. She also serves on the boards for many charitable organizations in the deaf community. Some of these organizations include Very special arts and the starlight foundation.

Most of the organizations she serves in have to do with benefiting children. On August 29, 1993, Marlee married a police officer by the name of Kevin Grandalski. To this day they have four children. They have two sons as well as two daughters. Their names are Sara born on January 19, 1996, Brandon born on September 12, 2000, Tyler born on July 18, 2002, and Isabelle born on December 26, 2003. On February 4, 2007, Matlin performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” in American Sign Language at Super Bowl XLI in Miami, Florida. She was also a competitor in the sixth season of dancing with the stars.

Her partner was Fabian Sanchez. They were eliminated in the Sixth week of the season. On April 14, 2009, Matlin released I’ll Scream Later, an autobiography that chronicles her life’s journey. In it, she speaks about her rocky, two-year relationship with actor William Hurt, whom she alleges was physically abusive to her and abused drugs during their two-year relationship. And she also addresses sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of a babysitter. I believe that Marlee Matlin serves as a spokesperson for the deaf society. She is a widely known actress with a vision for the future of society in general.

I think that she is the perfect example of showing the world that being deaf is not a handicap. I think that she is a very inspiring person whether you are deaf or hearing. I have learned many things in my research about Marlee Matlin. One thing is that anyone is capable of accomplishing anything. Marlee has received many awards for acting while being different than the hearing community. She has also helped the world by serving in countless charities and funds. I have learned that it does not matter whether you are hearing or deaf, you can always make a difference in the world.

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Marlee Matlin Biography. (2017, Mar 20). Retrieved from

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