Marlee Matlin: The Rise and Journey of the Oscar-winning Deaf Actress and Activist
Photo: Marlee Matlin
Youngest Oscar winner to date: Marlee Matlin
Many may know the actress Marlee matlin due to the academy’s record-breaking prize she won for Best Leading Actress at the age of 21 in her very first film role, “Children of a Lesser God”. To date, she is the youngest winner in this category in addition to the only deaf person never win an Oscar. Grow in Chicago along with her parents and two older brothers, she is the only deaf person in her family. She lost her hearing completely at just 18 months old due to illness and high fevers. Growing up, she never experienced life differently since her hearing loss started at only one and a half years old.
Associated article: “In the Heights” – Behind the scenes and full cast and crew comments / reactions
Associated article: Hollywood Insider CEO Pritan Ambroase: “The Importance of the Venice Film Festival as a Protector of Cinema”
As a child Matlin loved bringing stories to life and at the age of seven she made her stage debut playing the famous role of Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz‘in an ICODA (International Center for Deafness and the Arts) production. She took part in several of their shows where she was eventually spotted by the actor Henri winkler during one of his performances. Winkler calls Matlin a “second daughter” in an interview he did with PEOPLE magazine and recalled their initial interaction: “Stacey and I went to a talent show at this location. A 12 year old girl came out, couldn’t hear, and danced to a song from The Pajama Game. And Stacey and I cried, not because it was a dancing little girl who couldn’t hear, but because her spirit sprang from her body and into everyone’s hearts. You couldn’t miss it if you had a pulse.
Matlin had the honor of meeting the actor after his show where she told him that she too wanted to be an actress in Hollywood. He told her to persist and make sure no one ever said “no” to her. She didn’t know only eight years later that she would accept it Oscar.
From actress to activist
As mentioned earlier, Matlin’s landmark role as Sarah in “Children of a Lesser God” is what put her on the map. The film is based on a screenplay of the same name written by Mark Medoff and follows the character of Matlin Sarah, a deaf (and quite rebellious) warden and former student of a school for the deaf / hard of hearing with James, (William Hurt, ‘Lost in Space’) the school’s newest speech therapist. Over the course of the film, these two characters from opposite worlds begin to fall in love despite their conflicting beliefs regarding deafness and the use of speech. The film has won several awards and grossed over $ 25 million in the United States and received high praise from hearing and deaf communities.
Associated article: TO WATCH – Hollywood Insiders Love letter from CEO Pritan Ambroase to Black Lives Matter – VIDEO
To subscribe to Hollywood Insiders YouTube channel, by clicking here.
Obviously she wide recognition has been a huge breakthrough within the deaf community and over time Matlin has worked in television and film, won impressive awards and became more and more comfortable speaking, she became not only an actress but a activist. She put her activism to the test when she was first approached by the writer and producer Sian Heder (‘Orange Is the New Black’, ‘Tallulah’) for the film, and the actress’ latest project, ‘CODA’. The film is based on Ruby, a CODA, or child of deaf adults, who is the only hearing person in her deaf family. After joining the school choir and discovering her passion for music, she struggles to want to pursue her new love for fear of abandoning her family in which she has always served as a performer for her parents and worked on troubled family affairs.
Deaf is not a suit
Heder recalls in an interview with IndyStar that when she first met Matlin to discuss the project over coffee, Matlin shared that she hadn’t wanted to make a movie so badly since “Children of a Lesser God.” However, Matlin was forced to speak out when she was struck by the proposition that the studio behind the film wanted to recruit a well-known hearing actor to play the role of Matlin’s husband in the film. She remembered, “I put my foot down and said, ‘If you do, I’m right outside, that’s it. I don’t see any actor in the deaf costume. We’re not dress-up suits anymore, ”says Matlin. “I’ve seen so many times in this industry where hearing actors play the role of deaf characters.
Associated article: Hollywood Insiders CEO Pritan Ambroase: “The importance of the Venice Film Festival as a protector of cinema”
Associated article: Archives des Maîtres du cinéma: The Hollywood Insider pays tribute to ‘La Vie En Rose’, Exclusive interview with director Olivier Dahan
Associated article: – Do you want GUARANTEED SUCCESS? Remove these ten words from your vocabulary | Instantly transform your life
We have had enough of this. It’s time for me and the other deaf actors to talk and say enough. We are here. Our talents are valid. In order to receive the exact representation in Hollywood that the deaf community is looking for, Matlin is not afraid to shake things up. As Hollywood is refining its portrayal of inclusion of disability / impairment in the entertainment industry, Matlin takes the opportunity as an actress to speak out. She spoke to CBS News in an interview for ‘CODA’ where she shared her enthusiasm for future opportunities, “And not just me, but for deaf actors, writers, directors, people who work behind the camera. We have a history, we have a culture, we are part of the diverse continuum. So what do I do? I talk about it, I make noise about it.
Associated article: Why Queen Elizabeth II is one of the greatest monarchs | Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Video Insight)
Limited time offer – FREE subscription to The Hollywood Insider
Click here to learn more about Hollywood Insiders vision, values and mission statement here – The media have a responsibility to improve our world – The Hollywood Insider fully focuses on substance and meaningful entertainment, against gossip and scandal, by combining entertainment, education and philanthropy.
What will happen to Matlin
“CODA” was the success of this year’s blackout Sundance Film Festival. He’s won several awards, including the Audience Award, Grand Jury Prize, Ensemble Cast and Heder even won the Best Director award. It also won the highest purchase price in Sundance history, sold to Apple for $ 25 million. Her constant stream of impressive work and meaningful projects excites viewers to the project she could embark on next. Working in both film and television, she has proven to be one of the most versatile actresses of our time while also managing to speak out on topics close to her heart in the hopes of making the difference. For those who haven’t given ‘CODA’ a chance yet, I highly recommend the film which is now streaming on Apple +.
By Alexa Sutherland
Click here to read Hollywood Insiders CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he discusses more than police reform, press freedom and more – click here.
Extract from the love letter: Hollywood Insiders CEO / editor Pritan Ambrose affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally part of this global movement. We will continue to report on this major problem of police brutality and legal murders of blacks to hold the system accountable. We will continue to report on this major issue with kindness and respect to all black people, as each and every one of them is seen and heard.
Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is not limited to police brutality and extends to banks, housing, education, medicine, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all of your stories. We believe in peaceful / non-violent protests and I would like to ask the rest of the media to focus on 95% of protests that are peaceful and work effectively with positive changes happening on a daily basis. The media have a responsibility to improve the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.
Ways to Support the Black Lives Matter Movement to End Systemic Racism
More interesting stories from The Hollywood Insider
– Do you want GUARANTEED SUCCESS? Delete these ten words of your vocabulary | Instantly transform your life
– Compilation: All opening sequences of James Bond 007 From 1962 Sean Connery to Daniel Craig
– Do you know the hidden messages in “Call Me By Your Name”? Get the behind-the-scenes facts in the full commentary and in-depth analysis of the cinematic masterpiece
– Homage to the Oscars: all the speeches of the best actor / actress since the start of the Oscars 1929-2019 | From Rami Malek, Leonardo DiCaprio to Denzel Washington, Halle Berry and beyond | From Olivia Colman, Meryl Streep to Bette Davis and beyond
– In the 32nd year of his career, Keanu Reeves’ face continues to reign supreme after releasing films grossing over $ 4.3 billion in total – “John Wick”, “Toy Story 4”, “Matrix”, and many more
marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin , marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin, marlee matlin