Marlee has gone deaf and she is only 18 months old.
I love performing at the Children's Theater for the Deaf. This is my second performance and I am only 8 years old.
Performing in Children of a Lesser God is so exciting. It was difficult to get a leading role as a deaf actress.
When Marlee Matlin was 18 months old, shecontracted measles. She got so sick she lost her hearing. She learned to communicate by reading lips and using sign language.
Congratulations Marlee Matlin on winning the Academy Award!
At the age of 8, she began performing at the Children's Theater for the Deaf in Chicago. Being around other deaf children made Marlee more comfortable using sign language and being part of the Deaf community. One of her first productions here was as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
In 1987, Marlee got a leading role in the film Children of a Lesser God. She played a leading deaf role in the movie. Some of her critics said she was only successful because nobody else could have played a deaf role than an actual deaf person.
I can't please every critic.
Everyone in thehearing-impaired community is very mad at you for speaking at the awards.
In 1987, Marlee won an Academy Award. This was huge for the deaf community because she was the first ever deaf performer to win one.
Shortly after winning her Academy Award, Marlee presented the 'Best Actor' award. She began by signing but finsihed her speech by speaking the nominees names. This was the first time Marlee had ever spoken on camera.
And the Award for Best Actor goes to....
After speaking at the award ceremony, many people in the Deaf community were upset. They did not want people to think that all deaf people prefer to speak rather than use sign language when spekaing to a hearing audience. Marlee made statements that she can not please everyone.