There are many things, people, and organizations that can bring out inspiration. Sometimes an inspirational person can bring more attention to a cause or vice versa. Sometimes a story can be inspirational. A person that achieves success despite a disability, can inspire people to achieve.
Marlee Matlin is an actress, producer, and author. She was the first and is currently the only deaf actor to have received the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She won following her role in Children of a Lesser God, but is also well-known for her roles in Switched at Birth, Seinfeld, the West Wing, and other movies and television programs.
Marlee Beth Matlin was born in 1965 in Morton Grove, Illinois. She has two older brothers. She lost the majority of her hearing following an illness when she was 18 months old. She later graduated from John Hersey High School and attended Harper College. While still in grade school, she started performing on stage.
Marlee was discovered by actor Henry Winkler while performing for International Center on Deafness and the Arts children’s theatre. This led to her film debut in Children of a Lesser God, accolades, and additional roles. She uses sign language in roles, but has speaking roles as well.
In 2002, she published her first novel, Deaf Child Crossing. This and its sequel was somewhat based on her life. A few published works have followed. She has published an autobiography.
She is known to work for and/or support a dozen charities and a dozen causes. She is a spokesperson for the American Red Cross. President Clinton, in 1994, appointed her to the Corporation for National Service. She served on the board of Starlights Children’s Foundation. Easter Seals, Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation are among the organizations she champions.
In 1987, she received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Gallaudet University. In 1993, she married police officer Kevin Grandalski. They have four children. She has hosted events, won a half dozen awards, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Be inspired! Have a bright day!