Actress and Humanitarian
For her debut film performance in Children of a Lesser God, Marlee Matlin became the youngest actor to receive an Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as the first hearing-impaired person to be given that honor. She continued to garner critical praise for starring roles in subsequent feature films before refocusing her talents on the small screen. Among her long list of television credits are the lead in her own series Reasonable Doubts and the Emmy Award-winning Picket Fences, along with appearances on ER, Desperate Housewives, The West Wing, Law and Order: SVU, and, most recently, Switched at Birth. Dedicated to a variety of humanitarian causes, Matlin is a longtime champion for those struggling against domestic abuse and addiction. She has also helped raise awareness for better hearing health for millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults in developing countries. Matlin is the author of a bestselling autobiography, I'll Scream Later, and three novels for children.