Marlee Matlin: Combining courage with dreams

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Marlee Matlin Deaf actress Marlee Matlin talks about her passion for helping the deaf community.

Actress Marlee Matlin first received worldwide critical acclaim for her debut role in the hit film, Children of a Lesser God. Her performance won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and at 21 years old, she became the youngest actress ever to receive the honor.

But, when she was only 12 years old, Marlee met American icon actor Henry Winkler, who inspired her to have the courage to follow her dreams. Marlee recalls the words Winkler told her during that visit.

“‘Marlee, sweetheart, you can be anything you want be, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,’” recalls Marlee. “Eight-and-a-half years later, I had an Oscar in my hand.”

Since then, she’s added the roles of wife, mother, and New York Times best-selling author to her resume and appeared in numerous American television series including: The West Wing, The L Word, and more recently, ABC Family’s Switched at Birth.

Marlee Matlin: Combining courage with dreams

Marlee Matlin: Combining courage with dreams

Deaf actress Marlee Matlin talks about her passion for helping the deaf community.

She’s also involved with a number of charitable organizations, most notably the Starkey Hearing Foundation, an international organization that delivers the gift of hearing to people in more than 100 countries.

“I want to be able to give back so Starkey gave me that opportunity and they do wonderful things,” raves Marlee. “They’ve given more than a million hearing aids in ten years that was their goal.”

Marlee Matlin and her interpreter, Jack Jason, joined Mike Walter in our Los Angeles studio to share more about her life’s work and her passion for helping the deaf community.