Matlin, Marlee 1965-
Matlin, Marlee 1965-
Born August 24, 1965, in Chicago, IL; daughter of Donald and Libby Matlin; married Kevin Grandalski (a police officer), 1994; children: Sarah Rose, Brandon, Tyler, Isabelle Jane Grandalski. Religion: Jewish.
Office—12300 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 200, Los Angeles, CA 90025. Agent—Spanky Taylor, 3727 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505.
Actor and author. Appeared in films, including Children of a Lesser God, 1986; Walker, 1988; Bridge to Silence, 1989; The Man in the Golden Mask, 1990; The Linguini Incident, 1991; The Player, 1992; Hear No Evil, 1993; Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story, 1994; It's My Party, 1995; Dead Silence, 1996; Freak City, 1998; Where the Truth Lies, 1999; Askari, 2001; and What the Bleep Do We Know, 2005. Appeared in television programs, including Reasonable Doubts, 1991-93; Seinfeld, 1993; Adventures in Wonderland, 1993; Picket Fences, 1993, 1994-96; Sweet Justice, 1995; People in Motion, 1996; The Larry Sanders Show, 1997; Spin City, 1997; ER, 1998; Judging Amy, 1999; Blue's Clues, 2000-03; The Practice, 2000; Gideon's Crossing, 2001; The Division, 2002; Law and Order: SVU, 2004-05; Extreme Makeover: The Home Edition, 2004, 2006; Desperate Housewives, 2005; The West Wing, 2000-06; CSI: NY, 2006; My Name Is Earl, 2006; and The L Word, 2007. Executive producer of Where the Truth Lies, 1999, and Eddie's Million Dollar Cook-off, 2003. Involved in the production of Baby Einstein DVD series. American Red Cross, spokesperson, 1992; National Volunteer Week, chairperson, 1994.
Academy Award for Best Actress, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, Drama, both 1987, both for Children of a Lesser God; Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress, and People's Choice Award nomination for Favorite Actress, Drama, both 1992-93, both for Reasonable Doubts; CableAce nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries, 1994, for Against Her Will; Emmy Award nominations for Seinfeld, Picket Fences, The Practice, and Law and Order: SVU.
Deaf Child Crossing, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.
(With Doug Cooney) Nobody's Perfect, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.
(With Doug Cooney) Leading Ladies, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.
Widely known as an award-winning film actress, Marlee Matlin is also the author of Deaf Child Crossing, Nobody's Perfect, and Leading Ladies, novels that help young readers understand what it is like to be deaf. Matlin has a lot of material to draw on: she herself has been deaf since she was eighteen months old. "I must say that the challenges of motherhood, along with working as an actor in Hollywood with a hearing impairment, provide food for thought and inspiration for anyone willing to listen to my story," she told Jackie Loohauis of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Matlin, who lives with her husband and four children in Los Angeles, California, where she is actively involved both in her Hollywood career and in various community service organizations.
In Deaf Child Crossing readers meet nine-year-old neighbors Megan and Cindy. Megan, who is deaf, is outgoing and enthusiastic while Cindy is shy. Nevertheless, Megan is determined that the two girls will become best friends. A Kirkus Reviews contributor found Matlin's first novel to be flawed but promising, and concluded that "Megan's rather unique character begs a sequel … for a broader range of readership." "Matlin is at her best when delving into Megan's inner world, such as her heightened sense of smell," commented a Publishers Weekly contributor. While noting that the story is loosely based on Matlin's own childhood experiences, Anne O'Malley wrote in Booklist that Deaf Child Crossing "is as much Cindy's story as Megan's, and readers will identify with both girls' sorrows and successes."
Megan and Cindy's adventures continue in Nobody's Perfect and Leading Ladies, which Maitlin coauthors with award-winning playwright and novelist Doug Cooney. In the former, Megan tries her hardest to be nice to Alexis, a girl who seems repulsed by Megan's deafness. As she struggles to get to know Alexis, Megan realizes that Alexis has an autistic brother and does not want other students to find out. When Megan teaches Alexis's brother the basics of sign-language, she opens a door to communication for her new friend's family. Leading Ladies finds Megan and Cindy vying for the lead role in the school play. "Megan is … endearingly sincere," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor in a review of Nobody's Perfect, and Nancy Kim noted in Booklist that although audience appeal may be limited, for Matlin's target readers the novel "perfectly captures the intensity of a young girl's life."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2002, Anne O'Malley, review of Deaf Child Crossing, p. 598; July 1, 2006, Nancy Kim, review of Nobody's Perfect, p. 55.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November, 2002, review of Deaf Child Crossing, p. 116.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2002, review of Deaf Child Crossing, p. 1476; May 15, 2006, review of Nobody's Perfect, p. 520.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 29, 1999, Jackie Loohauis, "Marlee Matlin's Courage in Life Paves Way to Success."
Publishers Weekly, September 16, 2002, review of Deaf Child Crossing, p. 69; December 22, 2003, John F. Baker, "Actress's YA Series Expands," p. 11.
School Library Journal, August, 2006, Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, review of Nobody's Perfect, p. 124.
Celebrity Cafe Web site,http://thecelebritycafe.com/ (July 5, 2007), Dominick A. Miserandino, interview with Matlin.
iParenting.com,http://iparenting.com/ (July 5, 2007), interview with Matlin.
Marlee Matlin Home Page,http://www.marleematlinsite.com (June 25, 2007).