Matlin, Marlee (Beth) 1965-
MATLIN, Marlee (Beth) 1965-
Born August 24, 1965, in Morton Grove, IL; daughter of Donald (a car dealer) and Libby Matlin; married Kevin Grandalski (a police officer), 1993; children: Sarah Rose, Brandon, Tyler. Education: Studied criminal justice at William Rainey Harper College.
Actor in films, including Children of a Lesser God, 1986; Walker, 1987; The Man in the Golden Mask, 1990; The Linguini Incident, 1991; The Player, 1992; Hear No Evil, 1993; It's My Party, 1995; Snitch, 1997; When Justice Fails, 1997; and In Her Defense, 1998. Actor in television movies, including Bridge to Silence, 1989; Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story, 1994; Dead Silence, 1997; Freak City, 1999; When Justice Fails, 1999; Where the Truth Lies, 1999; and Kiss My Act, 2001. Actor in television series, including Reasonable Doubts, 1991; Adventures in Wonderland, 1992; and Picket Fences, 1994-96. Guest appearances in television shows include Seinfeld, 1993; Picket Fences, 1993; The Outer Limits, 1995; Sweet Justice, 1995; People in Motion, 1996; Spin City, 1997; The Larry Sanders Show, 1997; ER, 1998; Puzzle Place, 1998; Judging Amy, 1999; Chicken Soup for the Soul, 1999; The Practice, 2000; The West Wing, 2000-01; Blues Clues, 2000-01; and Gideon's Crossing, 2001. Producer of Where the Truth Lies,1999. National spokesperson for VITAC; member of board, Very Special Arts, Starlight Foundation, and Victory over Violence.
Academy Award for Best Actress, 1986, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama, 1987 both for Children of a Lesser God; Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actress in a Dramatic Television Series, 1991, 1992 for Reasonable Doubts; Emmy Award nominations for guest appearances in Seinfeld, 1993, Picket Fences, 1993, and The Practice, 2000.
Deaf Child Crossing, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2002.
Marlee Matlin is a film and television actor who is best known for her Academy Award-winning performance in Children of a Lesser God. Since that breakout role, she has worked in other films and, most notably, in several television series, among them Picket Fences and The West Wing. Matlin is often showcased as a guest star in television series such as ER, Seinfeld, and The Practice.
Deaf since infancy, Matlin is politically active and works to improve the lives of deaf people. She helped pass a law requiring televisions to include a built-in chip for closed captioning for the hearing impaired. She also spends a portion of her time working on behalf of children's charities.
Matlin's publishing debut, Deaf Child Crossing, is a children's book geared toward readers aged eight to twelve. The story focuses on the friendship between two nine-year-old girls. Megan is gregarious, determined, and deaf, while Cindy, who is hearing, is shy. Cindy is new to Megan's neighborhood, and after meeting the two quickly become close. Cindy learns sign language in order to communicate more effectively with Megan. Megan learns that sometimes when she communicates with deaf friends, she unintentionally shuts Cindy out. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly stated that "Matlin is at her best when delving into Megan's inner word, such as her heightened sense of smell … or her anger at not being able to use the phone." Anne O'Malley commented in a Booklist review that the theme of friendship is the strength of the book. "Matlin … provides a sensitive depiction of childhood friendship with its fragility, jealousies, and joys," O'Malley wrote.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2002, Anne O'Malley, review of Deaf Child Crossing, p. 598.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2002, review of Deaf Child Crossing, p. 1476.
Publishers Weekly, September 16, 2002, review of Deaf Child Crossing, p. 69.
School Library Journal, December, 2002, Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, review of Deaf Child Crossing, p. 144.