It was 1986 when Marlee Matlin trotted up to the stage to accept an Oscar for her performance in Children of a Lesser God. She was the youngest performer to receive an Academy Award. It was just two years after I had become profoundly deaf and was first introduced to American Sign Language. I understood almost nothing of Marlee's signing in the film and relied on the captioning.
Today, after twenty years of signing, I understand a heck of a lot more and I don't have to ask for repetition on a frequent basis anymore. Looking back, I remember the comments that surrounded Marlee, the praise/disdain of her communication style. Whether she used her voice, sign or both, she couldn't escape being criticized when in the spotlight. I always thought it was crazy when people would comment on communication mode and forget the accomplishment or the person behind it.
Today, the supposed "one-shot wonder" has had an acting career that spans twenty years with numerous movies, sit-coms, and guest appearances. She has produced books, been involved with several charities and tonight, she will host the "Extreme Home Makeover" in her second appearance.
And she managed to find time to have four kids!
Today's Chicago Tribune posted an article: Matlin Gets The Last Laugh.
I found myself enjoying the Extreme Makeover Show. Marlee hosted the show with a lot of enthusiam and it was great to see such a deserving family reap so much from a new home. The best part-- knowing that the son and father finally had a way to communicate on a daily basis.