Early Life. Marlee Beth Matlin; born August 24, 1965, in Morton Grove, IL; daughter of Donald (an automobile dealer) and Libby Matlin; married Kevin Grandalski (a police officer), August 29, 1993; children: Sarah Rose, Brandon Joseph, Tyler Daniel, Isabelle Jane. Matlin studied Criminal Justice at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, and maintained her passion for acting after graduating..
1. Marlee Beth Matlin
2. Early Life
Marlee Beth Matlin; born August 24, 1965, in Morton Grove, IL; daughter of Donald (an automobile dealer) and Libby Matlin; married Kevin Grandalski (a police officer), August 29, 1993; children: Sarah Rose, Brandon Joseph, Tyler Daniel, Isabelle Jane. Matlin studied Criminal Justice at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, and maintained her passion for acting after graduating.
Her film debut, 1986's Children of a Lesser God, brought her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama and an Academy Award for Best Actress (at age 21, the youngest actress ever to win in that category). Her interests in the criminal justice field played a part in her onscreen career were she played an assistant D.A. in the TV series Reasonable Doubts. Matlin was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her work as the lead female role in the television series Reasonable Doubts (1991–1993) and was nominated for an Emmy Award for a guest appearance in Picket Fences. She became a regular on the series during its final season. Matlin had recurring roles in Picket Fences, The West Wing, and Blue's Clues. Other television appearances include Seinfeld ("The Lip Reader"),The Outer Limits ("The Message"), ER, Desperate Housewives, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for her guest appearances in Seinfield, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The Practice.
4. Career In 2002, Matlin published her first novel, Deaf Child Crossing, which is loosely based on her own childhood. In 2004, Matlin starred in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know as Amanda. Matlin joined the cast of The L Word for their fourth season, playing the liberal artist Jodi Lerner, the new love interest of Jennifer Beals' character, Bette.
In 2006, Matlin was honored at the AOL's Second Annual Chief Everything Officer Awards. She also joined the cast of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Sunday, September 17, 2006. In the episode where it featured a blind autistic boy with deaf parents, she was the guest host. Matlin also published a sequel to the book "Deaf Child Crossing." "Nobody's Perfect," in play form, and was produced at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing arts in partnership with VSA arts in October 2007. Also in 2006, she played a deaf parent in Desperate Housewives, a public defender in My Name Is Earl, and the mother of one of the victims in an episode of CSI: NY. She also starred in the Baby Einstein videos "Baby's Favorite Places: First Words-Around Town", and "Baby Wordsworth: First Words Around the House" which introduced sign language as a form of non-verbal communication.
On February 4, 2007, Matlin performed the Star Spangled Banner in American Sign Language at Super Bowl XLI in Miami, Florida. She again starred in Baby Einstein in March 2007 with "My First Signs," which introduces sign language using common words such as "mommy" and "milk". She also appeared in Hollywood Squares, with Tom Bergeron as emcee. Though she could not hear or speak, an interpreter accompanied her on the panel and she handled questions and answers with his assistance--including offering some humorous quips (in ASL) in her own right.
5. Personal Life Matlin is also the spokeswoman for the National Captioning Institute. In 1995 she testified at a Congressional hearing, and helped get a law passed that required all TV sets of 13 inches or larger to be manufactured with built-in chips to provide “ Close Captioning” on their TV screens; this was a blessing for deaf viewers. Matlin is currently serving as the national spokeswoman for the largest provider of TV Closed Captioning, and she also has spoken on behalf of “CC” in countries such as Australia, England, France, and also Italy. She also serves on the boards of a number of charitable organizations, including such as Very Special Arts, the Straight Foundation, and other charities that benefit children.
On October 14, 2003 in Washington were Matlin joined Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin from Los Angeles via Sprint’s Video Relay Service (VRS) to discuss the positive impact of technology on people with disabilities. Harkin and Matlin who have together collaborated since the late 80’s worked to make the Closed Captioning to be mandatory for all television sets, in an effort that created the Television Decoder Circuitry Act in 1990.
Harkin and Matlin helped to show just how far technology has evolved as the two conversed using Sprint’s Video Relay Service. VRS enables deaf individuals who use sign language to communicate with hearing people over standard telephone lines using a telephone, a web camera and an interpreter. With the uniqueness of the VRS, and its distinction from Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is the fact that deaf people can communicate in their native language, American Sign Language (ASL), instead of typing sequential text messages as they have in the past, using TTY or text- relay service
6. Personal Life Matlin is actively involved with a number of charitable organizations, including the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, VSA arts and the Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet. She was appointed by President Clinton in 1994 to the Corporation for National Service and served as chair of National Volunteer Week.Matlin received an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from Gallaudet in 1987. In October 2007, she was appointed to the Gallaudet Board of Trustees.
Matlin has been close friends with actress Jennifer Beals since they met in an airport in the 1980s.
Matlin married law enforcement officer Kevin Grandalski on August 29, 1993 (in Henry Winkler's back yard). They have four children: Sarah Rose, born 1996; Brandon, born 2000; Tyler, born 2002; and Isabella Jane, born 2003.
She presented the Vardon family with 50,000 from a charity for the Vardon’s son to go to the college of his choice. This was aired in “extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (2003). The Vardon family is made up of two deaf parents, an able older son
7. Favorite Quote "I like to say that the greatest handicap of deafness does not lie in the ear, it lies in the mind.”