The Kennedy Center

Marlee Matlin


Marlee Matlin received worldwide critical acclaim for her film debut in Paramount Pictures' Children of a Lesser God, for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress. At 21, she became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar and only one of four actresses to receive the honor for a film debut. In addition to the Oscar, Matlin received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama. She has starred in the feature films The Player, Hear No Evil, It's My Party, and What the Bleep Do We Know.

Matlin made her TV debut starring opposite Lee Remick in CBS' Bridge to Silence, a film that marked her first speaking role. She also starred in her own NBC series, Reasonable Doubts, opposite Mark Harmon, and in the Emmy Award–winning Picket Fences for CBS. Matlin was twice nominated for Best Actress in a Drama for both the Golden Globe and People's Choice Awards, and has been nominated for four Emmys for her guest appearances on Seinfeld, Picket Fences, The Practice, and Law and Order: SVU. She also starred for seven years on the award-winning drama The West Wing, and has made numerous guest appearances including ER, CSI: New York, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and Desperate Housewives. In 2007, she joined the cast of the groundbreaking Showtime series The L Word, and in 2008 challenged America to "read my hips" when she starred on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

In 1994, Matlin was appointed by President Clinton to the Corporation for National Service, served as chairperson for National Volunteer Week, and was honored in a Rose Garden ceremony. She served on the VSA Board of Directors from 1997 to 2006. Matlin currently serves as a national celebrity spokesperson for the American Red Cross and was instrumental in getting legislation passed in Congress in support of closed captioning. She also serves on the boards of a number of charitable organizations, including the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation and Easter Seals. She has authored three novels for children: Deaf Child Crossing, Nobody's Perfect, and Leading Ladies, and in 2009, published her New York Times bestselling autobiography, I'll Scream Later. Matlin makes her home in the Los Angeles area with her husband, law enforcement officer Kevin Grandalski, and their four children.
Marlee Matlin