Fast Facts

  • Lost her hearing at 18 months of age, after contracting roseola.
  • Was 12 when she met Henry Winkler, who encouraged her to pursue her acting dreams. 
  • In 1986, at the age of 21, was the youngest performer to receive a Best Actress Oscar (for Children of a Lesser God).
  • Husband Kevin knew how to sign before meeting her; he had taken a course in college to fulfill a language requirement.
  • In 1993, performed the national anthem in American Sign Language at Super Bowl XXVII as Garth Brooks sang.
  • Competed on the sixth season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars. 
  • Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009.
  • Very active in charitable organizations, including the American Red Cross and Easter Seals.
  • Has written books for children, beginning in 2002 with Deaf Child Crossing.

Awards

  • 1992, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
  • 1994, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1986, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Winner
  • 1993, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
  • 1995, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1987, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Winner
  • 2000, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1994, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2004, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee

Relationships

  • Richard Dean Anderson — Ex-significant Other
  • Brandon Grandalski — Son
  • Eric Matlin — Brother
  • David E. Kelley — Ex-significant Other
  • Sarah Grandalski — Daughter
  • Marc Matlin — Brother
  • Tyler Grandalski — Son
  • Isabelle Grandalski — Daughter
  • Kevin Grandalski — Husband
  • Don Matlin — Father
  • William Hurt — Ex-significant Other
  • Libby Matlin — Mother

College

  • Attended Harper College, Palatine, IL

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Details

  • Birth Place: Morton Grove, IL
  • Birthday: August 24, 1965, Virgo
  • Profession: Actor
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