1. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Children of a Lesser God , and is both the only deaf performer to win the award, and, at 21, the youngest to date.
2. Her work in film and television has resulted in a Golden Globe award, with two additional nominations, and four Emmy nominations.
3. Deaf since she was 18 months old, she is also a prominent member of the National Association of the Deaf.
4. Matlin was born in Morton Grove, Illinois, to Libby , an automobile dealer. She has two older brothers, Eric and Marc.
5. She lost all hearing in her right ear and 80% of the hearing in her left ear at the age of 18 months.
6. Two years later, she made a guest appearance on Sesame Street with Billy Joel performing a revised version of Just the Way You Are with lyrics by Tony Geiss.
7. Matlin was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her work as the lead female role in the television series Reasonable Doubts and was nominated for an Emmy Award for a guest appearance in Picket Fences.
8. She became a regular on the series during its final season.
9. She portrayed Carrie Buck in the television drama Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story based on the United States Supreme Court case Buck v.
10. In the movie, Matlin played a hearing woman for the first time and earned a CableACE Nomination as Best Actress.
11. Other television appearances include Seinfeld , ER, The Practice and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
12. In 2002, Matlin published her first novel, Deaf Child Crossing, which was loosely based on her own childhood.
13. In 2004, she starred in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know!? as Amanda.
14. She also hosted the 3rd annual Festival for Cinema of the Deaf in Chicago, October 15–18, 2004.