Marlee Matlin won the 1987 Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the beautiful but embittered deaf girl in Children of a Lesser God. Matlin lost her hearing when she was only 18 months old, but she grew up acting on the stage, where she was discovered by the film’s producers when she was still 19 years old. Children of a Lesser God was her first movie role.
Twenty-five years ago, the 59th annual Academy Awards took place on March 30, 1987, and I had an A-ticket to the show. I was 21 years and 218 days old when I received the Academy Award for Best Actress. I had just stepped into an imaginary world that I’d seen at a distance for years.
In addition to my nomination for Best Actress, I was also asked to be a presenter. I asked if I could present Best Achievement in Sound. Though some at the time thought it was in poor taste and didn’t see the humor (producer Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. thought it was a funny idea), I thought it was great. Hey, this year if the The Artist could rightfully garner Oscar attention for telling a wonderful story with actors barely uttering a single word, why couldn’t it work back then in vice versa fashion for me? That’s my sense of humor, and I’ve never wanted to be treated with kid gloves. READ FULL STORY