NENA 2013 Tuesday Keynote Speaker: Marlee Matlin
Academy Award Winning Actress & Accessibility Advocate
Tuesday, June 18 | 8:00AM - 9:30AM
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 her film debut. In addition to the Oscar, Marlee received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama.
Marlee followed her debut with "Walker" starring opposite Ed Harris, filmed in Nicauragua. While filming there, Marlee took time to visit Deaf and hard of hearing children, as she has continued to so throughout her travels worldwide. Since then, Marlee starred the features, "The Player," "Hear No Evil," in the AIDS drama "It's My Party, " and "What the Bleep Do We Know.”
Marlee made her TV debut starring opposite Lee Remick in CBS' "Bridge to Silence," a film that marked her first speaking role. She went on to star in other telefilms including "Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story,” "Dead Silence,” "Freak City,” "Where the Truth Lies,” and Hallmark Hall of Fame's "Sweet Nothing in my Ear.” Marlee also starred in her own NBC series "Reasonable Doubts" opposite Mark Harmon and the Emmy Award winning "Picket Fences” for CBS. Marlee was twice nominated for both a Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Drama as well as the People's Choice Awards and has been nominated for four Emmy awards for her guest appearances on "Seinfeld, "Picket Fences," "The Practice” and "Law and Order: SVU.” Marlee also starred for seven years on the award winning drama, "The West Wing, ” and has made numerous guest appearances including "ER,” Desperate Housewives,” CSI: New York,” "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Desperate Housewives,” "Nip/Tuck,” "CSI,” and "Family Guy.”
In 2007 she joined the cast of the groundbreaking series "The L Word” for three seasons and broke barriers once again, this time in reality TV when she challenged America to "read my hips,” on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars,” and on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice.” In 1994, Marlee was appointed by President Clinton to the Corporation for National Service and served as Chairperson for National Volunteer Week and was honored in a Rose Garden ceremony. Marlee 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 received numerous awards for her charity work and was chosen as America On Line's "Chief Everything Officer.” She has authored three novels for children, "Deaf Child Crossing," "Nobody's Perfect” and "Leading Ladies” and in 2009, published her New York Times Best Selling autobiography, "I'll Scream Later.”
Marlee makes her home in the Los Angeles area with her husband, law enforcement officer, Kevin Grandalski and their four children.