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Famous Deaf Actresses and Actors:


 

“Famous Deaf Actresses and Actors”
 

By: Kellie Douglas

 

     I love watching Deaf Actresses and Actors on TV. They are Deaf like me but famous.  I enjoy watching TV. When I was little girl my favorite show was High School Musical, High School Musical 2, and High School Musical 3. When I was little girl and I didn’t see Deaf people or Sign Language on the TV.  I liked High School Musical and Zac Efron was my favorite.  Now, I like watching Switched at Birth-- that’s my favorite show--and I like the Deaf actor is Sean Berdy.  He is my favorite actor. When I saw on TV that Switched at Birth had sign language I thought "That's so cool!" Now it's my favorite show.
 

 

Marlee Matlin

 

      Marlee Matlin is my very favorite Deaf actress. She is truly amazing. She was born in Morton, Illinois on August 24th, 1995. After she came down with the German Measles at the age of eighteen months, she lost her hearing and became Deaf. When she was young, she communicated with her family and friends using sign language. When she was 7 years old, Marlee started acting at a children’s theater company in Chicago. Her first-ever acting role was as Dorothy in Wizard of Oz. She later had a role as a minor character in the play version of Mark Medoff’s Children of a Lesser God. This role won her the role of ‘’Sara” in the film where she starred with William Hurt.  Children of a Lesser God was Marlee Matlin’s motion picture debut and it won her the Academy Awrard for Best Actress in 1987 at the age of twenty-one. That same year, she also won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama.

     When Marlee made her television debut in Bridge to Silence with Lee Remick in 1989.  Starring in Reasonable Doubts, she was nominated for a Golden Globe twice as Best Actress in a Dramatic Television Series. She was also nominated in 1994 for two Emmy Awards for her performances in episodes of Picket Fences and Seinfeld. Marlee has also appeared in The West Wing. More recently she was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. I love watching her dance and she is so talented. It’s amazing how well she did without being able to hear the music. Currently Marlee Matlin is playing Melody on the fantastic new hit TV series “Switched at Birth”.

     There was a bit of Controversy within the Deaf Community regarding Marlee in 1988. She was a presenter on the Academy Awards of that year. Instead of using American Sign Language, she stated the nominees, in English. Many members of the Deaf Community were appalled. They considered it a slap-in-the-face when she chose to speak instead of sign.  Despite all of her roles and her busy life, Marlee has also managed to make time for charity. In 1994, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National Service, which oversees AmeriCorps.  She also served as Honorary Chairperson for National Volunteer Week in 1995. She is currently the national spokesperson for VITAC, which provides closed captioning for television. Marlee now lives in California with her husband, Kevin Grandalski, a law enforcement officer, and her children, Sarah Rose and Brandon Joseph (Jay, 2008-2013).  I wish I could meet Marlee Matlin in my dream. 

 

Deanne Bray, Deaf Actress from Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye
 

      Deanne Bray Is a well known Deaf actress who was probably the first Deaf person Hollywood created an entire television show around.  She is best known for playing Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye that aired on the PAX channel for 3 seasons. She competed with both hearing and Deaf actresses for the lead role, and was cast when the real Sue Thomas saw her audition.  Before Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye, Deanne Bray was a high school teacher and taught science and math to the Deaf and hard of hearing high school students. She had also been a part of Deaf West Theater and had guest appearances on television shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Diagnosis Murder.  She was born in 1971 and has been Deaf since birth. She is proud member of the Deaf community and credits her parents with having an open mind about her Deafness and getting her involved in the Deaf world. For this reason, she was able to find her identity early in the life. This is sadly, quite rare for Deaf children born to hearing families. She is also bilingual with American Sign Language and both spoken and written English. Deanne Bray is married to Troy Kotsur (Jay, 2008-2013).  I didn’t know Deanne Bray was Deaf and worked on Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye on TV show.

 

Sean Berdy
 

     Sean Berdy is Deaf.  He is my very favorite actor. Switched at Birth is my favorite TV show.  He made his film debut as the mischievous Deaf boy Sammy “Fingers” Samuelson in the 2005 movie The Sandlot 2. He has also played Deaf people in the films The Deaf Family and The Legend of the Mountain man before landing a role as Emmett Bledsoe in the TV series Switched at Birth about two girls who were switched at birth. Sean says he likes the accurate way that Deaf culture is handled in the show’s script.  I wish I could Meet Sean Berdy because I’m fan of him. Sean Berdy was born at in Boca Raton, Florida.  He was born Deaf and his birthday is June 3, 1993. Emmett Bledsoe is my favorite character on Switched at Birth. (IMDb.com, Inc. 1990-2013)
 

I enjoy watching Deaf actresses and actors. I want to be a famous Deaf actress.

 


References:
 

Deanne Bray Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2013, from DeanneBray.com: http://www.deannebray.com/web/

History of National Theatre of the Deaf. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2013, from National Theatre of the Deaf: http://www.ntd.org/

IMDB.com,Inc. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2013, from Sean Berdy - Official Website: http://www.sean-berdy.com/

Malee Matlin Deaf Academy Award Winner. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2013, from Start ASL: http://www.start-american-sign-language.com/marlee-matlin.html

 

Submitted 10/26/2013


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