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Actress Marlee Matlin speaks at MTSU for Women’s History Month

Posted on Monday, March 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Award-winning deaf actress Marlee MatlinMURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Marlee Matlin, winner of the 1986 Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in “Children of a Lesser God,” will deliver the keynote address for MTSU’s National Women’s History Month celebration on Thursday, March 22, at Tucker Theatre.

The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 4 p.m. Matlin will sign copies of her books, which include “I’ll Scream Later,” “Deaf Child Crossing,” “Leading Ladies” and “Nobody’s Perfect,” after her lecture.

Off-campus visitors should be aware that nearby construction will limit parking opportunities for the lecture. University Parking and Transportation officials are encouraging visitors to park in the South Rutherford Boulevard lot and ride the Raider Xpress shuttle into the campus core to reach the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Auditorium, which houses Tucker Theatre. A printable campus map is available at

At age 21, Matlin became the youngest Best Actress Oscar recipient for her portrayal of a custodian at a school for the deaf who falls in love with a hearing speech teacher even as she resists his attempts to get her to talk.

Deaf since the age of 18 months, Matlin is a member of the National Association for the Deaf, communicates in sign language in her acting and public appearances and travels with an interpreter.

President Bill Clinton appointed Matlin to the Corporation for National Service in 1994, and she served as chairperson for National Volunteer Week. She serves on the boards of several charities, including Easter Seals and The Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.

On the April 3, 2011, episode of The Celebrity Apprentice, Matlin raised more money—$986,000—for her charity, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, than had ever been raised for charity in a single television program. Host Donald Trump contributed $14,000 to bring the total to $1 million.

In addition to her film debut in Children, her movie credits include Walker, The Player and Hear No Evil.

She starred in the NBC series Reasonable Doubts opposite Mark Harmon from 1991 to 1993, earning two Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress in a Television Drama.

From 1993 to 1996, Martin co-starred in the CBS series Picket Fences, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award (1994) individually and a Screen Actors Guild Award (1996) as part of the ensemble cast.

Her other TV credits include The West Wing, The Practice, Desperate Housewives, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and CSI: NY.

Matlin’s appearance is sponsored by the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the Distinguished Lecture Fund, Student Programming, the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, the Centennial Committee, the Sociology Club, Disabled Student Services, the Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center, Black History Month and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

For more information, contact the June Anderson Center at (615) 898-5989.