Matlin Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Marlee Matlin received the 2,383rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Wednesday honoring an extensive television and movie career, including being the youngest winner of the best actress Academy Award.

Actor-producer Henry Winkler and actress Jennifer Beals were among those joining Matlin at the late-morning ceremony in front of the Musso & Frank Grill on Hollywood Boulevard.

The ceremony also included a musical performance by children from the Northbrook, Ill.-based International Center of Deafness & the Arts.

Matlin, who lost all hearing in her right ear and 80 percent of the hearing in her left ear at the age of 18 months because of Roseola Infantum, made her stage debut in the 1974 at the age of seven in the center's production of "The Wizard of Oz," as Dorothy. She continued to appear with its children's theatre group throughout her childhood.

"I really am humbled to be here today with all of you on this magnificent street of dreams, the Hollywood Walk of Fame," Matlin said through a sign-language interpreter.

Among those she thanked was Winkler, who discovered Matlin as a child and let her live with him and his family for two years while she was breaking into show business.

"To the most amazing mentor and friend, Henry Winkler, and your beautiful wife, Stacey, and family, how would I ever be standing here without your words of encouragement and support and love?" she said. "Two years of letting me stay in your beautiful home when I first moved to California was a turning point in my life."

The 43-year-old Matlin received the star three weeks after the publication of her autobiography, "I'll Scream Later" and a day before she will receive the Mary Pickford Award at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation's 16th annual Women of Distinction luncheon.

Born and raised in the Chicago suburb of Morton Grove, Matlin was discovered in a Chicago stage production of the Tony Award-winning play, "Children of a Lesser God."

Matlin was then cast in the film version, which premiered in 1986,winning the best actress Oscar at the age of 21, the youngest to win the award and one of the few performers to win an Oscar in a film debut.

Matlin's other film credits include "Walker," "The Man in the Golden Mask," "The Player," "It's My Party," "Hear No Evil," "The Linguini Incident," "What the #$*! Do We (K)now!?" and its sequel, "What the Bleep!? Down the Rabbit Hole."

Matlin also has an extensive list of television credits, including starring in the 1991-93 NBC crime drama, "Reasonable Doubts." She also was a cast member of Showtime's "The L Word" for its final three seasons.

Matlin is a four-time Emmy nominee, three for outstanding guest actress in a drama for appearances on "Picket Fences," "The Practice" and "Law &Order: Special Victims Unit." The fourth was for outstanding guest actress in a comedy for the 1993 episode of "Seinfeld," "The Lip Reader."

Matlin also starred in the made-for-television movies, "Bridge to Silence," her first speaking role, "Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story," "Dead Silence," "Freak City," "Where the Truth Lies," and "Sweet Nothing in My Ear."

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