Marlee Beth Matlin is an American actress, author, and activist. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Children of a Lesser God (1986) and to date is the only deaf performer to have won an Academy Award. Her work in film and television has resulted in a Golden Globe award, with two additional nominations, and four Emmy nominations. Deaf since she was 18 months old, due to illness and high fevers, she is also a prominent member of the National Association of the Deaf. Her longtime interpreter is Jack Jason.