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August 24: Child of a Lesser God

August 24, 2013

marlee_matlinMarlee Matlin, the actress who raised consciousness about deafness throughout America in her breakthrough role in the 1986 film, Children of a Lesser God, for which she won a Best Actress Academy Award, was born in Morton Grove, Illinois on this date in 1965. Matlin, deaf from the age of 18 months, was a child actress. In 2007, she performed “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl in American Sign Language. In addition to playing roles in film and television (Sesame Street, Seinfeld, The L Word, Desperate Housewives, and many other shows), Matlin is a novelist, children’s book writer, and author of an autobiography, I’ll Scream Later (2009). Marlee is married to a cop and has four children. To see her receiving her Academy Award, look below.

“The opportunity to communicate in [sign language], one of the most beautiful languages in the world, is an advantage that deaf people enjoy. What’s great is that hearing people can enjoy it as well if they have the chance to learn and practice it with us. It would be great if it were taught in schools and colleges like a foreign language; in fact, many schools do! It’s a language that combines several elements at once with a simple hand movement and facial expression: meaning, affect, time and duration. It’s just so beautiful that printed or spoken words can’t begin to describe it.” —Marlee Matlin

JEWDAYO ROCKS! David Frieberg, bass player (and vocalist and viola player and percussionist) for Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane and other San Francisco bands, was born on this date in 1938. To hear Quicksilver’s version of Hamilton Camp’s prophetic song, “Pride of Man,” look below.