Via an ASL interpreter, Matlin discusses her career and role in the series, Switched at Birth, in this interview for PBS.
I grew up watching television with my family, not understanding what was going on, not understanding what was being said, and my parents and my brothers would laugh at certain things that were being said or they would watch, watching a cop show, and I would have to ask someone to interpret for me. So when Closed Captioning came along, just the beginnings of it, before it became law for all networks to have to closed caption, I just had to sort of make up lines with what people were saying, whatever they were saying on television.
Matlin is inteviewed by Hall on The Arsenio Hall Show. Her translator talks for her as she uses sign language. They talk about her role in Switched at Birth, the highlight it gives to deaf culture. Closed captioning was paid for by Hall.
We did an episode what was done completely in silence with sign language. Everything was silent there wasn’t ever anything done in the history of television like this.
Matlin is presented with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in the category of Motion Pictures. Friends Henry Winkler and Anne Sweeney serve as guest speakers at the ceremony.
You know what, I want to say this is a glorious day. I’m really humbled to be here today with all of you on this magnificent street of dreams, the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was a long time coming, and thank you for holding my spot. Please make sure no one spits gum on my star.
Matlin wins the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of deaf student Sarah Norman who falls in love with her teacher (William Hurt) in Randa Haines’s Children of a Lesser God. William Hurt presents the award. Matlin gives her acceptance speech in sign language with Jack Jason interpreting.
I just want to thank a lot of people. I, to tell you the truth, I didn’t prepare for this speech. But I definitely want to thank the Academy and its members. And I want to thank all those special people in the film. And I can name them: Randa Haines, Patrick Palmer, the entire cast and crew, and particularly William Hurt for his great support and love in this film. And I want to thank my mother and father, Eric, Marc, Gloria, Zachary and Liz. They are here tonight with me. And I just want to thank all of you. I love you.