Marlee Matlin and Henry Winkler

Marlee Matlin and Henry Winkler

Marlee Matlin and Henry Winkler

The Sign Language Company has teamed with Marlee Matlin in countless projects over the years. Recently, The National Association for the Deaf (NAD) sponsored “Breakthrough” awards honoring actors, producers, directors…….many who have devoted their time and energy to promote Deaf awareness on stage and screen. Marlee is often seen with Henry Winkler (forever known as ‘The Fonz’) and we’ve been asked about their relationship. Why are they so often seen together? What is their connection?

We love this story. Read on…………………




When 12-year-old Marlee Matlin met Henry Winkler, one of the most recognized actors in the world, they instantly struck a special bond. Matlin was attending the Center on Deafness, a community theater where she began acting at seven years old. Winkler and his wife visited the Center after he received fan mail from the students. There they saw Matlin perform on stage and were blown away by her talent. Backstage, Winkler enthusiastically told Matlin to follow her dream of becoming a professional actress.

Although her parents never discouraged Matlin from acting, they were convinced Hollywood would never accept a profoundly deaf actress. Concerned for her future, they asked Winkler not to encourage her. Winkler refused. His passion for supporting others was the result of a lifetime struggle with undiagnosed dyslexia; told he was both “lazy and stupid” as a child, he was in fact neither. A champion for children of all abilities, he mentored Matlin’s subsequent breakout career from theater to film.

At age 21, Matlin became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar—one of only four actresses to receive that honor for a film debut. Oscar in tow, Matlin found her way to Winkler’s front door and asked if she could stay for a week until she found a place to settle. Two years later, she was still living with the Winklers, who consider her their adopted daughter to this day.

Together on stage, Winkler and Matlin delight audiences with an intimate dialogue revealing their profound connection and individual journeys. Through humorous anecdotes, inspirational life lessons and moving stories, Winkler and Matlin explore themes of overcoming adversity and believing in oneself. The pair act like family members, they interrupt each other and often finish each other’s sentences. Their magical bond and engaging chemistry is enhanced by their shared belief that anything is possible if you follow your dreams.

ref: greater talent network

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About Evelyn

Evelyn Hunter is a SODA with years of experiential study in Deaf Culture. She attended Gallaudet University to immerse herself in this unique deaf world while working for the University and studying sign language to hone her skills. Evelyn has served in training, relationship sales, and marketing -- always seeking to expand awareness of Deaf Culture and the unique challenges the deaf face on a daily basis. The Sign Language Company has recently established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and a website with a blog, as Evelyn coordinates the marketing and outreach efforts for the agency. Her goal is to attract new clients seeking exceptional service, while maintaining optimal relationships with clients who have selected The Sign Language Company for over 20 years.

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