When Marlee Matlin won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the film "Children of a Lesser God" (1986), she was the then youngest ever recipient of the award and only one of four actresses to receive it for her film debut. Those facts would be impressive enough on their own, but Matlin was not only an actress; she was also a deaf actress. It was not Matlin's fault that the rest of her career was something of an anti-climax after such a dynamic debut. Nevertheless, Matlin carved out a solid career in films and on television, often winning roles based on her talent alone and forcing producers to alter the role to accommodate her deafness. Her uniqueness made her not only a magnetic screen presence, but an inspiration to anyone struggling with a seemingly insurmountable handicap who still manages to follow their dreams.