Oscar Winner to Speak at CSU Legacy Celebration Banquet

[caption id="attachment_2380" align="alignleft" width="178"]Matlin-Marlee-head-and-shoulders-1 Marlee Matlin[/caption]

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Marlee Matlin, the youngest  Best Actress Oscar winner for her role in “Children of a Lesser God,” will be the keynote speaker for Columbus State University’s Legacy Celebration Banquet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 26 at CSU’s Cunningham Center.

A 6:30 p.m. reception precedes the sold-out banquet.

In addition to Matlin’s remarks, the event will feature the presentation of awards and scholarships to students, including Women's Leadership, Servant Leadership, Outstanding Student with Disability, Outstanding Faculty-Staff, Outstanding Ally, Lavender Alliance Community, Faith-based and Humanitarian, John Townsend Achievement Award, Kiongozi Award for Outstanding International Leadership and the CSU Goizueta Foundation Scholarships.

Matlin, who received international critical acclaim for her work in the 1986 film, “Children of a Lesser God,” was 21 when she won the Best Actress Oscar. She is one of just four actresses to receive the honor for her film debut, and she’s the only deaf performer to win an Academy Award. In addition to the Oscar, Matlin won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama. Over her career, Matlin has 51 acting credits on both the big and small screens.

Matlin also starred in her own NBC series, “Reasonable Doubts,” opposite Mark Harmon, and the Emmy Award-winning “Picket Fences” for CBS. Matlin was twice nominated for both a Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Drama as well as the People’s Choice Awards and has been nominated for four Emmy awards for her guest appearances on “Seinfeld, “Picket Fences,” “The Practice” and “Law and Order: SVU.” Matlin also starred for seven years on the award-winning drama, “The West Wing,” and has made numerous guest appearances on such shows as  “ER,” “Desperate Housewives,” “CSI: New York,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Nip/Tuck” and “Family Guy.”

In 2007, she joined the cast of the groundbreaking series “The L Word” for three seasons and broke barriers once again, this time in reality TV when she challenged America to “read my hips,” on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” In 1994, Matlin was appointed by President Clinton to the Corporation for National Service and served as chair for National Volunteer Week. Matlin currently serves as a national celebrity spokesperson for the American Red Cross and was instrumental in getting legislation passed in Congress in support of closed captioning. She also serves on the boards of a number of charitable organizations including Easter Seals and the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.

Matlin, a mother of four, has also authored three books for younger readers, “Deaf Child Crossing,” “Nobody’s Perfect” (with Doug Cooney) and “Leading Ladies.” In 2009, she published her New York Times best-selling autobiography, “I’ll Scream Later.”

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