On Sunday, millions of eyes will be glued to TV screens around the world while Lady Gaga performs the national anthem at Super Bowl 50. Standing alongside her, performing in American Sign Language, will be Marlee Matlin.
Many viewers will be familiar with Lady Gaga. And indeed, many may know Marlee Matlin. But what they probably won't know is the extent of her astounding accomplishments.
In Fact, Her Backstory Is One Of The Most Inspirational In Hollywood
You may recognize the 50-year-old actress from her role in Switched at Birth or The L Word, or even The West Wing. Fans of Seinfeld may feel a flutter of recognition the hilariously risqué lip reading scene below:
Away From The Screen, Marlee Has An Extraordinary List Of Achievements
The actress became deaf aged just 18 months, and has mainly played deaf characters throughout her career. Although Marlee doesn't see this as a disability. Talking of her deafness, she said:
"The only thing I can't do is hear. I can drive, I have a life with four kids, I work on TV, I do movies"
Her debut movie was Children of a Lesser God in 1986, where she portrayed a troubled deaf woman who falls in love. Not only was this the first movie since 1926's You'd be Surprised to feature a deaf actor in a lead role, Marlee won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Not Only Was She The Only Deaf Person To Win The Award, She Is Also The Youngest Ever Winner
Her breakthrough role while aged just 21 years, 218 days makes her the youngest ever winner in that category. That record has been held for an incredible 28 years. Impressive.
In 1994 She Appeared In 'Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story' As A Woman Who Wasn't Deaf - She Was Nominated For An Award
The television movie was based on the true story of Carrie Buck, the character Matlin played. Astonishingly, despite being a deaf actress, Matlin was nominated for the CableACE award and impressed critics and viewers alike.
Away from the screen, Marlee is a prominent member of the National Association Of The Deaf, as well as numerous charities.
In 2011, She Raised An Astonishing $986,000 For The Starkey Hearing Foundation
She has appeared on numerous charity shows on behalf of charities, but her appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice in 2011 set a new record for the most money ever won during a celebrity event on a television game show.
Donald Trump even stumped up the extra $14,000 to round it up to a cool million!
Which is fitting, because with all things considered, it's fair to say Marlee herself is one in a million.
Don't you agree?