Oscar-winning deaf actress Marlee Matlin joins Academy board

Oscar-winning deaf actress Marlee Matlin, who is part of the cast of “CODA,” which won the award for Best Picture, has been elected to the board of directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization reported Wednesday.

The Academy, the body that awards the Oscars, indicated that Matlin will be part of the new board of directors that he will assume for the 2022-23 season.

Members of the board of directors, or governors, come from 17 branches of filmmaking, including actors, directors, producers, editors and the visual effects team. His task is to supervise the work of the Academy.

The board includes other notable members such as Steven Spielberg and Ava Duvernay, the director of “Selma.”

Matlin fills the vacancy in the acting branch left by Laura Dern, joining Whoopi Goldberg and Rita Wilson.

The first deaf actress to win an Oscar for her role in “Children of a Lesser God,” she was praised this year for her portrayal of a somewhat eccentric but vulnerable mother in “CODA.”

The independent film tells the story of Ruby, a high school teenager, the daughter of deaf parents, who tries to balance her musical ambitions with her family’s dependence on her to communicate with the world.

The film overcame stiff competition to secure Apple the coveted Best Picture award, beating streaming rivals like Netflix and traditional Hollywood studios, as well as a victory for the representation of people with disabilities on the big screen.


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