Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'll Scream Later - Book Review

I'll Scream Later
By Marlee Matlin
Handjive Productions 2009
Author's Website

Born and raised in Morton Grove, Illinois, Marlee started acting at the age of seven in the role of Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" at a children's theatre company in Chicago. After several years of performing on stage throughout Chicago and the midwest, Marlee was discovered in a Chicago stage production of Mark Medoff's Tony Award-winning play, "Children of a Lesser God." Following an extensive international search for the lead role, the producers of the film version selected her to star opposite William Hurt.

She went on to star in several movies and TV series and guest star in numerous other Tv series as well. One of them was as the Librarian in the children's program, Blue's Clues.

For seven seasons, Marlee starred opposite Martin Sheen, Jimmy Smits and Bradley Whitford as pollster, Joey Lucas, on NBC's Emmy Award winning series, "The West Wing."

In 2007, Marlee joined the cast of Showtime's cutting edge drama "The L Word" starring opposite Jennifer Beals. She returned for a third season on "The L Word" in 2009.

Marlee currrently serves as a national celebrity spokesperson for The American Red Cross, encouraging Americans to donate blood. She has also worked on behalf of closed captioning and in 1992 was instrumental in getting Congress to pass federal legislation requiring all televisions manufactured in the United States be equipped with closed captioning technology. She also serves on the boards of a number of charitable organizations including Easter Seals, The Children Affected By Aids Foundation, as well as those charities which primarily benefit children.

Book Review
In I'll Scream Later, actress Marlee Matlin takes readers on the frank and touching journey of her life, from the frightening loss of her hearing at eighteen months old to the highs and lows of Hollywood, her battles with addiction, and the unexpected challenges of being thrust into the spotlight as an emissary for the deaf community. She speaks candidly for the first time about the troubles of her youth, the passionate and tumultuous two-year relationship with Oscar winner William Hurt that dovetailed with a stint in rehab, and her subsequent romances with heartthrobs like Rob Lowe, Richard Dean Anderson, and David E. Kelley.

Though she became famous at the age of twenty-one, Marlee struggled all her life to connect with people, fighting against anyone who tried to hold her back. Her own mother often hid behind their communication barrier, and Marlee turned to drugs before she even started high school. However, she found in acting...with the encouragement of her mentor, Henry Winkler...a discipline, a drive, and a talent for understanding the human condition that belied her age and her inability to hear. By the time Hollywood embraced her, she had almost no formal training, a fact that caused many other deaf actors to give her the cold shoulder, even as she was looked upon as a spokesperson for their community.

Now, with uncompromising honesty and humor, Marlee shares the story of her life...an enduring tale that is an unforgettable lesson in following your dreams.

MY review
This was an excellent Memoir. How a deaf girl makes it in Hollywood of all places. Marlee was discovered at the age of 20 on stage in Chicago playing Sarah in the play Children of a lesser God. She was tapped to play the same role in the movie in 1981. She won an Oscar for her moving performance.

During and after the movie, Marlee was living with her co-star William Hurt. They were both doing drugs (cocaine) and he was abusing her.  William was nominated for an Oscar for Children of a Lesser God but he did not win. Marlee did. That would make any man jealous.

Marlee can speak, and she signs, and I believe she reads lips too although she doesnt seem to make this clear. I can read lips and speak of course. But I have never learnt to sign, something I plan to rectify soon. For those of you who dont know me in person, I am "hard of hearing". I was born with a hearing loss although it was not discovered until I was 4 years old. 

Marlee makes her home in the greater Los Angeles area. She and her husband, law enforcement officer (LAPD) Kevin Grandalski welcomed their first child, Sarah, in 1996, their second child, Brandon, in 2000 and their third child, Tyler, in July, 2002. Marlee and Kevin welcomed their fourth child, Isabelle in December, 2003.

The title of this memoir - I'll Scream Later - comes from a comment Marlee made when she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar back in 1982.

This is an excellent memoir and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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