At age 21, she became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar and one of only four actresses to receive that honor for a film debut: Children of a Lesser God. In her book, I’ll Scream Later, she discusses her drug addiction. In fact she was in drug rehab when she learned of her Oscar nomination.
At just 18 months old, Matlin lost her hearing due to a bout with the roseola virus. Without hearing aids, she says she is absolutely deaf.
Even as she was winning accolades for “Children of a Lesser God,” Matlin said she was preparing to check herself into rehab to battle her drug addiction that began when she was 13. In fact, the name of her book “I’ll Scream Later” was inspired by her inability to react to her Oscar nod because she was in rehab.
Now happily married with four children, her demons seem long gone. But it was a certain dancing show that inspired her to write about her troubled past.
“I was very rebellious,” she said of her early involvement with drugs.” I was very fiercely independent.” Her drug use began with marijuana and escalated to cocaine, she writes.