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Phyllis Frelich (born February 29, 1944) is an American actress, and, with Marlee Matlin, one of the two pre-eminent deaf actresses in the United States.

Frelich was born in Devils Lake, North Dakota to deaf parents and is the oldest of 9 children (all of whom are also deaf). She attended North Dakota School for the Deaf, graduating in 1962, and then went on to study at Gallaudet College (now known as Gallaudet University), a school for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Frelich originated the leading female role in the Broadway production of Children of a Lesser God, for which she won the 1980 Best Actress Tony Award.

Marlee Matlin played Frelich's role in the film version, and won the Best Actress Academy Award.

She has been married to Robert Steinberg for many years, and they have two children.

She performed the ASL interpretation of Jewel's rendition of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXII.


Year Film/TV Show
1983 More Than Friends
1985 Love is Never Silent
1989 Bridge to Silence
1991 Hunter: Cries of Silence
1997 Santa Fe
1998 ER: Stuck on You
1999 ER: Nobody Doesn't Like Amanda Lee
2002 Children on Their Birthdays
2008 Sweet Nothing in My Ear


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