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Saturday Letters : A Dubious Award For Reed

March 28, 1987

A new category should be added to the Academy Hall of Shame: Worst Remark Uttered by a Movie Critic. According to Rex Reed, nominating Marlee Matlin for an Oscar for her role in "Children of a Lesser God" would be a waste because there aren't many (if any) roles for a "deaf mute" to perform (Outtakes, by John M. Wilson, March 22).

Ahem. Correct me if I'm wrong, Mr. Reed, but aren't the Oscars given for a single performance, not for past or future roles? Whether or not there will be other roles for Matlin to perform in is irrelevant; it is her fine performance in "Children" that matters and should be recognized.

Furthermore, she didn't get the role because she was, pity the poor thing, a "deaf mute" who needed a job. She was chosen because she demonstrated top-rate acting abilities. Yes, Mr. Reed, believe it or not, there are some deaf people out there who can act.

Reed gets my vote for the Turkey of the Year Award.

TERRI J. TEPPERMAN

Los Angeles

"Children of a Lesser God" director rebuts Reed's comment in Outtakes on Sunday.

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