Marlee Matlin thought Oscar win was a joke

·1-min read

Marlee Matlin thought her co-star William Hurt was playing a joke on her when he announced she'd won the Best Actress Oscar in 1987.

The actress took home the gold for her role opposite Hurt in Children of a Lesser God, and while she remains the only deaf artist ever to pick up the honour, Marlee is stunned that she "still" holds another record, 34 years after the win.

"I still remain the youngest, to this day, Best Actress winner," she smiles, using sign language to communicate via an interpreter on America's The Kelly Clarkson Show.

"I was 21. Imagine, 21, never having been in Hollywood, not knowing anyone, not knowing anything about what it takes to be nominated for an Oscar, what to wear, parties, publicists. I was very naive. Then suddenly, wait, William Hurt calls my name (as the Oscar winner) and I'm thinking, 'Wait a minute, is he playing a joke on me? No he can't be, it's live, OK, fine.'

"So I stood up and got my Oscar. It was really wild."

And she can't quite believe it, all these years later.

"I still have to pitch myself," she laughs.