You may not know her name, but you have seen the results of her pioneering work. Phyllis Frelich was the first deaf actress to make her way onto the stage and walk away with a Tony Award. She inspired the play “Children of a Lesser God” which later became a move. Actress Marilee Matlin, also deaf, played the lead role in the film –and won an Academy Award.
Frelich, 70, passed away in Temple City, Calif., her husband, Robert Steinberg, said. Frelich suffered from a rare degenerative neurological disease called progressive supranuclear palsy.
Frelich and Steinberg were married for 46 years. “I would have been happy with 46 more,” Steinberg said.