02/28/11 – 09:51 AM]
Academy Award(R) Winner Marlee Matlin Cast in ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth”
Released by ABC Family
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ACADEMY AWARD(R) WINNER MARLEE MATLIN CAST IN ABC FAMILY’S “SWITCHED AT BIRTH”
Burbank, CA (February 28, 2011) – ABC Family has cast Academy Award (R)-winner Marlee Matlin (“West Wing,” “The L Word,” “Children of a Lesser God”) in a guest-starring role, and elevated newcomer Sean Berdy to a series regular in “Switched at Birth,” a new one-hour scripted drama that will premiere on the network this summer.
“I’m so proud to be a part of this show,” said Matlin. “It’s incredibly inspiring to see a television drama embrace a storyline that portrays diverse families from both the hearing and the deaf and hard of hearing worlds. And as a young aspiring actor who was given the opportunity to pursue the craft I love, I applaud ABC Family’s commitment to casting from both communities.”
“Switched at Birth” tells the story of two teenage girls who discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital. Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano) grew up in a wealthy family with two parents (Lea Thompson, D.W. Moffett) and a brother (Josh Grabel), while Daphne Vasquez (Katie Leclerc), who lost her hearing at an early age due to a case of meningitis, grew up with her single mother, Regina (Constance Marie), in a working-class neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls.
Matlin, who will appear as a guest star throughout several episodes, will portray Melody, the mother to Emmett (Berdy) and best friend to Regina. Berdy, a deaf actor, portrays Emmett, Daphne’s best friend from school. His role has been elevated from the pilot to series regular. Katie Leclerc, a hard-of-hearing actress, portrays the role of Daphne.
Part of the Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC Family is distributed in over 98 million homes. ABC Family features programming reflecting today’s families, entertaining and connecting with adults through relevant stories about today’s relationships, all told with diversity, passion, humor and heart. ABC Family’s programming is a mix of network defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals. ABC Family is also the destination for annual Holiday events with “13 Nights of Halloween” and “25 Days of Christmas!” ABC Family. A New Kind of Family.