Actress Marlee Matlin is celebrating a big milestone this week! On January 10, the 51-year-old wished herself a “Happy 30th Sobriety birthday to me!”
She marked the occasion by showing off her sobriety chip, marked “XXX”—one for every decade she’s been clean.
In 1987, when Matlin was just 21 years old, she checked herself into rehab for addiction to cocaine and pot. She entered the Betty Ford Center, where she met “an older woman who welcomed me there that very first night.”
Matlin wrote on Instagram that the woman asked how long she had in her sobriety. “I told her 12 days…she said she had 20 years.”
Hearing the woman’s success inspired Matlin to do the same. “THAT was when I told myself I was going to do the same if she could do it. So here I am, 30 years later…I dedicate this celebration to the lady who inspired me to stay sober.”
While Matlin chose to keep the identity of this woman a secret, she did write, "Thank you to those who had my back and still do. You know who you are. SS, you are the best."
It was while Matlin was in rehab at the Betty Ford Center that she found out she was nominated for an Oscar for her leading role in Children of a Lesser God. She ended up winning that Oscar, as well as a Golden Globe for the same role.
Matlin wrote about the details of her addiction and road to sobriety in her memoir I’ll Scream Later.
On Twitter, Matlin also thanked her husband, children, family, and friends. It is Matlin’s husband of 23 years who gifted her the sobriety chip, just like he does every year.
The two met when Matlin was filming her show Reasonable Doubts. Kevin Grandalski, a Burbank police officer, had been assigned to provide security and control traffic outside the studio grounds. The couple have four children together.
Congratulations to Marlee Matlin on 30 years of sobriety!