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Tony Award-winning actress Phyllis Frelich dies



Phyllis Frelich, a Tony Award-winning deaf actress who starred in the Broadway version of "Children of a Lesser God," has died. She was 70.

Her husband, Robert Steinberg, said Frelich died Thursday at her Southern California home. She suffered from a degenerative neurological condition for several years.

The oldest of nine deaf children born to deaf parents, Frelich became interested in acting while at the North Dakota School for the Deaf and Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C.

She joined the National Theatre of the Deaf, where she met Steinberg, who worked as a scenic and lighting designer on several plays by Mark Medoff.

The couple inspired Medoff to create "Children of a Lesser God," which follows the relationship between a deaf woman and a teacher at a school for the deaf.

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phil April 12 2014 at 9:35 PM

hi ...iam deaf , too ... I remembered I did watched her movie , she was very good actress... iam shocked that she passed away ... now she is rest in peace and no more suffer and iam sure that she is happy in the right place like heaven and also , new people there .. smile ... god bless all her family and her husband , too .. may the lord be with you , too .. god love you all ... like we all love you , too .. take good care ..

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lavettesalone April 13 2014 at 1:49 AM

I didn't see the play, but I saw the motion picture "Children of a Lesser God". I was taking a speech class and the Professor showed us this movie. It is absolutely awesome! It's very creative and keeps you interested. It's heart felt and if you're sensitive like me, you may shed a tear or two.

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SirLeoLa lavettesalone April 13 2014 at 5:35 AM

ME ALSO !! I SAW THE MOVIE A FEW TIMES IN THE 1980's BECAUSE AT THAT TIME I HAD A GIRLFRIEND THAT WAS NEARLY COMPLETELY DEAF !! But years before that I had a childhood buddy that lived wayYy down the street from me that was deaf furthermore: A school for the deaf was right down the street from a school I went to back in the 1970's !! . Yet & still I have yet to learn as`much sign language as I probably should've considering the more than 8 to 10 deaf persons I've known in my life that was either deaf or hard of hearing like ONE OF MY EX~GIRLFRIENDS from the 1980's !?!"SO0 sorry larn`bout death at all `!! ;'-{] r"R"r;a;wWwrRr,`-,'-;->

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phpoling April 13 2014 at 1:34 AM

I don't know who she was but rest in peace

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jcraft757 April 13 2014 at 1:01 AM

I never saw the play. But, the movie and their story... and, her life are inspiring. Godspeed.

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Ray and Virginia April 13 2014 at 11:24 AM

she was great

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lwm452 April 12 2014 at 10:28 PM

How sad. A gifted actress taken too young.

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1 reply
imv lwm452 April 12 2014 at 11:04 PM

she was 70

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3 replies
caroldlevine April 13 2014 at 12:53 AM

Sooo sad--- I remember that movie-- she was a very brave person. Kind of makes you see how silly it is to fret about our daily problems when we are able to hear, walk, and talk. She was a very inspirational person. RIP

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Clema Bailey April 12 2014 at 9:50 PM

I AM ALSO DEAF IN MY LEFT EAR AND ALMOST CAN NOT HEAR WITH MY RIGHT EAR NO ONE KNOWS WHAT A LONLEY WORLD THIS IS WITHOUT YOUR HEARING. SO PLEASE WHATCH WHAT YOU ARE SAYING ABOUT SOMEONES HEARING.

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3 replies
mark063060 April 13 2014 at 11:08 AM

Not Mother Grissom. She played William Petersens Mother on CSI.

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dotlhs56 April 13 2014 at 12:37 AM

Didn't know her but I'm sure she was a blessing to everyone. I have friends born to deaf parents but none of them are deaf and neither are any of their children. When these grandchildren were very small, they learned the sign language and communicated with their grandparents who could neither hear or talk. It was amazing!

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