Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Ex-Hollyoaks star Rachel Shenton wins an Oscar

Ex-Hollyoaks star Rachel Shenton wins an Oscar

Marlee Matlin, who is deaf, also signed when she won best actress for Children Of A Lesser God in 1987.

Rachel Shenton took home Oscar gold when The Silent Child, which she wrote and starred in, won the Academy Award for best live action short film on Sunday night.

Rachel has appeared in a handful of British TV shows, including Genie in the House, Sophia's Diary, and the soap opera Hollyoaks.

The Silent Child tells the story of four-year-old Libby, who is taught sign language by her social worker as she can't speak.

The screen star, from Caverswall, near Stoke, said: "I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that I'd sign this speech".

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"Deafness is a silent disability, it is not life threatening and you can not see it so I want to say the biggest thank you to the Academy for allowing us to put this in front of a mainstream audience".

Midlands-based director Chris Overton and his screenwriter fiancee Rachel Shenton could hardly believe their Oscar triumph.

Rachel Shenton signs along with her speech while accepting her Oscar.

Shenton was inspired to write the film after her father went deaf from receiving medical treatment when she was 12, the BBC reports.

She learned sign language and has since become an advocate for deaf awareness and ambassador of the National Deaf Children's Society and DeafLinks.

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Admitting the win still hadn't sunk in, she added: "We were being serious when we were saying we're so honoured to be nominated, we really, really meant it".

"Deafness is a silent disability".

Following their win, Rachel's former Hollyoaks co-star Jorgie Porter took to Twitter to congratulate them, writing: "I'm absolutely soooooo bloody estastic (sic)!"

CHRIS OVERTON: for helping us finish the film. "We crowdfunded this all by ourselves and we had the support of so many people, but it was made on a shoestring".

Maisie's family had recently relocated 160 miles from Plymouth to Swindon so Maisie could attend a mainstream school where deaf children are supported.

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