People - Amy Ecklund - Deaf Actress

Soap Opera Star

In the celebrity world, two measures of popularity are: the size of your movie or TV audience, and getting featured in People magazine. People spotlighted Amy Ecklund in an article (not the cover story, published July 12, 1999) about her cochlear implant. What makes Amy Ecklund unique is that she had an ongoing role (since 1995) as Abigail on a long-lived soap opera, "Guiding Light." How many deaf actors and actresses can say that they had an ongoing acting role in a medium popular with both hearing and deaf people?

Not many.

Reading Amy Ecklund's biography from CBS, I learned:

  • Amy was not born deaf. She lost her hearing at age 6.
  • She was raised in a total communication environment.
  • She married a friendly enemy from high school years.
  • She has a stage background.

Amy Ecklund's character also got a cochlear implant on the show. Now parents of implanted children have a celebrity role model to show their children.

Ecklund has not won any Emmys yet, but has been nominated. In 1998, she won the Daytime Webbie Awards for "outstanding supporting actress in a drama series." She has also been named one of the 50 most beautiful people by Soap Opera Weekly.

Like any actress, Amy Ecklund has participated in celebrity internet chats. One chat touched briefly on the producers' decision to have Ecklund stop using sign language on the show.

Continue Reading