And a few Best Actress winners acquired acting Oscars for characters that were essentially mute: Here are the list of actresses that played such role and run home with an Oscar Best Actress/Best Supporting Actress trophy.
Jane Wyman won the Best Actress Oscar for her role as a deaf-mute in Johnny Belinda (1948). A film directed by Jean Negulesco, Johnny Belinda is the story of a deaf girl, Belinda McDonald, who is befriended by Dr. Robert Richardson who is the new town doctor and later married her. Prior to marrying Dr. Richardson, she was raped by Locky McCormick, a family customer and got pregnant. When the people in town find out that she is pregnant, they suspect Dr. Richardson because he has spent a lot of time with her. As time goes by, the pressure of the rumors finally cause the doctor to look for a new practice. He decides to marry Belinda and take her and the baby with him. He goes on ahead to find both a new place to practice and a new home for them.
Holly Hunter won the Best Actress Oscar for her non-speaking role (although she did voice-over narration) as a 19th century pianist mute in The Piano (1993). It is set in the mid-nineteenth century. Ada (played by Holly hunter) is a mute who has a young daughter, Flora. In an arranged marriage she leaves her native Scotland accompanied by her daughter and her beloved piano. She spend a miserable life in the rugged forests of New Zealand’s South Island with her new husband Stewart. She suffers torment and loss when Stewart sells her piano to a neighbor, George. She could earned back her piano provided she teaches George how to play it. Soon a relationship followed.
Patty Duke won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for portraying Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962). The true story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, a gripping battle to overcome impossible obstacles and the struggle to communicate. Stricken with scarlet fever at a young age, Helen Keller grew up blind, mute, and deaf. At times Helen showed some rages and tantrums due to the fact that she felt frustrated and desperate about her life Annie Sullivan had the big task of trying to help the girl understand the world from which she is isolated.
Marlee Matlin (truly hearing impaired) won the Best Actress Oscar for her mostly silent, realistic performance in Children of a Lesser God (1986). James is a new speech teacher at a school for the deaf. He falls in love with one of her students Sarah played by Marlee Matlin.