1. Louise Fletcher - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
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    We hated her character but boy did we love this speech! Gold standard for Best Actress sign language. She thanks her deaf parents by signing, "For my mother and my father, I want to say thank you for teaching me to have a dream. You are seeing my dream come true." I get choked up every time.
  2. Jane Fonda - Coming Home (1978)
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    3 years later, Jane picks up her 2nd Oscar. Her "Klute" speech was forgettable. I feel like she saw Louise's speech and thought, "People liked that. I'll do EXACTLY THAT!" Jane signs, "I'm signing part of what I'm saying tonight because while we were making the movie, we all became more aware of the problems of the handicapped. Over 14 million people are deaf. They are the invisible handicapped and can't share this evening, so this is my way of acknowledging them." It's thirsty. I love it.
  3. Marlee Matlin - Children of a Lesser God (1986)
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    8 years later, deaf actress Marlee Matlin defeats Jane Fonda for Best Actress and does her ENTIRE OSCAR SPEECH in sign language. Sort of feels derivative by this point, especially with Jane in the room. Ranking her last because she signs "I didn't prepare for this speech." HONEY, WHY NOT? IT'S THE GODDAMN OSCARS. YOU KNEW THIS COULD HAPPEN.