TROY, Ala.—Stage and screen actor Anthony Natale will deliver the 15th annual Helen Keller Lecture on April 6 at Troy University.
The lecture, which will be held at 10 a.m. in the Claudia Crosby Theater on the Troy Campus, is designed to promote awareness of people who excel in their chosen fields despite physical and/or mental limitations. The lecture is sponsored by Troy University, the Alabama State Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, The Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, the Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama State Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.
Natale, who is hearing impaired, is known to movie-goers as the man in the elevator during the pivotal scene from “Jerry Maguire,” signing “You complete me,” to his partner. He starred as the adult son in “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” the 1995 film featuring Richard Dreyfuss about the profound effect a dedicated music teacher had on generations of students. His film credits also include appearances in “Dogma,” “Sorority Boys,” “City of Angels” and “Children of a Lesser God.”
“We are very excited to have Anthony Natale serve as the speaker for our 15th annual Helen Keller Lecture,” said Dr. Mary Anne Templeton, assistant professor of counseling and chair of the Helen Keller Lecture Committee. “As a youth, Mr. Natale discovered the path he wanted to pursue and he did not allow his hearing impairment to deter him. Today, he is not only living out his dream on both the stage and screen, but he is also helping to teach American Sign Language to the general public through personal appearances and the award-winning video ‘How to Talk to a Person Who Can’t Hear’. Mr. Natale is an inspiration to us all, and we hope the public will join us for this special event in the life of Troy University.”
Natale also has appeared on television in such programs as Lifetime’s “Any Day Now,” ABC’s “Once and Again” and “Ellen,” Spelling Production’s “7th Heaven,” and CBS’s “Beauty and the Beast,” and has numerous stage credits, including the lead roles in “Tuc’s Story,” performed at the Sundance Playwright Theater in Utah, and “Brilliant Traces,” performed at the Deaf West Theater in Hollywood.
Natale, who is also a sign language translator and consultant, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in film production from California State University Northridge.
Entertainment for the event will be provided by the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Ensemble made up of Malia Thibado, Timarreo Wood, Tasha Ostrowski and Nicole Gordy.
In addition to the lecture, the University will host an art show featuring artwork created by children from Troy City and Pike County school systems, which will be displayed at the Johnson Center for the Arts in Troy. Awards will be presented at 10 a.m. on April 5.