The Star: Marlee Matlin
Marlee Matlin received worldwide critical acclaim for her film debut in Children of a Lesser God, for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress. At 21 she became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar and only one of four actresses to receive the honor for her film debut. In addition to the Oscar, Marlee received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama. She has since appeared on a number of hit television programs, including The West Wing, The L-Word, Nip/Tuck and Desperate Housewives. In Spring 2008, she will star opposite Jeff Daniels in the telefilm Sweet Nothing in My Ear.
The Dancer: Fabian Sanchez
* World Mambo Champion – 2006
* United States Rising Star Champion, American Rhythm – 1999
* 4 x Fred Astaire National Champion
* 3 x United States Open American Rhythm Finalist
Style:American Rhythm, Smooth, Standard, Latin, and Rhythm
Nationality: American (grew up in Colombia)
Based in: Alabama
Status: Not currently competing
Dancing came naturally to Fabian because of his culture. There was nothing but salsa and meringue music played in his house every day while his mom cleaned. What started out as just a fun summer job has turned into a remarkable career for Fabian Sanchez. It all started when Fred Astaire Area Developer Al King walked into a Ryan’s Steakhouse in Birmingham, Alabama where Fabian was working. Quickly warming to Fabian’s lively and dynamic personality, King asked him to apply to the Fred Astaire training program. Although Fabian had wanted to go to college with hopes of eventually turning pro in soccer, he agreed to work at Fred Astaire, thinking it would be a temporary job. The chance meeting at Ryan’s was the start of Fabian’s career.
Throughout the years, Fabian became a seasoned competitor, achieving such accomplishments as US Rising Star Champion, four time Fred Astaire National Champion, US Open American Rhythm Finalist, and 3rd in the World Mambo Championship.
Retiring from competitions to dedicate his time to his family and studio, Fabian made a remarkable comeback at last year’s USDSC where he reunited with his former dance partner, Christina Penatello, to win the US Mambo Championship. The odds were not in their favor since they hadn’t danced together for years, were slightly out of shape, didn’t have glamorous costumes, and had only rehearsed together for 5 hours. Almost skipping out on the dance floor in their excitement to be dancing together again, Fabian and Christina swept the competition away.
This is Fabian’s first season on Dancing with the Stars and he is partnered with Marlee Matlin.