Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Joaquin Phoenix Gets A Whole Lot Of Support From Cleft Palate Community

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Joaquin Phoenix is considered a frontrunner for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Walk The Line, and he’s getting a whole lot of support from the cleft palate community.

It’s not just lip service. Phoenix was born with the birth defect but managed to become a success despite it, and as a result, the members of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association are rooting for him to win.

Spokeswoman Nancy Smythe figures a Phoenix nomination or win will raise awareness of the condition, which is the most common birth defect in America, striking 1 in 600 births.

Although kids with cleft palates require speech therapy, Smythe says Phoenix’s Golden Globe victory “lets people know it doesn’t have to hold them back.”

Smythe admits her organization hasn’t been in formal contact with Phoenix but hopes he will volunteer his time to do public service announcements like Prison Break cast member Stacy Keach, who also was born with the defect.

Interestingly, Keach may have a direct route to Phoenix since his brother, actor James Keach, co-produced Walk The Line.

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