The West Wing/NBC/1999-2006 (Deaf)
Josephine “Joey” Lucas (Marlee Matlin), a hearing-impaired California-based pollster who uses her expertise to interpret national poling data for President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his senior staff at the White House.
Born in California, Joey is deaf. She attended UCLA and Stanford. Her Sign Language interpreter is Kenny Thurman (Bill O’Brien) who had been with her for 11 years. She trusted him implicitly (“to trust her was to trust him”). Joey’s religious affiliation is Quaker.
Initially, Joey served as a campaign manager for Bill O’Dwyer in the California 46th district until President Bartlett suggested she dump his campaign and run as a Congresswoman.
When President Bartlet revealed that he was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Joey was brought on board to monitor the public’s reaction to his medical disclosure. Joey also assisted the President before several of his State of Union addresses.
Joey’s liaison at the White House was Deputy White House Chief of Staff, Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford). When Josh decided to support Congressman Matt Santos’ run for president, Joey worked as a consultant for the campaign.
Joey dated fellow pollster Al Kiefer (John de Lancie). Later, Josh Lyman became interested with Joey romantically until he discovers Joey is pregnant. Joey suggested that Josh pursue a relationship with his faithful assistant, Donna Moss (Janel Maloney). Joey and Josh’s flirtations continued for a time. But Donna gets Josh in the end.
Note: Joey Lucas first appeared on the episode “Take This Sabbath Day” (February 9, 2000) and continued on the series for another 16 episodes ending with “Requiem” (April 16, 2006).
Marlee Matlin, who played Joey on the series, is deaf in real life. She has appeared in a number of TV series including PICKET FENCES, SEINFELD (one episode), REASONABLE DOUBTS and SWITCHED AT BIRTH.