Sue Thomas

Sue Thomas


London, England

Birth Name

Sue Thomas



Also Known As

Sarah Kim
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User Rating
9 votes


Sue was born in England from Dutch parents. She was born hearing but became deaf at the age of 18 months and was then taught to lip read by her mother and a teacher.


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Her struggle to learn was difficult (when the teacher turned to face the blackboard, all communication ended). Learning was made difficult, as well, due to constant ridicule from fellow students making fun of her speech patterns.

    • When she started elementary school she was assigned a seat at the front where she could read the teacher's lips.

    • She entered public elementary school once she had mastered the art of lip reading and speaking.

    • As a child she played the trumpet and classical piano.

    • Sue lost her hearing when she was 18 months old.

    • Sue played herself on TV's Kill Me If You Can in 2005.

    • Sue was a writer for Geography Junction, which was a TV series in 2001.

    • In 1990 she released an autobiography, "Silent Night," which spawned an unsuccessful attempt to make a movie based on her life.

    • Sue Thomas worked for the FBI during the early 1980s. She originally worked as a fingerprint analyst. However, soon after joining, her lipreading abilities were sought after for deciphering video recorded conversations which had no accompanying sound. Her ability to lip read earned her a position as an assistant to an agent, and for three and a half years she worked periodically on surveillance projects, generally viewing videotapes to detail what people said. In between assignments, she also gave tours.

    • Sue Thomas attended Springfield College in Springfield, MA, where in 1976 she earned a degree in political science and international relations.

    • Sue Thomas learned to speak and lip read at the Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center.

    • Sue Thomas tells interviewers repeatedly how amazed and pleased she is at the success of Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye.

    • She was the youngest Ohio State Champion Free-Styling skater at age 7.

  • Quotes

    • Sue Thomas: I've worked all my life to function in the hearing world.

    • Deanne Bray: (About Sue Thomas) Sue is like a sister to me! She has been instrumental in my life and has taught me a great deal - I can't even start to put all of those learning's into words. She taught me about the challenges that we will face throughout our lives, and how we will have to keep proving ourselves, time and again to be accepted in the hearing world.

    • Sue Thomas: (About Sue Thomas F.B.eye being created) I feel blessed that PAX will bring this message to television in such a powerful and positive way.

    • Sue Thomas: (When asked about the buzz behind Sue Thomas F.B.eye) There is a 'roar' that even the deaf can hear. The deaf and hard of hearing have embraced this show as their own.

    • Sue Thomas (About choosing Deanne Bray to play her character in Sue Thomas F.B.eye) I saw it in her eyes -- which conveyed a loneliness and separation but held the inner strength. I told the producers to look no further -- they had found the actress.

    • Sue Thomas: (About Sue Thomas F.B.eye) Finally, audiences will be able to gain a deeper understanding and respect for the individuals who walk the path of silence.

    • Sue Thomas: (About working with the FBI) But I began to think there must be something more for me than this.

    • Sue Thomas: It was no problem for me to stand across a room in, say, an airport where a deal was going down, and take verbatim notes on what the suspects were saying!

    • Sue Thomas: I've worked all my life to function in the hearing world.

    • Sue Thomas: Mother had a painting of Jesus hanging in my bedroom. She explained that with God's help, there was absolutely nothing in my life I couldn't do.

    • Sue Thomas: (About ice-skating) It really saved my life. Why? I might have talked awful funny. And I might have been that class dummy. But there wasn't one kid in my school, not one of them, who had a bigger trophy than I did!

    • Sue Thomas: (About her music-playing ability) I've never heard a mistake I've made yet.

    • Sue Thomas: (About the process by which she learnt to speak) imitating the vibrations I felt when I put my hands on the therapist's throat, and by looking in the mirror to shape my mouth the way she formed hers.

    • Sue Thomas: I talked awful funny. I was ridiculed in school, and it (roller skating) gave me the self–esteem that I needed.

  • An amazing woman, with quite a moving story.

    Sue Thomas has an amazing story - which can be read in her book "Silent Night." Sue lost her hearing at 18 months. Her mother devoted herself to making sure that Sue had the best oral education available. Sue played the piano, skated, and learned to speak clearly.

    Sue worked for the FBI. She was hired to look at fingerprints but then was given the opportunity to act as a speech-reader. She was not an agent, and when she wasn't speech-reading she convinced others that she could be a skilled tour guide despite her deafness.

    Her work at the FBI is the inspiration behind the TV Show Sue Thomas F B Eye that was on PAX. Many (including me) were sad to see the series end. In the series, Sue used a hearing ear dog, Levi - based on her first hearing dog Levi (whom she got after leaving the FBI.) Sue made an appearance on Sue Thomas F B Eye, as Deanne - which is the name of the actress playing Sue!

    In '92, I went to Creation Festival and Sue was one of the speakers there! It was a wonderful speech (which I have on tape!!), and there was not a dry eye in the place (including the sign language interpreters who signed for the deaf as Sue spoke and didn't sign). She finished her speech by singing her favorite song, "Silent Night." Yes, that's why the book was named that. The inscription in the book I bought and she signed stated, "Breaking the sound barrier." She signed that in every book she signed (I know 'cause I bought some for family members, too).

    Sue has additional challenges - her health is not as well, causing her to be gradually losing her sight. I'm sure she would appreciate your prayers. And I'm just as sure that God will continue to use her in great ways.moreless