At 101 Mobility®, we love when people with disAbilities get representation in the media. Check out just a few of our favorite actors and actresses with disabilities!
R.J. Mitte—Cerebral Palsy: R.J. Mitte was launched into fame by his role as Walter Jr.—who also has cerebral palsy—on AMC’s critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad. This gave him a platform to raise awareness about CP, an opportunity he has enthusiastically embraced. He tours the country speaking about his experiences, and is a spokesperson for the Inclusion in the Arts and Media of Performers with Disabilities (I AM PWD), as well as for actors with disabilities in the Screen Actors Guild.
Marlee Matlin—Hearing Loss: Marlee Matlin is the only performer with hearing loss to have ever won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Her subsequent roles have gained her three Golden Globe nominations (with one win) and four Emmy nominations. She has had roles on popular TV shows such as The West Wing, Desperate Housewives, Switched at Birth, and Law and Order: SVU, among many others. She is an active member of the National Association of the Deaf, Easter Seals, and more.
Hugo Weaving—Epilepsy: Hugo Weaving was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 13, which was frequent enough to prevent him from getting a license. Weaving has starred in movies such as The Matrix, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Cloud Atlas, and Captain America. Happily, though his epilepsy was severe during his younger years, Weaving has not had a seizure in about 20 years.
Michael J. Fox—Parkinson’s: Michael J. Fox has been a passionate advocate for awareness and research about Parkinson’s disease since he announced his diagnosis in 1998. Fox is well known for his role as Marty McFly in Back to the Future and is currently starring in The Michael J. Fox Show. He founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000, which is now the largest nonprofit funder of research for a cure for Parkinson’s in the world.
Lauren Potter—Down syndrome: Laruen Potter’s role as Becky on Fox’s hit show Glee began a surge of representation in the media for characters with Down syndrome. Potter’s portrayal of the spunky Becky has garnered much critical acclaim and led to Potter’s appointment to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in 2011.
Robert David Hall—Amputee: Robert David Hall is well known for his role as Dr. Robbins on CSI, and many viewers would never guess that Hall is a double amputee. Hall lost both his legs as a result of a car crash in 1978. He uses prosthetics. Hall has long been an advocate for performers with disabilities in the Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity, and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists.
Kurt Yaeger—Amputee: Before Kurt Yaeger’s left leg was amputated below the knee after a motorcycle accident in 2006, he was a famous BMX biker. Now, he is a well-known actor—his recent roles include the character Greg “the Peg” on Sons of Anarchy—and one of the best adaptive BMX bikers in the world. He is involved with I AM PWD, is the Chairperson on the AFFTRA Los Angeles Local Performers with Disabilities Committee and volunteers his time speaking at benefits for many organizations.
Jamie Brewer—Down Syndrome: Jamie Brewer is known for her roles in American Horror Story: Murder House and Coven. She is an active and passionate advocate for Down syndrome awareness and has served on the ARC Governmental Affairs Committee for the State of Texas. She had a big role in changing Texas’ legislative language regarding intellectual disabilities. You can see Brewer in the upcoming season of American Horror Story: Freak Show.
Sudha Chandran—Amputee: After an accident caused her leg to be amputated, Sudha Chandran started using a prosthetic Jaipur foot. Now, she is a famous dancer and actress in India and has gained international recognition for her perseverance and talents. She has won multiple awards for her acting and is the vice-chairperson of India’s National Association of Disabled Enterprises.
The stars of Push Girls: Push Girls portrays the lives of five LA women—Angela Rockwood, Auti Angel, Mia Schaikewitz, Tiphany Adams, and Chelsie Hill—who have all been paralyzed due to accidents or illness. The show explores the day-to-day challenges of living in a wheelchair and follows women as they pursue their passions, from acting and dancing to adaptive swimming.
By Dean Norris and RJ Mitte.jpg: popculturegeek.com from Los Angeles, CA, USA derivative work: Karppinen (Dean Norris and RJ Mitte.jpg) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Larry D. Moore [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
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“Sudha chandran rabindranath tagore 150th birth aniversary celebration” by bollywoodhungama.com – http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/celebritymicro/images/id/7406/category/parties/type/view/imageid/1231539/.
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