Here’s a list of ten unforgettable dramatic performances by actors with disabilities. From iconic shows like Breaking Bad to Oscar-nominated epics like There Will Be Blood, these performances—large and small—moved us and left us wanting more.
Peter Vaughan, Game of Thrones
The blind Maester Aemon, who offers no shortage of sage advice to Jon Snow and the other brothers of the Night’s Watch is played by Peter Vaughan, who is visually impaired in real life.
RJ Mitte, Breaking Bad
R.J. Mitte’s character in Breaking Bad, Walt Jr., shares the same disability that R.J. Mitte lives with in real life, Cerebral Palsy.
Millicent Simmonds, A Quiet Place
The character played by deaf actress Millicent Simmonds in the 2018 thriller A Quiet Place is also deaf.
Quisha Powell, Precious
“Mongo” from Precious, who is the daughter of the titular character, lives with down syndrome, as does the actress who plays her, Quisha Powell.
Russell Harvard, There Will Be Blood
Deaf actor Russell Harvard plays an adult H.W. Plainview in There Will Be Blood. H.W.’s character becomes deaf during an oil explosion earlier in the film.
Saving Private Ryan, Unnamed Soldier
In the D-Day scene in the critically-acclaimed film Saving Private Ryan, a soldier who had just had his legs blown off by an explosion during battle was played by an actor who had lost his legs years before.
Geri Jewell, Deadwood
Geri Jewell, well known as being the first actress with a disability to be featured in a regular role on TV, played the fan-favorite character Jewel in Deadwood, who also lives with Cerebral Palsy.
Many Actors, Switched At Birth
All major deaf characters in Switched at Birth are portrayed by actors living with a hearing impairment, most being deaf themselves.
Al Strobel, Twin Peaks
Gerard, also called The One-Armed Man is played by Al Strobel, who lost an arm at the shoulder in a car accident as a teenager.
Daryl Mitchell, NCIS: New Orleans
Patton “Triple-P” Plame, who uses a wheelchair in this NCIS series is played by Daryl Mitchell has used a wheelchair since being paralyzed in a motorcycle accident.
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