Actors With Disabilities (PWD)

Performers with disabilities.
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1.
Howie Mandel
Producer, Deal or No Deal
The story goes that huggable stand-up comedian Howie Mandel, who ran a carpet business once upon a time, began his show biz career by chance while catching amateur night at the Comedy Store on the L.A. Sunset Strip during a vacation. Goaded on by friends to try out, a producer spotted him, hired him for an appearance on the comedy game show "Make Me Laugh," and the rest is history...
 
4.
Danny Woodburn
Danny Woodburn is an entertainer on stage, film, television, and the comedy club circuit. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, he is the son of a nurse and a professional golfer. He is a graduate of Philadelphia's Temple University's School of Film and Theater and recipient of their Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award of 2001...
 
5.
Sarah Bernhardt
This celebrated star of the French stage had a sporadic love-hate affair with early cinema. After her film debut in Le duel d'Hamlet she declared she detested the medium; yet she consented to appear in another film, La Tosca. Upon seeing the results, she reportedly recoiled in horror, demanding that the negative be destroyed...
 
6.
Dirk Benedict
Actor, The A-Team
It's a long way from the vastness of Montana's Big Sky country to the vastness of outer space, but Dirk Benedict is taking the transition in stride. The actor's hometown of White Sulphur Springs, Montana, was so small that it lacked a television station. White Sulphur Springs, MT did have a motion picture theater...
 
7.
Richard Burton
Probably more frequently remembered for his turbulent personal life and multiple marriages, Richard Burton was nonetheless regarded as one of the great British actors of the post-WWII period. Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins in Pontrhydyfen, Wales, to Edith Maude (Thomas) and Richard Walter Jenkins...
 
8.
Tom Cruise
Actor, Top Gun
In 1976, if you had told fourteen year-old Franciscan seminary student Thomas Cruise Mapother IV that one day in the not too distant future he would be Tom Cruise, one of the top 100 movie stars of all time, he would have probably grinned and told you that his ambition was to join the priesthood. Nonetheless...
 
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10.
Lou Ferrigno
An internationally famous and well respected bodybuilder / actor, Lou Ferrigno first appeared on TV screens in 1977 as the musclebound The Incredible Hulk, the alter ego of meek scientist Bruce Banner. Ferrigno was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1951 and as a child suffered from an ear infection that resulted in permanent partial hearing loss...
 
11.
Danny Glover
Actor, Saw
Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 25 years. Glover was born in San Francisco, California, to Carrie (Hunley) and James Glover, postal workers who were also active in civil rights. Glover trained at the Black Actors' Workshop of the American Conservatory Theater...
 
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13.
Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29, 1936 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to Marjorie (Hackett) and George Tyler Moore, a clerk. Her maternal grandparents were English immigrants, and her father was of English, Irish, and German descent. Moore's family relocated to California when she was eight. Her childhood was troubled...
 
14.
Christopher Reeve
Actor, Superman
Christopher D'Olier Reeve was born September 25, 1952, in New York City, to journalist Barbara Johnson (née Barbara Pitney Lamb) and writer/professor F.D. Reeve (Franklin D'Olier Reeve). He came from an upper-class family; his paternal grandfather was CEO of Prudential Financial, and one of his maternal great-grandfathers was Supreme Court justice Mahlon Pitney...
 
15.
Sylvester Stallone
Actor, Rocky
This athletically built, dark-haired American actor/screenwriter/director may never be mentioned by old-school film critics in the same breath as, say, Richard Burton or Alec Guinness; however, movie fans worldwide have been flocking to see Stallone's films for over 30 years, making "Sly" one of Hollywood's biggest-ever box office draws...
 
16.
John Thaw
He was the working class boy from Manchester whose intensity and natural honesty made him British television's most bankable actor. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His first starring role on TV was as Sgt John Mann in Redcap. His first great success, though, was as Detective Inspector Regan in The Sweeney...
 
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18.
Walt Disney
Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Flora Disney (née Call) and Elias Disney, a Canadian-born farmer and businessperson. He had Irish, German, and English ancestry. Walt moved with his parents to Kansas City at age seven, where he spent the majority of his childhood...
 
19.
Lucy Roucis
Lucy Roucis is a living, breathing, and tremoring example of "turning something adverse around and making it work." Her young-onset Parkinson's disease actually helped get her a part in the film, "Love and Other Drugs." Director and writer, Ed Zwick, after reading over 40 actors for the role, was so impressed with Lucy's audition that he asked her to write for the scene and add her own dialogue...
 
20.
Nic Novicki
Nic Novicki is an Actor/Comedian/Writer, who has been performing since age 8. His television work includes The Sopranos (HBO), where he played the role of a nightclub manager. Other television roles include Saturday Night Live in a recurring role as Alfie; as the lead in the Cingular Wireless national...
 
21.
Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox was born Michael Andrew Fox on June 9, 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to Phyllis Fox (née Piper), a payroll clerk, and William Fox. His parents moved their ten-year-old son, his three sisters, Kelli Fox, Karen, and Jacki, and his brother, Steven, to Vancouver, British Columbia...
 
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23.
Quentin Tarantino
Writer, Pulp Fiction
Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old. In January of 1992...
 
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27.
Nic Nassuet
Producer, CHRYSALIS
Nic began his career in the performing arts at the age of two in Oklahoma and continued to work in television and on stage until he enlisted in the United States Army. After a brief term of enlistment, during which he continued to perform at venues in California and Arizona, he returned to civilian life to continue his artistic pursuits...
 
28.
Andrea Bocelli
Soundtrack, Wanted
Andrea Bocelli, as born in Lajatico, Italy, in 1958, is one of the greatest singing talents in the world today. He has been blind since age 12, owing to congenital glaucoma and a blow to the head while tending goal during a soccer game. Andrea did not begin his singing career until the late 1980s, when he began performing in piano bars throughout Italy...
 
30.
RJ Mitte
Best known as Walter "Flynn" White Jr for five riveting seasons of AMC's Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning dramatic thriller "Breaking Bad," Mitte, reemerged this year on the big screen in "Dixieland," which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, portraying the deceptive CJ, in his first non-handicapped leading role...
 
31.
Richard Pryor
Highly influential, and always controversial, African-American actor/comedian who was equally well known for his colorful language during his live comedy shows, as for his fast paced life, multiple marriages and battles with drug addiction. He has been acknowledged by many modern comic artist's as a key influence on their careers...
 
32.
William Hartnell
Actor, Doctor Who
William Hartnell was born on 8 January 1908, just south of St. Pancras station in London. In press materials in the 1940s he claimed that his father was a farmer and later a stockbroker; it turns out that he had actually been born out of wedlock, as his biography "Who's There?" states. At age 16 he was adopted by Hugh Blaker...
 
33.
Margaret Leighton
British theatre actress Margaret Leighton made her classical stage debut at age 16. The daughter of a businessman, she joined the Old Vic Company under the direction of Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson and in the late 40s and 50s earned kudos for her theatrical endeavors on both the London and Broadway stages...
 
36.
Annette Funicello
Annette Joanne Funicello achieved teenage popularity starting in October 1955 after she debuted as a Mouseketeer. Born on October 22, 1942 in Utica, New York, the family had moved to California when she was still young. Walt Disney himself saw her performing the lead role in "Swan Lake" at her ballet...
 
37.
Marc Summers
Self, Unwrapped
Born in Indianapolis, he paid his dues as a magician, disc jockey, comedian and studio page in Los Angeles during the 1970s. When Jack Barry's announcer fell sick on The Joker's Wild, 1973, Marc (then a 22-year-old page) filled in. That was his break. He began warming up audiences for network programs like Soap...
 
38.
Billy Bob Thornton
Actor, Armageddon
Billy Bob Thornton was born on August 4, 1955 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to Virginia Roberta (Faulkner), a psychic, and William Raymond (Billy Ray) Thornton, an educator, high school history teacher, and basketball coach (now deceased). He is the older brother of James Donald (Jimmy Don) (born in 1958 and now deceased) and John David (born in 1969)...
 
39.
Jessica Alba
Actress, Sin City
Jessica Marie Alba was born on April 28, 1981, in Pomona, CA, to Catherine (Jensen) and Mark David Alba, who served in the US Air Force. Her mother has Danish, Welsh, German, English, and French ancestry, while her father is of Mexican descent (including Spanish, Indigenous Mexican, and distant Sephardic Jewish...
 
40.
Donald J. Trump
Producer, The Apprentice
Donald John Trump was born in Queens, New York. After taking up the mantle of his father's real estate ventures, Trump has accomplished substantial business successes and subsequently has amassed a net worth estimated to total billions of dollars. Aside from his business ventures, Trump is most known...
 
41.
Cameron Diaz
A tall, strikingly attractive blue-eyed natural blonde, Cameron Diaz was born in 1972 in San Diego, the daughter of a Cuban-American father and an Anglo-German mother. Self described as "adventurous, independent and a tough kid," Cameron left home at 16 and for the next 5 years lived in such varied locales as Japan...
 
42.
Leonardo DiCaprio
Actor, Inception
Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3, to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s, as the hunky lead actor in movies such as Romeo + Juliet and Titanic...
 
43.
Linda Bove
Born deaf, she was a founding member of the National Theater of the Deaf in 1963. In 1974, she received the AMITA--the Italian-American Award for her work on television. Best known for playing Linda on Sesame Street for over 20 years--the longest-running role on American television for a person with a differing ability.
 
44.
Foxy Brown
Foxy Brown, a Brooklyn native, never thought she would be in the rap industry, much less in films. Even though she received a lot of skepticism from critics because of her raunchy lyrics and sexual appeal in music videos, Foxy still managed to stay on top. With a platinum album under her belt, and literally tens of appearances on other songs, her movie debut was much expected.
 
45.
Nicole Lynn Evans
Actress, Spaceman
Nicole was born in Santa Monica, CA. She has won 3 Best Supporting Actress awards for her performance in "Broken Dreams" directed by David Crabtree. Born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a rare bone condition, Nicole stands strong at 3 feet 8 inches tall. In addition to her work as an actress for the stage and screen...
 
46.
Danny Murphy
Originally from Boston, Massachushetts, Danny was injured in a diving accident in Oaks Bluff, Martha's Vineyard on August 8, 1974 leaving him a quadriplegic at age 19. He graduated from Stonehill College in 1979 majoring in Criminal Justice and then enjoyed a successful corporate career in Boston working...