The Ryan White Story (1989)

TV Movie  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  16 January 1989 (USA)
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The story of Ryan White, a 13-year-old haemophiliac who contracted AIDS from factor VIII, which was used to control this disorder.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeanne White
Ryan White
Andrea White
Dr. Kleiman
Tom (as Mitch Ryan)
David Day
Gloria White
Charles Vaughan Sr.
Sue Hatch
Casey Ellison ...
WKKI Radio
Charles Vaughan Jr.


The story of Ryan White, a 13-year-old haemophiliac who contracted AIDS from factor VIII, which was used to control this disorder. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama


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Release Date:

16 January 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A História de Ryan White - Uma Lição de Vida  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The real Ryan White appeared in the movie as another AIDS patient (with the feeding tube) named Chad. See more »


Judith Light: I'm Judith Light. The film you are about to see 'The Ryan White Story' is being shown in an encore presentation as a tribute to Ryan.
Judith Light: I played his mother, Jeanne, and through the filming I came to know him. I remember Ryan for his enthusiasm and his passion for life. He was with us from start to finish as we filmed his story. He was everywhere; caring, helping; and above all savoring the experience. I will forever miss him. His courage inspired us; his sheer warmed us; and his grace ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

A shot of Judith Light, Lukas Haas, and Nikki Cox fades into a shot of the real Jeanne White, Ryan White, and Andrea White. See more »


Referenced in My Brother's Keeper (1995) See more »


Small Town
Written and composed by John Mellencamp
Performed by John Mellencamp
Furnished by EMI Full Keel Music (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

The Vidiot Reviews
3 February 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The Ryan White Story

The only disease children had to worry about contracting in the early-1980s was Cabbage Patch Fever.

Unfortunately, as this biography shows, by the mid-1980s HIV/AIDS appeared.

In one fell swoop, 13-year-old Ryan White (Lukas Haas) contracted the virus through a blood transfusion and was given 30-days to live.

But it was not only the disease that weakened him, but his school banning him from attending, out of fear of infection.

Unwilling to accept the fate the doctor had prescribed and the principal has assigned her son, Ryan's mother (Judith Light) hires a hardnosed lawyer (George C. Scott) to take the school to task.

Based on the true story of one of the first non-homosexuals to get the disease, this heart wrenching made-for-television movie may be schmaltzy, but it helped bring sympathizers to the syndrome.

Mind you, the new poster child for the fight against HIV/AIDS is now Magic Johnson's robot.

Green Light

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