Actors & Film / TV Personalities with Disabilities

Dirk Benedict


  • diagnosed with a prostrate tumour in 1975 (source)
  • had arthritis from age 16 (same source)

Was famous as Templeton Peck ("The Face") in The A Team, and Lieutenant Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica

Sarah Bernhardt:


  • Disability: knee injury, her leg amputated in 1914 (source)

French actress (1844-1923)

Disabled by a knee injury, her leg amputated in 1914, she continued starring on stage until just before her death.

She is regarded as France's greatest actress - "The Divine Sarah".

Chris Burke with LeAnn Rimes

Chris Burke

  • Disability: Downs Syndrome (source)

Appeared on US ABC sitcom "Life Goes On"

Richard Burton

  • Disability: Epilepsy (source)

Has worked on radio, TV and film. Was O'Brien in the 1984 film "1984" (based on George Orwell's famous book), was in 1980s TV series "The Fall Guy", and many many others.


Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly


  • disability: ADD (attention Defecit Disorder), according to article on him in the Observer ("Connolly on the Couch"). Online source




Tom Cruise

disability:    dyslexic (source)

  • starred in many films, including Top Gun, Born On The 4th Of July, Rain Man, Mission Impossible
  • both Born On The 4th Of July  and Rain Man  dealt with disability issues in a positive way.


Oliver Dillon
Disability: cystic fibrosis (source: BBC News: Beating the odds to become a child actor)

Has appeared in the Basil Brush Show, BBC sitcom My Family, and is best known as the voice of Lumpy in My Friends Tigger & Pooh


 Dana Elcar

Dana Elcar in Dark Shadows

disability:    blind from Glaucoma (source)

  • was in late 1980's action TV show MacGyver, about a hero who was good at improvising.
  • started becoming blind during filming of 4th series, but stayed in the programme until the end (3 series-es later)


Lou Ferrigno

Lou Ferrigno as the Incredible Hulk

disability:    partially deaf, resulting from infections as a kid (source)
    played the part of the Incredible Hulk in the 1970s TV series of said.

Danny Glover

Danny Glover

disability:    had epilepsy when younger (source)
    starred in the Lethal Weapon films

Dorian Gregory
Dorian Gregory

disability: diabetes (IDDM , type 1) since age 9 (source)

A man of many talents, starred in many films and TV shows. Possibly most famous as Inspector Darryl Morris in Charmed

Bob Hope
Bob Hope

   disability:     asthma (source)

    actor and comedian, from the 1930's onwards

Mary Tyler Moore

Disability : diabetes type 1 (IDDM) (source)

Has appeared in numerous TV shows (notably the Mary Tyler Moore Show) and films.

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe

disability:    stutter (between ages of 13 and 15 - source)

        Film star and general "sex symbol" of the 1950's and early 1960's.
        starred in a number of films, including How To Marry A Millionaire.

        Marilyn Monroe tribute website at


Paul Newman

  • Disability: Colour blind (source)

Appeared in a number of films, including "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Towering Inferno".

Christopher Reeve
Christopher Reeve
  • disability:    in a wheelchair, paralysed from the waist down following a horse riding accident (what do you mean prove it?)
  • Was in the Superman films
  • Has been in numerous works since the accident where he became disabled, including narrating the documentary "Without Pity: A Film About Abilities"


Sylvester Stallone


  • paralysis of the lower left side of his face, resulting from birth complications (source)
  • speech disability (same source)

Has starred in many films, including Rambo, Rocky and Cobra


Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor disability:    asthma (source)
  •  Made her first film appearance in 1942, at the age of 10, in There's One Born Every Minute.
  • Has starred in numerous films from the 1940's onwards, including Jane Eyre, Lassie Come Home, and The Courage Of Lassie.

    Official Elizabeth Taylor tribute website


Inspector Morse

John Thaw
    disability:    slight limp, resulting from accident at age of 15 (source)

    Has starred in TV series The Sweeney and Inspector Morse, and appeared in several films.

Kim Tserkezie

Disability:  paraplegic, uses a wheelchair

Plays Penny Pocket in the CBeebies show Balamory


Bruce Willis in Die Hard

Bruce Willis
    disability:    has a stutter when younger (source)

    starred in a number of films, including the Die Hard series


Other disabled people significant to films and TV include:


Walt Disney

  • disability:    dyslexia (source)

creator of many cartoon films, including Mickey Mouse, Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs.
    His first film was the Mickey Mouse cartoon Plane Crazy.


Michael J Fox

Michael J Fox

  • disability: Parkinsons Disease (source)

Starred in numerous TV series and films , including the Back To The Future series.

Has had Parkinsons Disease since 1991.


Billy Graham

Billy Graham

  • disability: Parkinsons Disease (source)

Famous TV evangelist.

Diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease in 1992, he continued as a TV evangelist until 2000.

James Earl Jones
Darth Vader

disability:    stutter (source)
    voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars
    played role as Shakespeare's Othello, appeared in Conan The Barbarian
    portrayed a stutterer in the movie A Family Thing

    In his autobiography Voice and Silences, Jones wrote that he was "virtually mute" as a child

    Official Star Wars website

Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese
    film director
    disability:    asthma (source)

Directed a number of films, including the 1990 film Goodfellas


Quentin Tarantino
    film director
    disability:    dyslexia (source)

Directed a number of - often violent - films, including Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Kill Bill.

Wrote the screenplay for Natural Born Killers

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