**(Daryl “Chill” Mitchell) Eli Cartwright Goggins III, an
African-American in a wheelchair who becomes the newly hired
supervising manager of the Stuckeybowl Bowling Alley. To get the
job, Eli lied that he had all sorts of bowling alley experience. Ed
Stevens, the owner of the bowling alley investigated Eli's
background and despite all the lies about being qualified, Ed hired
Eli because he liked Eli's confidence and positive get-things-done
attitude. The Eli character joined the series in the fall of 2002.
Note: In an internet interview Ed's Big Chill by Daniel R. Coleridge
(TV Guide Insider August 7, 2002) paraplegic actor Mitchell who hurt
himself in 2001 explains:
"I was in a motorcycle accident in November, which left me paralyzed
from the mid-chest down," the actor recalls. "This show is a great
blessing. It means more to me than just a job — it's my first job
back after my accident. It was all about, 'Will I be able to
produce... spiritually, physically, emotionally?'
"It was just about coming back to work and being able to perform,"
he adds. "It was a serious head trip until we got the first scene in
the can! They were like, 'We want energy and attitude.' Well, I
brought the 'tude."
Mitchell had previously held steady jobs on situation comedies
VERONICA'S C:LOSET and THE JOHN LARROQUETTE SHOW
*(John Hockenberry) John Hockenberry, wheelchair-bound host of this
hour-long program that fused "a talk show with a film festival."
EDGEWISE incorporated images from conventional newsreels to
outlandish public-access footage.
ELVIRA'S MOVIE MACABRE/KHY-TV/1981/SYN/1983 (Burn Injury)
*(Cassandra Peterson) Redheaded beauty who donned a long black
slinky dress and wig to become Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, hostess
of KHJ-TVs horror movie show originating from Los Angeles. When she
was two years of age, Cassandra accidentally scalded her body with a
kettle of boiling water. Living in Colorado Springs with her father,
an insurance agent and her mother, a costume shop owner, Cassandra
had to cope with her disfigurement and the jeers of childhood
companions who called her a "monster." Now that she's a horror show
hostess she gets to flaunt her scars (only her facial and cleavage
areas didn't suffer severe burns). See also - "Elvira"
at HORROR SHOW HOSTS
ER/NBC/1994+ (Injured Leg)
**(Laura Innes/costar) Dr. Kerry Weaver, a physically challenged
emergency room attending physician working at Chicago's County
General Hospital who used a cane and dragged her left foot. Her
condition was later revealed to be Congenital Hip Dysplasia. Being
adopted, Kerry always wondered if she was given away as a newborn
because she was "not" perfect. However, when Kerry finally met her
birth mother as an adult, she learned that her mother was just young
and unable to give the child a proper home. Her birth mother didn't
even know that the baby had a birth defect until Kerry told her.
TRIVIA NOTE: Innes drew inspiration for her role from her sister
Kathy Innes, a budget director for the health department of
Multnomah County, Oregon, who was left without the use of her left
arm as a result of polio contracted at the age of five.
**(Paul McCrane) Dr. Robert Romano, an obnoxious head ER surgeon
working at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. On episode "Chaos Theory
(a.k.a. Unknown Origin) - first aired September 26, 2002 - Dr.
Romano backed into the spinning tail rotor blade of a rescue
helicopter on the rooftop of County General while arguing with
fellow doctor Luka Kovac. His severed arm was surgically reattached
by Dr. Anspaugh and a lengthy regime of physical therapy ensued.
Unfortunately, the severing of his nerves affected his dexterity in
the operating room and Romano soon realized his days as a surgeon
were numbered. In 2003, Romano died just as he exited the hospital
to get some fresh air after a panic attack over seeing a helicopter
on the roof of the hospital. Ironically, the helicopter experienced
trouble, fell to the street and crushed Romano to death. Actor Paul
McCrane who is nothing like his character described Dr. Romano as
"Gleefully malicious" and asserted “You can’t just hate him; well,
you CAN really hate him, but there’s something that’s sort of
attractive in how much you want to strangle the guy.”
EVERYONE CAN EXERCISE/SYN/1991 (Crippled)
*(Maria Serrao) Maria Serrao, a 5' 4" 107 pound wheelchair-bound
fitness instructor who hosted the first nationally syndicated cable
fitness program targeted specifically at the disabled. Motivated to
lose 50 pounds of weight, Serrao designed a series of exercises that
included aerobics, stretching, weight training and low-fat diet. Her
efforts soon blossomed into her successful cable program which
premiered in November 1991. Serrao received her disability in
childhood when at the age of five, a drunk driver hit the car her
mother was driving, causing permanent damage to her spinal cord
which paralyzed both her legs. Serrao's acting credits include a
small part in 1980 film Inside Moves with John Savage; a TV role
playing a physically challenged rape victim on 21 JUMP STREET;
followed by parts on GENERAL HOSPITAL, KNOTS LANDING, CAGNEY & LACEY
and DIFF'RENT STROKES. She continues to follow her simple philosophy
on life "What's right with me is so much more important that what's
wrong with me. My goals and my love of life are stronger than my
disability" (People Weekly 4/17/95 p.75-76)
FACTS OF LIFE/NBC/1979-88 (Cerebral Palsy)
**(Geri Jewell) Geri, the handicapped relative of snobbish, Blair
Warner. The role of Geri, an aspiring nightclub comic with Cerebral
Palsy, was introduced in 1981. In real life, Jewell acknowledged her
own handicap and poked-fun of it in her comedy routine with such
humorous quips as "Ever notice there are no handicapped people on
TV? Name That Handicap?...Bowling For Crutches?...I've had some
really high bowling scores, only never in my lane." or "I'm not
drunk, I've got Cerebral Palsy. That's CP-not to be confused with
MD, MS, VD or ET." Born prematurely, Geri was diagnosed with CP at
18 months. Her additional loss of hearing forced her to become
proficient at lip reading. She also limps when she walks. After many
hours of therapy, her palsy has improved from severe to mild.
TRIVIA NOTE: Cerebral Palsy is a paralysis resulting from developmental
defects in the brain or a trauma to the brain occurring at birth.
The chief characteristics are uncontrollable muscle spasms.
FANTASY ISLAND/ABC/1978-84 (Little Person & Injured Leg)
*(Herve Villechaize/costar) Tattoo, a 3-foot 11-inch mischievous
manservant dressed in a white suit who worked on the mysterious
Fantasy Island where dreams came true. When the airplane bearing
guests to the island was seen on the horizon, Tattoo rushed to ring
the bell in the mansion tower. There he bellowed his catchphrase,
"De plane!, De plane!" Villechaize left the series in 1983 over a
salary dispute. In 1988, Villechaize wrote "I am a man trapped in a
boy's body. I accept it. But I do not have to like it." On September
4, 1994 Herve Villechaize mortally shot himself in the chest on the
patio of his Los Angeles home. A suicide note revealed that,
although he "loved everybody," he could no longer bear his ailments.
He had suffered medical problems from his undersized lungs and
nearly died of pneumonia the year before. The Paris-born actor
wanted to allow a doctor specializing in dwarfism to study his
remains and then he wanted to be cremated and his ashes distributed
at sea. Ricardo Montalban who costarred on the series also had a
physical disability. Back in 1951, Montalban was thrown from his
horse while portraying an Indian in Across the Wide Missouri, a
western starring Clark Gable. He landed on his back and suffered a
spinal hemorrhage. The Mexican born-actor still had a telltale limp
from that accident.
FEELING FREE/PBS/1978 (Various Handicaps)
*30-Minute educational series designed to ease "mainstreaming" of
handicapped children into normal school systems and life. It
featured regulars performing in studios and on location.
FIRST MONDAY/NBC/2002 (Crippled)
*(Charles Durning/costar) Justice Henry Hoskins, an elderly,
overweight, Supreme Court Justice based in Washington, DC who roams
the halls of the nation's Supreme Court in his motorized wheelchair.
FRIENDS/NBC/1994-2004 (Missing Toe)
*(Matthew Perry/costar) Chandler Bing, a data processing executive
is missing the little toe from his right foot. He lost it during a
Thanksgiving dinner when Monica Geller (Courtney Cox) accidentally
dropped a large chopping knife onto the floor. The knife cut through
Chandler's canvas shoe and severed his toe. He immediately went to
the hospital to have it reconnected. Unfortunately, in the rush to
get to the hospital, Monica mistakenly put a piece of a carrot in
the bag of ice meant to preserve the toe. Consequently, Chandler's
buddy, Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) dubbed him, Sir Limps-a-lot.
Chandler was also born with a third nipple. He called it a "Nubbin'"
and finally had it removed in his twenties. See also
Nipples (Chandler Bing)
THE FUGITIVE/ABC/1963-67 (Injured Arm)
**(Bill Raisch) Fred Johnson, a one-armed itinerant worker who
killed Helen Regan Kimble, the wife of pediatrician Richard Kimble
living in Stafford, Indiana. When Dr. Kimble was falsely convicted
of his wife's murder, he escaped the police on the way to the death
house and began a four-year search for his wife's killer. On August
29, 1967, the one-armed man was cornered atop a tower of an
amusement park and plunged to his death when he was shot by Lt.
Gerard, a police officer who previously hadn't believed Kimble's
story of a nameless one armed-man fleeing the scene of the original
murder. In reality, Bill Raisch, a Marine Corps veteran, actually
lost his right arm from a casualty sustained during World War II
while fighting a shipboard fire. The burns were so severe, the arm
was amputated. Raisch, a regular movie stand-in for actor Burt
Lancaster, died in 1984 at the age of 79.
GET SMART/NBC/CBS/1965-70 (Little Person & Disabled Arm)
**(Michael Dunn) Mr. Big, an evil dwarf working for the criminal
organization KAOS. On the series pilot Mr. Big, steals a Doomsday
Machine, kidnaps its inventor, and threatens to destroy major cities
of the world unless he's paid $100 million. Another KAOS agent named
The Claw (played by Leonard Strong) was the head of the Chinese
branch of KAOS. He has a false left arm with a magnet for a left
hand. He operates from the Shanghai a-Go-Go and a Chinese laundry in
San Francisco. His name is pronounced "Craw, not Craw."
GUNSMOKE/CBS/1955-75 (Crippled Right Leg)
**(Dennis Weaver) Chester Goode, a crippled frontier deputy living
in Dodge City who walked with a pronounced limp (his right leg was
as stiff as a post). When searching for the town marshal, Matt
Dillon, Chester shouted his catchphrase "Mister Dillon, Mister
Dillon." The idea of making Chester handicapped came from Dennis
Weaver. He proposed the idea to the show's producers and they told
him OK go ahead and do it. But upon reflecting on the role Weaver
confessed "If I had known at the time I would be walking
stiff-legged for nine years, I would have thought twice about it.
Did you ever try to make a fire with a stiff leg or put a boot on.
It's tough to do." Weaver had to take Yoga lessons to keep himself
in condition for the job. According to a video remembrance of Dennis
“Traditionally, the sidekick is too old, too young, too fat to get
involved with the fights.” Therefore, the producers of the show
wanted Weaver’s character to be non-violent and that he would not
carry a gun. Weaver thought about the character line and decided
that maybe if his knee was frozen, a stiff leg would help define his
character as a sidekick. After proposing the idea to the producers
and getting their approval, Weaver began to practice walking stiff
legged for the part. Years later, reflecting on the idea of a
handicapped character, Weaver lamented “If I had known I was going
to have to walk stiff-legged for nine years, I might have never
suggested the idea. Did you ever try to build a fire with a stiff
leg? Why I had to take Yoga lessons to be able to do the things I
did. It‘s tough to do.”
HARRY-O/ABC/1974-76 (Injured Back)
*(David Janssen) Harry Orwell, a San Diego police officer forced to
retire when he got shot in the back. The bullet lodged too close to
his spine and thus ruled out surgery. Any sudden exertion and the
bullet could shift position and cause paralysis or death. However,
Harry occasionally disregarded the danger of his condition and took
on private investigation assignments to help those in need (and to
supplement his disability pension). Because his car didn't work,
Harry always traveled by city bus. He later moved to Santa Monica.
HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES/SYN/1992-98 (Injured Leg)
*(Jim Byrnes) Joe Dawson, the section head of a secret society known
as "The Watchers who monitored the movements of a race of immortals
living on Earth. Joe had an injured leg and walked with the
assistance of a cane. See also - "Wiseguy"
HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN/NBC/1984-89 (Paralyzed)
*(James Froesh) Scotty, a lawyer paralyzed from the neck down who
moved about in a motorized wheelchair equipped with chin controls.
The Scotty character occasionally appeared on this fantasy series
about an angel from heaven who helped those in need. James Froesh's
paralysis began when he broke his neck at the age of 14 when he fell
off the roof of his friend's house after accidentally hitting a high
voltage wire. Years later, Froesh's wife, Teresa, sent a script
about their love affair to Michael Landon, the program's producer
and their characters were written into a few of the show's episodes.
THE HONEYMOONERS/CBS/1955-56 (Injured Thigh)
*(Art Carney/costar) In July of 1944 Art Carney was sent to France
as a US Army Infantryman and was wounded in the thigh by a piece of
shrapnel while setting up a machine gun. He was sent to a hospital
for nine months to recuperate, but the wound permanently shortened
his right leg by three-quarters of an inch. Art Carney is most
remembered as Ed Norton, the zany sewer worker and friend of bus
driver, Ralph Kramden on the classic situation comedy THE
HONEYMOONERS/CBS/1955-56. Years later he appeared as James "The
Weasel" Cavanaugh, on the domestic comedy THE CAVANAUGHS/CBS/1986-89.
HOUSTON KNIGHTS/CBS/1987-88 (Multiple Sclerosis)
**(Madlyn Rhue) Annie Hartung, a wheelchair-bound police officer
injured in the line of duty. Madlyn Rhue was actually a victim of
multiple sclerosis, a crippling disease affecting the nervous
system. Her MS condition became apparent after a car accident some
10 years earlier.
I'VE GOT A SECRET/CBS/1952-67/SYN/1972 & 76 (Limped)
**(Bill Cullen) Bill Cullen, popular TV game show host who sported a
limp due to a childhood bout with polio. He first appeared as a
panelist on the popular game show I'VE GOT A SECRET and later emceed
such shows as CHAIN REACTION, EYE GUESS, PLACE THE FACE, THE PRICE
IS RIGHT and NAME THAT TUNE.
IN LIVING COLOR/FOX/1990-94 (Cerebral Palsy & Injured Hip)
*(Damon Wayans/costar) Clark Bent, a black mailroom man who worked
for the Daily Glove newspaper. Clark's alter ego was Handi-Man, a
physically challenged superhero with gnarled hands who fought the
likes of Doctor Naughty (Jim Carrey), who hated the handicapped
because he once received a ticket for parking in a handicapped spot.
Handi-man wore a white cap and a handicap-blue costume with a
wheelchair logo on his chest. He was occasionally assisted by a
dwarfish blonde person called the Tiny Avenger. After vanquishing
the bad guys Handi-man said "Never underestimate the powers of the
handicapped." The show also featured a strangely handicapped police
officer called THE HEAD DETECTIVE, (Damon Wayans) so named because
all he was...was a head sitting on a pair of shoes with a small pair
of arms sprouting from his neck. He worked undercover with a police
officer named Adam (Keenan Ivory Wayans) who carried "Head" around
in a bowling bag. According to the series script the Head Detective
was "Built sort of like a Mr. Potato Head: his hands are attached to
flexible rods which come out of his ears, and his head rests on two
large floppy shoes. A gun is permanently stuck to the palm of one
hand, and a police badge is permanently stuck to the palm of the
other. The hands sway up and down on a flexible rod." Another
handicapped character was Mr. Macavey (played by David Alan Grier),
a high school teacher with the responsibilities of monitoring
hallways. He carried around a miniature bull horn and hobbled about
on his shatter hip. He injured himself playing an innocent game of
Twister. As his character said "Left hand. Blue dot. That's all she
*(Raymond Burr) Robert T. Ironside, former Chief of Detectives for
the San Francisco Police Department who was confined to a wheelchair
when paralyzed (from the waist down) by a sniper's bullet. He was
shot with a .30 Springfield rifle (the bullet grazed his spine)
wielded by Honor Thompson (Geraldine Brooks), who owned a Sausalito
metal art shop called the Forge. Confined to St. Mary's Hospital in
Sonoma, Ironside recovered and returned to work as a special
consultant to the police commissioner. He traveled the streets of
San Francisco in a specially fitted police van equipped with an
electric ramp for easy access/exit. He was assisted by Mark Sanger
(Don Mitchell), a young black man who drove the van and pushed
JAG/NBC/CBS/1995-2005 (Lost Right Leg)
**(Patrick Labyorteaux) Lt. j.g. Bud Roberts, naval aide and legal
clerk who later went to night courses in law school and passed the
bar. He originally worked as a public affairs officer on the USS
Seahawk and later worked for the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps
of the U.S. Navy. In the spring of 2002, Bud lost his right leg
(below the knee) when he stepped on a land mind in Afghanistan while
attempting to save a young boy standing in a mine field. He suffered
a lot of phantom pain and worried that he would never feel normal
again. After his recovery, Bud returned to his duties with the JAG.
He received a Purple Heart and was fitted for a prosthesis. Bud was
married to Ensign Harriet Sims in May 1998, a former public affairs
officer who replaced Bud on the USS Seahawk and later transferred to
JAG headquarters in 1997. They had a baby boy.
JOAN OF ARCADIA/CBS/2003-2005 (Crippled)
**(Jason Ritter) Kevin Girardi, the son of a police chief, Will
Girardi (Joe Mantegna) and the brother of Joan Girardi (Amber
Tamblyn), a 16-year-old girl who has conference with God on a
regular basis. Kevin, a former high-school sports star, had an car
accident and lost the use of his legs. Now wheelchair-bound, he
copes with his new condition. Kevin's mother, Helen Girardi (Mary
Steenburgen) reluctantly accepts her oldest son's paraplegic
condition and like a good mother, continually tries to inspire Kevin
to move on with his life. During one episode of grief, Kevin,
wallowing in pity, burned the family photo album that contained
pictures of him before he had the accident. Jason's sister Joan who
talks to God (he talks back in various disguises) would like God to
cure his brother, but God has other plans for Jason and the people
of the city of Arcadia. NOTE: Jason Ritter, is the son of deceased
actor John Ritter. Ironically, while John Ritter made his mark
through comedic stumbling and pratfalls, his son, Jason's TV role is
unceremoniously stuck in a wheelchair.
||And if you need me to roll over anyone, let me know.
||(to Kevin) It's your turn to set the table.
||My arms are tired!
||(talking to Will) You're going to be proud of me again.
KGTV CHANNEL 10 NEWS (Crippled Hands)
*(Bree Walker), Anchor woman on KGTV Channel 10 News in San Diego,
California whose disabled hands were clearly visible during the
broadcast. Her condition is called complete complicated syndactylism
(bones and skin of hands and feet are fused together appearing like
primitive claws). Despite hard times, like the time she found out
her high school boyfriend was calling her "Lobster Claws" behind her
back, she struggled through it all and graduated from the University
of Minnesota. To fool interviewers in a pursuit of a job in the
media industry she wore a prosthetic glove. Bree's intelligence and
good looks helped overcome TVs obsession with "perfect" looks. In
1983-84, she had surgery to try to relieve the chronic pain in her
feet. Born in Austin, Minnesota, Ms. Walker, a beautiful blonde with
a dazzling smile, jokingly called herself "The Firecracker Safety
Poster Girl." Bree was the youngest of four children of a service
station manager and his wife. She now lives with her husband in San
Diego. In 1991 she anchored the news at KCBS in Los Angeles (later
KNSD-TV in San Diego as of 1998). Her decision to have children (who
could inherit her condition) caused controversy in the media at the
KING OF THE HILL/FOX/1997+ (Damage Shins)
Cotton Hill (voice of Toby Huss) Hank Hill's father, a veteran of
World War II, now living in Arlen, Texas. During the war, Cotton was
hit by a spray of Japanese machine gun fire while fighting in the
Pacific Islands. The damage ripped off his shins and consequently,
the Army doctors reattached his feet to the remaining portion of
legs. This gave Cotton a shorter stature and an awkward gait.
Cotton's personality is loud, obnoxious and disrespectful to women.
It's not known whether his bad temper and politically incorrect
attitude are a result of the trauma from his war wounds or whether
he's always just been such a jerk. He retired from the military as
Colonel, often boasts of his killing 50 ("fiddy") men, and expects
everyone to "hop to" when he's in his presence. He currently is
married to his second wife, a younger, ditzy, blond nurse whom
Cotton smacks on the rump when she passes him by. Although Hank Hill
is his first son, Cotton fathered a second son whom he calls "Good
Hank" after he divorced Hank's mother.
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