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Physically Impaired

LAS VEGAS/NBC/2003+ (Paraplegic)
**(Mitch Longley) Mitch, a disabled member of the Surveillance team at the Montecito Resorts and Casino in Las Vegas. Mitch routinely assists Ed Deline, the casino's surveillance chief  and his coworkers, Danny and Mike. Actor Mitch Longley, like his character, is a paraplegic and uses a wheelchair. 

LONG JOHN SILVER/SYN/1955 (Missing Leg)
**(Robert Newton) Long John Silver, a good-hearted pirate with one leg living on the island of Porto Bello during the 1700s. Also featured were Kit Taylor as young Jim Hawkins, Long John's unofficial ward; and Connie Gilchrist as Purity the owner of a local pub where Long John and his pirate cronies hung out. The series was filmed in Sydney, Australia and based on the serialized 1881-82 adventure novel "Treasure Island" written by Robert Louis Stevenson. In the novel, Long John Silver is missing his left leg and uses a crutch under his left arm to stabilize his condition. His character has appeared in a number of movies including the classic 1934 rendition with Wallace Berry and Jackie Cooper, the Disney reincarnation Long John Silver's Return to Treasure Island that starred Robert Newton who reprised his role for the above syndicated Australian version; a 1985 mini-series Return to Treasure Island with Brian Blessed as Long John Silver and Christopher Guard as Jim Hawkins that takes place ten years later, as an adult Jim Hawkins meets up again with his former friend and nemesis Long John Silver; and the 1996 puppet adventure Muppets Treasure Island with Tim Curry as Long John Silver. In this version, Bill Bones (speaking in Scottish accent) offers this advice: "One: beware the one-legged man and Two: Never, ever run with scissors, or any other pointy object - It's all good fun until someone gets hurt."

Review of Treasure Island (1999) www.filmvalues.com
"A Parent's Guide to Children's Film"

Adventure - 1999, PG-13. (1 hr, 34 min) In 1755, as pirate Flint buries his treasure, a fight between Long John Silver and Billy Bones causes Long John to lose his leg. Five years later, in England, Billy Bones is confronted by his old mates, Black Dog and Pew. They give him the black spot, a threat so severe that he gives the treasure map to young Jim Hawkins and dies of fright. Squire Trelawny and the doctor hire Captain Smollett to head a boat to recover the treasure. Trelawny, trusting Long John Silver, unknowingly hires a crew of cutthroats. Hawkins accidentally overhears Long John’s plans for mutiny. Once on land, Hawkins escapes from Long John’s men and meets Ben Gun, one of Flint’s men marooned on the island for three years. A mutiny breaks out on the ship, but the squire, the doctor and the captain escape. Bravely, Hawkins goes on board where he confronts and kills one of the pirates. He then overhears the captain, the doctor, and the squire betraying him. Long John captures Ben and Jim. They hunt for the treasure and a gunfight breaks out in which everyone is killed but Long John, Ben Gun, and Jim Hawkins. They leave with the treasure.

Chapter 8 of Treasure Island -
 Jim Hawkins first meets pirate Long John Silver.

As I was waiting, a man came out of a side room, and at a glance I was sure he must be Long John. His left leg was cut off close by the hip, and under the left shoulder he carried a crutch, which he managed with wonderful dexterity, hopping about upon it like a bird. He was very tall and strong, with a face as big as a ham--plain and pale, but intelligent and smiling. Indeed, he seemed in the most cheerful spirits, whistling as he moved about among the tables, with a merry word or a slap on the shoulder for the more favoured of his guests.

Now, to tell you the truth, from the very first mention of Long John in Squire Trelawney's letter I had taken a fear in my mind that he might prove to be the very one- legged sailor whom I had watched for so long at the old Benbow. But one look at the man before me was enough. I had seen the captain, and Black Dog, and the blind man, Pew, and I thought I knew what a buccaneer was like--a very different creature, according to me, from this clean and pleasant-tempered landlord.

I plucked up courage at once, crossed the threshold, and walked right up to the man where he stood, propped on his crutch, talking to a customer.

"Mr. Silver, sir?" I asked, holding out the note.

"Yes, my lad," said he; "such is my name, to be sure. And who may you be?" And then as he saw the squire's letter, he seemed to me to give something almost like a start.

"Oh!" said he, quite loud, and offering his hand. "I see. You are our new cabin-boy; pleased I am to see you."

And he took my hand in his large firm grasp.
 

In 2002, Disney produced an adaptation of Stevenson's classic novel called Treasure Planet (Disney's first animated feature set in space). This futuristic tale followed the fatherless 15-year-old Jim Hawkins in search of the legendary Treasure Planet. Along the way he befriends a charismatic pirate/cook named John Silver (Voice of Brian Murray) who becomes a surrogate father to Jim despite his treacherous nature. Long John was a cyborg  part man and part machine. He has a large computer generated forearm, eye and leg (hand drawn animation for the human half and computer animation on the cyborg side). Veteran animator Keane designed Silver's flesh-and-blood half of the character, while CGI animator Eric Daniels created the cyborg portion of the character. Daniels and Keane spent months designing Silver’s mechanical arm, leg and eye. For inspiration, Daniels drove around Los Angeles to analyze antique machinery. "The more they felt like throwbacks to the past, the better it was," says Daniels. "Ultimately, Silver’s leg was based on some ancient dry-cleaning machinery I came across," while his arm is "basically a cross between a Swiss army knife and a juke box." Silver's steely hand had many tiny gears and hydraulic pistons that swivel, twist and clench. The arm changed into a fire cannon.

THE LOUIE SHOW/NBC/1996 (Crippled)
**(Nancy Becker-Kennedy) Helen, an upbeat, wheelchair-bound assistant to Dr. Louie Lundgren, a psychotherapist who works for an HMO in Duluth, Minnesota.

MCCLAIN'S LAW/NBC/1981-82 (Injured Leg)
*(James Arness) Jim McClain, a police detective forced to retire from the San Pedro police force because of a leg injury. Living along the water front, McClain's leisurely life was disturbed by the murder of his fisherman partner. Convinced the only way he could effectively track down the killers was to get access to police files etc., McClain fought to get reinstated into the police force (he was rehired despite his disability). A dinosaur from the early days of detective work, McClain adjusted to today's high-tech police methods.

THE MAGICIAN/NBC/1973-74 (Paraplegic)
**(Todd Crespi) Dennis Pomeroy, paraplegic son of Max Pomeroy, a syndicated columnist and novelist. Although confined to a wheelchair, Dennis occasionally helped Hollywood magician/illusionist Anthony Blake (Bill Bixby) assist people in danger or trouble.

MAJOR DAD/CBS/1989-93 (Injured leg)
**(Jon Cypher) Major General Marcus Craig, a gruff, eccentric Marine Corps officer relegated to a wheelchair while recovering from an injured leg at his Camp Hollister post in Farlow, Virginia.

MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE/FOX/2000-2006 (Asthmatic & Crippled)
**(Craig Lamar Traylor) Stevie Kenarben, an asthmatic black boy in a wheelchair who attends a special class for gifted kids (high IQ’s)with friend Malcolm (the show’s featured actor). When Stevie speaks, his breathing is labored and his delivery is slow but clear. On the “Sleepover” Episode 11, Stevie invites Malcolm over for a sleepover, and the two sneak out to a late-night games arcade (“You‘d be surprised how hard it is to get a wheelchair through a window”), where Stevie’s wheelchair is stolen (Malcolm ends up pushing Stevie around in a shopping cart). Gary Anthony Williams and Merrin Dungey appear as Mr. & Mrs. Kenarben, Stevie’s extremely overprotective parents. Another handicapped person on the program is a military school officer with a hook for a hand named Commandant Edwin Spangler (Daniel von Bargen). He has a patch over his left eye, is missing his right hand (later his left hand as well), and a limps from a bum leg. Spangler's life centered on tormenting and torturing the innocent students under his command. When he lost his job, he ended up in Alaska as an employee at Snow Valley Retirement Home where he bullied the elderly folks in his care.

M.A.N.T.I.S./FOX/1994-95 (Paraplegic)
*(Carl Lumbly) Dr. Miles Hawkins, a black scientist and owner of Hawkins Technologies who was shot by a crooked cop and left paralyzed from the waist down. during the L.A. Riots of the 1990s. Developing an exoskeleton suit that gave him the ability to walk, Miles Hawkins fought corruption from his secret headquarters beneath his coastal home near Port Columbia. M.A.N.T.I.S. stood for Mechanically Automated Neuro Transmitter Interactive System.

A MAN CALLED SLOANE/NBC/1979-80 (Injured Hand)
*(Ji Tu Cumbuka/costar) Torque, a six-foot five-inch black secret agent (employed by UNIT) who had a metal right hand equipped with all sorts of interchangeable weaponry.

MISS SUSAN/NBC/1951 (Crippled)
*(Susan Peters) Susan Peters, a female attorney in a wheelchair, who returned to her hometown of Martinsville, Ohio to practice law. The real actress, Susan Peters, was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a hunting accident in 1945 (gun went off). She starred daily in this fifteen-minute soap opera broadcast from March-December of 1951 in Philadelphia.

MURDER, SHE WROTE/CBS/1984-96 (Crippled)
**(Madlyn Rhue) Physically challenged librarian who greeted mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) by saying "What will it be Jessica, more books on poisons?" In 1993, Madlyn Rhue needed a job to keep her medical benefits so she could obtain the drug Betaceron, an insulin like drug that stops the progression of Multiple Sclerosis. Angela Lansbury, subsequently hired her to play the role of a librarian on the program. Madlyn Rhue once said "I lost the use of my legs, not my talent."

MURPHY BROWN/CBS/1988-98 (Crippled)
**(Charlotte Price) Disabled newsroom worker seen wheeling and dealing about the F.Y.I. news headquarters.

NATIONAL VELVET/NBC/1960-62 (Injured Leg)
**(James McCallion) Mi Taylor, an Irish born ranch hand working for the Brown Dairy Ranch. When he was a jockey in England he was thrown from a horse and broke his leg. The injury ended his career. He now walks with a limp. He uses his experience to help a young girl train her horse (Blaze King) for the Grand National Steeplechase.

NOAH'S ARK/NBC/1956-58 (Crippled)
*(Vic Rodman/costar) Dr. Sam Rinehart, an aging veterinarian confined to a wheelchair who was assisted by Dr. Noah McCann (Paul Burke) his younger colleague.

THE OBLONGS/FOX/2001 (Physical Abnormalities)
*(Cartoon Voices) The Oblong family lives in Hill Valley, a toxic valley downstream from an industrial waste site. The program's theme song explains the plight of the Oblongs as follows "Oblongs! Oblongs! Down in the valley where a chemical spill came from the people living up on the hill, there's a family by the landfill with hazardous foam, in their happy glowing home. Oblongs!" The Oblongs consist of the pipe-smoking father, Bob Oblong (voice of Will Ferrell), who has no arms and nor legs but who is just filled with a zest for life; Pickles Oblong (Jean Smart), Bob's bald wife who wears a wig and has addiction problems with alcohol-and-tobacco; the arguing twin sons Biff and Chip (voices of Jason and Randy Sklar), who share three legs and three buttocks; 4-year-old daughter Beth (voice of Jeannie Elias) who has a penis-like growth protruding from her head; youngest one-eyed-one haired son Milo (voice of Pamela Segall Adlon), who has all sorts of emotional and behavioral problems; and Bob's mother, Grammy, who is a vegetable. The family pets include Milo's narcoleptic dog, Scottie; and the chain-smoking family cat. All in all, the Oblongs are just your average American family coping with life's ups and downs. The Oblongs series was inspired by characters from the adult-oriented children's book "Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children" by Angus Oblong.

OZ/HBO/1997-2003 (Crippled)
*(Harold Perrineau, Jr.) Augustus Hill, a wheelchair-bound African-American convict (#95H522) and narrator of the prison drama OZ set in Oswald State Correctional Facility. Its high-tech experimental unit (Cell Block 5) known as "Em City" or Emerald City" uses glass instead of bars, to allows the guards more visual access to the inmates. Hill speaks directly to the camera from inside a rotating glass cell and serves as an observer of the action unfolding within Emerald City. His character also introduces the new inmates, and flashback sequences. Hill voice provides the prisoner’s number, his name, date of conviction, the charge for which he’s been convicted, the length of his sentence and his eligibility for parole. On the fifth season series finale as Urbano prepares to stab Redding, Augustus Hill jumps in between the two. The show ended with a shot of an empty chair where the narrator should be. Augustus Hill was dead. The actor who Augustus Hill (Harold Perrineauc, Jr.) was born in Brooklyn. He is a classically trained actor and an accomplished martial artist who is skilled in the arts of Kung Fu Wu-Su.

PARK PLACE/CBS/1981 (Crippled)
**(Lionel Smith) Aaron "Mac" MacRae, a black attorney in a wheelchair who worked for a legal aid clinic in New York City. Aaron received his injuries while fighting in Vietnam.

PELSWICK/CBC/NIK/2000 (Crippled)
*(Voice of Robert Tinkler) Pelswick Eggert, a 13-year-old boy in a motorized wheelchair. Pelswick, who refers to his disability as "Permanently Seated," is energetic, fearless and has a talent for getting into trouble. For example. he exploited his disability to gain admission into a sold-out theater performance and accidentally modified his wheelchair for the school Science Fair so it goes 50 miles an hour (on the freeway). When he's not tearing around the streets in his wheelchair, Pelswick tries to avoid the local school bully Boyd Scullarzo or his dim-witted sidekicks Nick and Joe. And then there's an incompetent guardian angel named Mr. Jimmy (invisible to everyone but Pelswick). Pelswick's 8th grade friends are Ace Nakamura, Goon Gundersonswick, Sandra Scoddle, and Julie Smockford, with whom Pelswick has a crush. From time to time, an adult named Mr. J Pops offers Pelswick advise on life. Pelswick's lives with his crazy grandmother, Priscilla Eggert, a.k.a. "Gram-Gram" who gets a around on a walker and is fiercely protective of Pelswick; Quentin Eggert, his father who hates to offend anyone; Kate Eggert, Pelwick's precocious younger sister; and Bobby Eggert, his little brother who is not very talkative. For fun, Pelswick draws cartoons, and plays sports.


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