While some Hollywood productions feature characters with disabilities, actors with disabilities are often sorely under-represented in entertainment media. Today, we’ve compiled a list of 10 actors and actresses with disabilities that we think you should know about.
Hugo Weaving – Epilepsy
Weaving has held major roles in movies such as Lord of the Rings, The Matrix Trilogy, and V for Vendetta. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including two Australian Film Institute Awards (AFI) for Best Actor in a Leading Role and three total nominations. The AFI is the Australian equivalent of an Academy Award.
Learn more about Weaving on his IMDB page.
Michael J. Fox – Parkinsons
Best known for his role as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy, Michael J. Fox has been in the starlight since adolescence. He has won five Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, a Grammy Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Fox developed Parkinson’s disease at the age of 29, and has since become a major advocate for research toward finding a cure, and founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000.
Learn more about Fox on his IMDB page.
Peter Dinklage – Dwarfism
Dinklage is a beloved American actor and producer, who received widespread acclaim for his role as Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones television series, a role which would see him win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series a record four times.
Learn more about Dinklage on his IMDB page.
Sylvester Stallone – Partial facial paralysis and a speech disability
Stallone is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and artist. He is best known for his roles as Rocky Balboa and John Rambo. He has been nominated for three Oscars, two Academy Awards, and has won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for Creed. Stallone is still active in the film-making community.
Learn more about Stallone on his IMDB page.
Christopher Reeve – Paraplegia
Reeves is best known for his role as Superman, which he won a BAFTA for. He was also nominated for an Emmy, and won a Primetime Emmy Award in Outstanding Informational Special for his 1996 film Without Pity: A Film About Abilities.
Reeve was injured in a horse-riding accident at the age of 42, and was paralyzed from neck down. He became a staunch advocate for the disability community, speaking nationally about paralysis. He created the Christopher Reeve Foundation (now the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation) to aid in funding research about paralysis, and using grants to better the lives of individuals living with disabilities.
Christopher continued his career in Hollywood post-injury as a director, producer, and author.
Learn more about Reeve on his IMDB page.
Warwick Davis – Dwarfism
Warwick is an English actor, television presenter, writer, director, comedian, and producer. He has had roles in major motion pictures like Star Wars and Harry Potter.
Davis is the co-founder of Little People UK, which provides support to people with. dwarfism and their families.
Learn more about Davis on his IMDB page.
Millie Bobby Brown – Partial deafness
Best known for her breakthrough role as Eleven in Netflix’s Stranger Things, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She is the youngest person to be featured on Time 100’s list of the world’s most influential people.
Learn more about Brown on her IMDB page.
Daniel Radcliffe – Dyspraxia
Beloved for his role as Harry Potter in the 8 movie series, Radcliffe has been in the international spotlight since the young age of 12. He has been nominated for numerous awards, and continues to act in genres ranging from horror to comedy. In 2008, Radcliffe reveled that he had a mild form of the neurological disorder, developmental coordination disorder, or dyspraxia.
Learn more about Radcliffe on his IMDB page.
Lauren Elizabeth Potter – Down syndrome
Known for her role as Becky Jackson on the FOX series, Glee, Potter is a devoted advocate for the disability community. She is partnered with organizations like, AbilityPath, Best Buddies International, the Down Syndrome Association, the American Association of People with Disabilities, and Special Olympics.
Learn more about Potter on her IMDB page.
R.J. Mitte – Cerebral Palsy
Mitte is best-known for his role in AMC’s Breaking Bad. He continues to work in films and television series, and is also a successful model. He is a celebrity ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy.
Learn more about Mitte on his IMDB page.