Top 5 Actors Who Use Wheelchairs
It has been a long time coming for Hollywood to openly accept actors that use wheelchairs. Sure, there have been your token actor with a disability, like Marlee Matlin, a deaf actress, but when it comes to actors who use wheelchairs who have gotten significant parts, they have been extremely rare.
But the times are a-changing as they say, and the world is warming up to the talent that exists among actors who use wheelchairs. There have been several exciting roles played by real-life wheelchair-users in recent years. Here are the five top actors who use wheelchairs right now in Hollywood.
1) Ali Stroker
Ali Stroker is one of the most well-known actresses who use wheelchairs in Hollywood thanks to her Tony award win as best supporting actress, which made her the first wheelchair-user to win a Tony award. She has since moved beyond the theater world and has been getting some exciting roles. She was cast in the lead role in a Hallmark movie in 2020, Christmas Ever After, and she snagged a highly prized role as a regular (playing “Charles-Ann”) in this 6th season of Ozark, a popular crime Netflix TV series.
And that's not all. In the revival of Sex and the City, and Just Like That, she played the role of "Chloe," and she was on the TV show Blue Bloods in one episode, playing "Detective Allison Mulaney." Ali was paralyzed at the age of 5 in a car accident.
2) George Robinson
He may be new to acting, but a former rugby player from the UK, George Robinson, has made a splash early in his acting career as "Isaac" on Sex Education, a highly popular Netflix series about teenage love that debuted in 2020. His character, known for his saucy troublemaker ways, made him go viral. Robinson became paralyzed at the age of 17 and was cast as Issac five years later (after deciding to put his studies on hold at drama school). Robinson was also cast in Dalgliesh as "Henry," an HBO Max TV series about a famed British crimefighter.
3) Lauren “Lolo” Spencer
Diagnosed with ALS at 14, Lauren Spencer did not have her eyes on acting right away. After becoming a full-time wheelchair-user at 19, she launched her blog, "Sitting Pretty," a wheelchair lifestyle blog featuring her advice and a podcast. Her site helped launch her acting career.
After giving fashion advice and being asked to model for names like Tommy Hilfiger, Lauren was next asked to audition for Give Me Liberty, an independent film (a comedy about a wayward paratransit van) that earned her an Independent Spirit Award for her portrayal of "Tracy." Lauren was also cast in The Sex Lives of College Girls, a TV series on HBO Max, where she played "Jocelyn" (in this series following freshmen women in college in Vermont) in 7 episodes.
4) Daryl Mitchell
One of the most experienced actors on our list, Daryl "Chill" Mitchell has been acting for over 25 years in Hollywood; 20 of those years as a wheelchair user. Injured in a motorcycle accident in 2001, Daryl starred in Veronica's Closet, also starring Kirstie Alley, before his injury, as well as the movie, Galaxy Quest.
After his injury, he starred in Ed, a popular NBC TV series, playing a bowling alley manager, and continued to get high-profile roles after his injury. He starred in the movies Inside Man and Playback, and in several TV shows, including NCIS: New Orleans (playing "Computer Specialist Patton Plame" in over 155 episodes) and Fear the Walking Dead, playing "Wendell" in all 4 seasons (ongoing).
5) Shannon Devido
The funniest person on our list by far, Shannon DeVido, is a comedian and actress from Philadelphia. Shannon uses a wheelchair due to spinal muscular atrophy; a progressive condition. She was the first cast in 2010 in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, for an episode, then was cast in several independent comedy films and shorts, such as Nancy + Sydney and Good Beer, and she was cast in the TV series, Delco Proper.
In 2015, Shannon had a breakout role in Hulu's, Difficult People," a comedy TV series produced by Amy Poehler. She played "Andrea" in 3 episodes. Next, in 2020 she was in the film, Best Summer Ever, another independent film starring alongside Maggie Gyllenhal and playing "Sage." And in 2021, she snagged a role in, The Other Two, an HBO Max series starring Wanda Sykes and Molly Shannon.
Stay Updated on Advancements On Traumatic Brain &
Spinal Cord Injuries
About the Author
Spinal Cord Team