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film characters The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film  

Ranker Characters
545 votes 213 voters 3.2k views

In films as well as in real life, people with disabilities face unique challenges. Disabled characters in film often must overcome prejudices about their abilities, or struggle against health conditions. Whether these handicapped movie characters suffer from physical disabilities or genetic disorders that affect their minds, their stories capture audiences' imaginations. With such rich roles, it's no wonder that many famous actors and actresses have won Oscars after playing disabled characters in movies.

What fictional figure should top the list of the greatest disabled characters in film? Both mental and physical disabilities were showcased in the 1994 film, Forrest Gump. The title character excelled despite having below average intelligence. As a child, Gump wore leg braces and later in life, he was able to help his friend Lt. Dan cope with the loss of his legs. The real-life Ray Charles was memorably played by Jamie Foxx in the biopic Ray, demonstrating that conditions such as blindness can't limit talent. In 1990, Daniel Day Lewis won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Christy Brown in My Left Foot. Other memorable disabled characters that appear on this list include Jeffery “Big” Lebowski from The Big Lebowski and Ron Kovic from Born on the Forth of July.

Which disabled movie character do you think deserves to be number one on this list? Let your voice be heard by voting your favorite roles up to the top and add any characters that are missing.
list ordered by

1
120 10
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Forrest Gump Forrest Gump

2
18 10
Lieutenant Dan Taylor is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Lieutenant Dan Taylor Forrest Gump

3
13 6
Baby is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Luthien added Baby Baby Driver

4
16 10
Helen Keller is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Helen Keller The Miracle Worker

5
21 16
Stephen Hawking is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Stephen Hawking The Theory of Everything

6
16 11
Professor X is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Professor X Magneto, X-Men: First Class, Superhero!

7
16 14
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film

8
9 7
Christy Brown is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Christy Brown My Left Foot

9
15 14
Arnie Grape is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Arnie Grape What's Eating Gilbert Grape

10
8 6
Annie Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
RobLein added Annie Sullivan The Miracle Worker, Deliverance, The Miracle Worker

11
3 1
Temple Grandin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Luthien added Temple Grandin Temple Grandin

12
10 10
John Merrick is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
John Merrick The Elephant Man

13
3 2
Bucky is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Luthien added Bucky Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

14
7 7
L.B. 'Jeff' Jefferies is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies Rear Window

The Best Female Scientists in Film

15
11 12
Raymond Babbitt is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Raymond Babbitt Rain Man

16
6 6
Selina D'Arcey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
RobLein added Selina D'Arcey A Patch of Blue

17
7 8
Alice Daly-Howland is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Alice Daly-Howland Still Alice

18
6 8
Sarah Norman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Sarah Norman Children of a Lesser God

19
6 8
Aron Ralston is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Aron Ralston 127 Hours

20
7 10
Dr. Strangelove is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

21
6 9
Jake Sully is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Jake Sully Avatar

22
3 6
Mark O’Brien is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Mark O’Brien The Sessions

23
5 9
Ron Kovic is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Ron Kovic Born on the Fourth of July

24
4 9
Jeffery Lebowski -