Photo: chrissallans/via Tumblr

Diseases The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film  

Ranker Characters
760 votes 257 voters 5k 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
135 15
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Forrest Gump

2
27 11
Lieutenant Dan Taylor is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Forrest Gump

3
23 10
Baby is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Luthien added Baby

Baby Driver

4
26 13
Professor X is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Magneto, X-Men: First Class, Superhero!

5
32 19
Stephen Hawking is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
The Theory of Everything

6
11 2
Temple Grandin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Luthien added Temple Grandin

7
21 12
Helen Keller is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
The Miracle Worker

8
15 9
Christy Brown is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
My Left Foot

9
22 17
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film

10
15 11
Jake Sully is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Avatar

11
10 6
Bucky is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Luthien added Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

12
11 8
Annie Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
RobLein added The Miracle Worker, Deliverance, The Miracle Worker

13
17 15
Raymond Babbitt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Rain Man

14
15 13
John Merrick is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
The Elephant Man

15
20 19
Arnie Grape is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
What's Eating Gilbert Grape

16
2 0
Rory O'Shea is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Tim Schild added Rory O'Shea Rory O'Shea Was Here

17
2 0
Imperator Furiosa is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Tim Schild added Mad Max: Fury Road

18
1 0
Jerome Eugene Morrow is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Tim Schild added Jerome Eugene Morrow Gattaca

19
1 0
Luke Martin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Tim Schild added Coming Home

20
1 0
Lincoln Rhyme is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Tim Schild added The Bone Collector

21
1 0
Maggie Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Tim Schild added Million Dollar Baby

22
1 0
Michael Connolly is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Tim Schild added Michael Connolly Rory O'Shea Was Here

23
9 10
L.B. 'Jeff' Jefferies is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Rear Window

24
3 3
Chirrut Imwe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
starwarssuperfan added Chirrut Imwe Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

25
10 12
Alice Daly-Howland is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film
Alice Daly-Howland Still Alice