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The Greatest Disabled Characters in Film

Updated November 26, 2019 2.2k votes 480 voters 16.2k 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.

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