Breaking Bad/AMC/2008-2013 (Cerebral Palsy)
Walter Flynn White, Jr. (RJ Mitte), teenage son of a high school chemistry teacher with inoperable lung cancer. Unbeknownst to his son, Walter Sr. (Bryan Cranston) used his knowledge of chemistry to manufacture meth to earn money to provide for his family after he dies.
Walter Jr. has Cerebral Palsy. His speech is impaired and he needs the help of crutches when he walks.
Although his father, Walter Sr. has gone over to the dark side as a drug dealer, killer and all around bad guy, Walter Jr. still idolizes his dad, even when he had to return the brand new hot rod he received from his father (who later got his son another car).
When Walter Sr. had to undergo expensive lung surgery, the patient and understanding RJ created a website to raise money for his dad’s treatment.
Note: Actor RJ Mitte has Cerebral Palsy in real life, although not as severe as the character he played. For the part, he had to learn to slur his speech and walk with crutches so he would make his role convincing.
RJ Mitte also appeared on episodes of Switched at Birth/ABC Family(Freeform)/2011-2017 as Campbell Bingman, a pre-med student in a wheelchair who volunteers at the free clinic where deaf teenager Daphne Vasquez is serving her community service hours. She becomes his love interest for a time.
See also: Breaking Bad
HOUSE M.D. (HOUSE)/FOX/2004-2012 (Injured Leg)
Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), a drug-addicted, misanthropic medical genius who works at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in Princeton, New Jersey.
House is the Head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine, and a board-certified diagnostician with a double specialty of infectious disease and nephrology.
“If I’m in a buttload of pain, I need a buttload of pills.” – Dr. Gregory House
He walks with a cane due to chronic, severe pain in his right leg. He uses Vicodin to manage pain caused by an infarction (muscle death) in his quadricep. His damaged leg was the result of incorrect diagnosis, which leads to his narcotic dependency. When House did not have access to Vicodin, he used other narcotics such as morphine, oxycodone, and methadone, as well as alcohol (when not on duty).
Despite his disability, House is an incredibly talented doctor. He routinely rejects cases that he does not find interesting. As Dr. Gregory House said, “I take maybe 1 in 20 cases. A lot of the people I turn down, end up dying. It’s really a good argument for there being more than one me when you think about it.”
“She’s six! She’s cute, she can’t have flesh-eating bacteria! It’s just wrong! Let’s cure her with sunshine and puppies! Cute kids die of terrible illnesses! Innocent doctors go to jail, and it’s because cowards like you won’t stand up and do what’s required! You can sit around and moan about who’s the bigger weakling. I’m gonna go do my job.” – Dr. Gregory House (yelling at staff)
House refused to acknowledge that he was addicted to pain killers, but eventually he admitted himself to Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital for rehab. When he leaves the facility, his addiction is under control but later he hears that his boss Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), the hospital administrator and Dean of Medicine incurred kidney cancer by taking Vicodin, and his addiction recurs.
NOTE: The House character was inspired by the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, specifically, the fictional crime solving genius Sherlock Holmes. There are many similarities between Holmes and House. They both have the same address of 221b Baker Street and both use deductive reasoning and psychology to solve problems. Their best friend is a physician (Dr. James Wilson for House/Dr. John Watson for Holmes). They both use drugs (House/Vicodin and Holmes/Cocaine). And they both are musically inclined (House plays the piano, the guitar, and the harmonica/Holmes, the violin). The main patient in the pilot episode is named Rebecca Adler after Irene Adler, a character in the first Holmes short story, “A Scandal in Bohemia”.
On the episode “Needle in a Haystack” Dr. House discovers that his parking spot was given to a research physician named Julie Whitner (Wendy Makkena), who used a wheelchair. Irritated, House remarked while he had to actually walk into the hospital on his bad leg, she just had to push a button on her power wheelchair.
To resolve the situation, House accepted a bet that if he could spend one full week in a wheelchair, then he could have his spot back. But an emergency forced House out of the wheelchair, and Whitner won initially until House pushed the issue and got his spot back.
ZOE, DUNCAN, JACK & JANE/WB/1999-2000 (Wheelchair)
Breeny Kennedy (Sara Rue), a cynical, disabled teenage bully who rides a motorized wheelchair around the hallways of Fielding Mellish Prep, a private high school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Breeny is a terror on the dodge-ball court. On the back of her wheelchair is a sign that reads: “I Brake for Animals.”
Breeny Kennedy appeared on five episodes during the 1999 season.
KNOTS LANDING/CBS/1979-93 (Injured Leg)
Peggy (Victoria Ann Lewis), faithful secretary who works for Federal Prosecutor M. “Mack” Patrick MacKenzie (Kevin Dobson) based in Southern California.
Peggy helps Mack out with cases and even gives him advice on how to deal with his family or people in general. The Peggy character appeared on 88 episodes (1984-93) of this prime time soap, including the 1997 reunion movie.
Note: In real life, actress Victoria Ann Lewis has worn a leg brace since her childhood bout with polio.
YOUNG & THE RESTLESS/CBS/1973+ (Injured Leg)
Carol Robbins (Christopher “Chris” Ann Templeton), a handicapped female with a cane who lived in the fictional town of Genoa City.
Templeton (one of the first physically handicapped soap opera stars) was partially crippled due to a case of childhood polio. From 1983-1993 – walking with a post-polio limp – Chris portrayed a positive role model for the physically disabled. Templeton walks about with the aid of a cane and leg brace.
In 2001, Christopher Templeton starred in the Gold Pictures production “Ready, Willing and Able” as Samantha “Sam” Martin, a CIA special agent who is determined to continue her career after she is injured in the line of duty. Triumphing over her physical limitations, Sam proves that she is READY WILLING AND ABLE to eliminate a chemical weapons threat posed by global terrorists.
Templeton’s other movie roles included the role of Diane St. Clair in the TV movie Hostage for a Day (1994) and the role of Marian Burke in the TV Movie Columbo: Butterfly in Shades of Grey (1994).
Christopher also made TV appearances on such TV shows as FRASIER, HILL STREET BLUES and JAKE & THE FATMAN.
Born February 26, 1952 in Lake Forest, Illinois Christopher Anne Templeton died in San Antonio, Texas on February 15, 2011.
WAR OF THE WORLDS/SYN/1988-90 (Wheelchair)
Norton Drake (Philip Akin), a black computer genius in a wheelchair who battled the menace of alien invaders from outer space. He is a cool, laid back character with a good sense of humor. Norton nicknamed his voice-activated wheelchair “Gertrude.” In earlier episodes, Norton spoke with a quasi-Jamaican accent.
Norton was part of a team called the Blackwood Project and headed by Dr. Harrison Blackwood (Jared Martin) an astrophysicist whose parents were killed in the 1953 alien invasion of earth.
Other team members included Dr. Suzanne McCullough (Lynda Mason Green), a microbiologist and single mother; and Lt. Col. Paul Ironhorse (Richard Chaves), a conservative, Native American military officer.
(Dorian Harewood) Julian Wilkes, a brilliant black scientist confined to a wheelchair who designed Viper, a high-tech, supercharged pursuit vehicle built to fight crime in the world of the near future.
Disabled auto wizard Julian Wilkes (Dorian Harewood) modified a Dodge Viper sports car roadster for the pursuit and capture of criminals too slippery for ordinary police patrol car chases.
The Viper was equipped with computers; armor plating; morphing circuitry that changed the car’s color and shape; side mounted firearms that launched rockets, grappling hooks and netting; and a flying spy camera.
To drive this dynamo of a car, Wilkes memory wiped the mind of Mob driver Michael Payton and gave him the alternate personality of Joe Astor (James McCaffrey).
A fast-talking scam artist Frankie Waters (Joe Nipote) who worked for the police motor pool provided Wilkes and Astor with inside information.
T. J. HOOKER/ABC/CBS/1982-87 (Wheelchair)
Lt. Pete O’Brien (Hugh Farrington), tough, cigar-chewing police detective who was confined to a wheelchair who worked for the “LCPD” Police Department.
Actor Hugh Farrington was injured in an airplane accident in the 1960s when as a passenger in his friend’s plane, they hit an electric high wire and crashed. He lay in a coma for three months (his spinal column was damaged).
An ex-Navy pilot, Farrington still flew regularly in his Piper Saratoga, a specially hand-controlled airplane kept at Gillespie Field in San Diego.
Hugh Farrington appeared on 18 episodes of T. J. HOOKER, including:
- “The Lipstick Killer” (7 January 1984)
- “The Two Faces of Betsy Morgan” (20 October 1984)
- “Target: Hooker” (17 November 1984)
- “A Kind of Rage” (1 December 1984)
- “The Confession” (15 December 1984)
- “Street Bait” (5 January 1985)
- “Outcall” (2 February 1985)
- “Homecoming” (9 March 1985)
- “Return of a Cop” (2 October 1985)
- “To Kill a Cop” (9 October 1985)
- “Rip-Off” (20 November 1985)
- “Funny Money” (27 November 1985)
- “The Night Ripper” (29 January 1986)
- “The Obsession” (5 February 1986)
- “Taps for Officer Remy” (12 February 1986)
- “Partners in Death” (7 May 1986)
- “Blood Sport” (21 May 1986)
- “Deadly Force” (28 May 1986)
Farrington was also known for such films and television series, Arizona Heat, Caged Fury, Coming Home, The Terminator, QUINCY, M.E., AIRWOLF, and THE GOLDEN GIRLS.
On an episode of THE GOLDEN GIRLS entitled “Stand By Your Man,” Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan) dates a disabled man named Ted (Hugh Farrington) who is in a wheelchair. Blanche eventually overcomes her prejudices about the disabled and discovers that Ted is no different than anyone else. But after learning that Ted has a wife, she says, “It never dawned on me that you could be a jerk in a wheelchair.”
Born June 9, 1931 as Hugh Smith, Hugh Farrington died on August 7, 2001 (age 70) in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
“”SON OF THE BEACH/FX/2000-2001 (Wheelchair)
Professor Milosevic (Robert Steven Ryan), an evil wheelchair bound ex-lifeguard who was injured in a terrible boating accident involving his friend Notch “Ride the Big One” Johnson and a lot of sun-screen.
The Professor was introduced on episode No. 6 “Fanny and the Professor” when the Professor seeks revenge on Notch by getting him fired and replaced by a bevy of female robot lifeguards.
He communicates through a keyboard and voice-box mounted on the front of his wheel chair (an apparent spoof of brilliant but wheelchair-bound physicist Stephen J. Hawkins).
On episode No. 27 “Area 69” muscle-bound German lifeguard Chip Rommel (Roland Kickinger) and Professor Milosevic enter a local talent contest and are signed by a TV network executive to star in an ‘Odd Couple’ type situation comedy.
This particular episode is outrageous in that Chip in his TV role continually abuses the Professor by stuffing things into his mouth, pouring things on his head or banging the professor’s head with a board as he keeps moving about the room (among other extremely slapstick by abusive stunts).
Professor Milosevic appeared in 13 episodes, including:
- “Fanny and the Professor” (18 April 2000)
- “Eat My Muffin” (1 August 2000)
- “Rod Strikes Back” (3 April 2001)
- “It’s a Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude World”” (10 June 2001)
- “It’s Showtime at the Apollo 13!” (12 June 2001)
- “The Island of Dr. Merlot” (19 June 2001)
- “Grand Prix” (3 July 2001)
- “Area 69” (10 July 2001)
- “Booger Nights” (17 July 2001)
- “In the Line of Booty” (2 July 2002)
- “Hamm Stroker’s Suck My Blood” (6 August 2002)
- “Taco Lips Now: Part 1” (17 September 2002)
- “Bad News, Mr. Johnson” (1 October 2002)
Pelswick Eggert(Voice of Robert Tinkler), a 13-year-old boy in a motorized wheelchair.
Pelswick, who refers to his disability as “Permanently Seated,” is energetic, fearless and has a talent for getting into trouble. For example. he exploited his disability to gain admission into a sold-out theater performance and accidentally modified his wheelchair for the school Science Fair so it goes 50 miles an hour (on the freeway).
When he’s not tearing around the streets in his wheelchair, Pelswick tries to avoid the local school bully Boyd Scullarzo or his dim-witted sidekicks Nick and Joe. And then there’s an incompetent guardian angel named Mr. Jimmy (invisible to everyone but Pelswick).
Pelswick’s 8th grade friends are Ace Nakamura, Goon Gundersonswick, Sandra Scoddle, and Julie Smockford, with whom Pelswick has a crush.From time to time, an adult named Mr. J Pops offers Pelswick advise on life.
Pelswick’s lives with his crazy grandmother, Priscilla Eggert, a.k.a. “Gram-Gram” who gets a around on a walker and is fiercely protective of Pelswick; Quentin Eggert, his father who hates to offend anyone; Kate Eggert, Pelwick’s precocious younger sister; and Bobby Eggert, his little brother who is not very talkative.For fun, Pelswick draws cartoons, and plays sports.
The short-lived series was based on the books created by John Callahan.
External Link: Pelswick Opening Theme @ You Tube