Boardwalk Empire/HBO/2009-2014 (Disfigured/Missing Eye)
Richard Harrow (Jack Huston), loyal mercenary, marksman/sniper and employee of gangster James “Jimmy” Darmody (Michael Pitt) who is involved in bootlegging and other illegal dealings along the boardwalks of Atlantic City, New Jersey during the Prohibition period of the 1920s and 1930s.
Harrow’s gruesomely disfigured face (upper jaw, cheekbone and missing eye) was damaged while fighting in the Army during World War I. He wears a painted tin mask molded to conceal and match the left side of his face. Harrow speaks in a low, muffled voice due to injuries to his throat.
WEREWOLF/FOX/1987-88 (Injured Eye)
Janos Skorzeny (Chuck Connors), an evil sea captain with a black patch over his left eye who was also a 1600-year-old werewolf.
Once of Skorzeny’s victims was Eric Cord (John J. York), a young man who sought to hunt down and kill Shorzeny and thus end the bloodline curse that made him a werewolf as well.
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/SYN/1987-94 (Blind with Augmented Vision)
Starfleet Lt. Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton/costar), a black Helmsman/Engineer assigned to the 24th century starship USS Enterprise-D.
La Forge “saw” via a prosthetic device placed over his eyes called a VISOR (Visual Input Sensory Optical Reflector). The curved, silver band of metal with rows of vertical slits was attached to two blinking red implants embedded into each of his temples. Giordi’s real eyes were covered with a film of white. His artificial sight transcended normal human vision.
The powers of an alien named named “Q” once intervened to give La Forge a moment of “real” sight but Geordi refused the gift.
In the Star Trek movie Insurrection (1998), Geordi no longer needed his visor. The miracle of technology had provided him with natural sight.
Note: The Geordi character was inspired by a young man named George La Forge who suffered from muscular dystrophy. However, his affliction didn’t keep him from attending as many Star Trek conventions he could afford to go to.
He became a friend of series creator Gene Roddenberry, who made George an honorary Lieutenant in Starfleet before George died in 1975.
While creating new characters for his revival of the series Roddenberry remembered George and as a tribute to the valiant man, named the navigator of the starship, Geordi La Forge.
See also: Star Trek: The Next Generation (Picard)
THE SAMMY DAVIS JR. SHOW/NBC/1966 (Injured Eye)
Sammy Davis Jr., the popular black singer, dancer and all around entertainer lost his left eye in an automobile accident on November 19, 1954 while driving from Las Vegas to Hollywood.
He recovered from his injury at the Community Hospital in San Bernardino. When he returned to work at Ciro’s, he received a ten minute ovation.
Soon after the accident, Sammy began to wear an eye-patch. His left eye was replaced with a glass (actually plastic) eyeball.
Note: Mr. Davis also appeared on THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE/ABC/1964-70 (an occasional host); THE NBC FOLLIES/NBC/1973 (a regular on the show); SAMMY & COMPANY/SYN/1975-77 (his own talk/variety show); and BARETTA/ABC/1975-78 (sung the theme song “Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow”).
Born December 8, 1925 in Harlem, Manhattan, in New York City, New York, Sammy Davis Jr. (often billed as “The greatest living entertainer in the world”) died from complications from throat cancer on May 16, 1990 (age 64) in Beverly Hills, California.
THE OTHERS/NBC/2000 (Blind)
Albert McGonagle (John Aylward), blind member of “The Others,” a paranormal research community comprised of mediums and physics each with their own special connection to the other side.
Albert has a heightened sixth sense. He uses a seeing-eye service dog (Brown German Shepherd) to navigate around town.
“They say when one sense is lost, the other sense is heightened. In my case, when a rocket grenade explosion took my natural sight, I gained my 6th sense. All I can see are psychic visions that I wish I were blind to. My visions are in the negative. The darkness appears light and the light is dark” – Albert McGonagle
The Albert McGonagle character appeared on these episodes of the series:
- Series Pilot (February 5, 2000)
- “Unnamed” (February 12, 2000)
- “Eyes” (February 19, 2000)
- “Souls on Board” (February 26, 2000)
- “1112” (March 4, 2000)
- “Luciferous” (March 11, 2000)
- “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (March 25, 2000)
- “The Ones That Lie in Wait” (April 22, 2000)
- “Life Is for the Living” (May 13, 2000)
See also: External Link – Pilot episode of THE OTHERS @ You Tube
THE NEW ADDAMS FAMILY/FOX/1998-99 (Colorblind)
Lurch (John De Santis), a somber, 8-foot-tall butler with a very deep-voice who lives with eccentrics Gomez and Morticia Addams in an eerie Victorian house at 001 Cemetery Lane in Greenbriar, USA.
Lurch’s origins are sketchy. He is colorblind. He was found buried in a cemetery by Morticia Addams. He was created in a mold which broke when they made him. And he used to work as a bouncer. Lurch is also skilled at shuffling cards from a stint in Las Vegas.
A lover of music Lurch plays piano, organ, violin, flute, and mandolin but has little talent for dancing.
His catchphrases: “You Rang”, “Follow Me”, “Mail’s In”, “Yes, Mrs. Addams”, and “Ugh”.
Note: The character of Lurch (no last name) was first played by Ted Cassidy on the 1960s comedy series THE ADDAMS FAMILY/ABC/1964-1966.
See also: The Addams Family
Peter Thornton (Dana Elcar/costar), the Director of Field Operations for the Phoenix Foundation who supervised Angus MacGyver, a genius troubleshooter for the firm.
A few years into the program, actor Dana Elcar discovered he was going blind. However, with a little help from his friends and crew of the show, he continued to work on the series.
“The fact that you are losing your eyesight does not mean you have forgotten how to act.” – Dana Elcar
After Dana Elcar went blind from Glaucoma in 1991 he had to use special computer equipment to read printed text.
On the episode “Hind-sight” (05/06/1991) Peter Thornton is in the hospital waiting for the doctors to perform surgery on his eye condition. His sight and field of vision has been fading. His friend and colleague MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson) visits and reminisces about their many adventures before it is time for surgery.
Born Ibson Dana Elcar on October 10, 1927 in Ferndale, Michigan, actor Dana Elcar died on June 6, 2005 in Ventura, California.
JOHN DOE/FOX/2002-2003 (Amnesia / Colorblindness)
John Doe (Dominic Purcell), a mysterious stranger with amnesia who surfaces in Seattle. John has an encyclopedic knowledge on seemingly every known fact, but is colorblind.
His visual condition is apparently psychological because when he sees certain objects or persons, he perceives them in color. Are these objects clues to whom he really is and from whence he came?
The Phoenix Organization, a mysterious international cabal whose silent members use sign language to communicate, believe that John Doe is some sort of a Messiah.
Note: To simulate John’s colorblind condition, objects and persons are seen in grainy black and white when seen through his eyes. Otherwise, the show is filmed in color.
JAG/NBC/CBS/1995-2005 (Night Blindness)
Harmon Rabb, Jr. (David James Elliott), Lt. Commander and pilot in the Navy who was diagnosed with night blindness.
As the program’s opening narration explained:
“Following in his father’s footsteps as a naval aviator Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rad, Jr. suffered a crash while landing his Tomcat on a storm tossed carrier at sea. Diagnosed with night blindness, Harm transferred to the Navy’s Judge Advocate General Corp which investigates, defends and prosecutes the law of the sea. There, with fellow JAG lawyer Major Sarah McKenzie, he now fights in and out of the courtroom with the same daring and tenacity that made him a Top Gun in the air.”
A few years later Harm discovers that his night blindness had been misdiagnosed and with corrective eye surgery he would be able to return to active duty.
Harm undergoes laser surgery to cure his night blindness on episode #81 “Second Sight” (aired April 27, 1999). Then, on episode No. 84 “Yeah Baby” (aired May 18, 1999) Harm, at age 35 and with his eyesight fixed, decides to submit a request to be transferred to a fighter squadron.
But, with some second thought on the matter, Harm decides to stay with JAG. However, when ever the situation arose, Harm willingly took to the air in the service of his country.
GOOD AND EVIL/ABC/1991 (Blind)
George (Mark Blankfield), a newly blinded psychiatrist who was in love with Genny, a microbiologist and heir to a perfume fortune. George guided himself with red-tipped cane.
On the first episode, he demolished a chemistry lab filled with glass beakers, tests tubes and the like when he waved his white, red-tipped cane through the air attempting to find his way around the lab.