Saturday Night Live/NBC/2008-2013 (Tiny Hands/Big Forehead)
Dooneese (played by Kristen Wiig) is one of the Maharelle Sister from Finger Lakes, who performed on THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW, a popular musical program whose reruns aired on the PBS Network. The Maharelle Sisters were a parody of the Lennon Sisters (Dianne, Peggy, Kathy, and Janet) who frequently appeared on the show.
Unlike her other sisters, Dooneese is not the most attractive gal in the group. She sports a protruding canine tooth, a very large forehead, and tiny hands the size of an infants.
When it comes time for the sisters to perform on stage, each sister takes their turn singing, with Dooneese singing last. While her sisters are always very lady like, Dooneese often makes sexual advances toward any men on the stage.
Dooneese also appeared in a musical remake of THE SOUND OF MUSIC where she appeared as a member of the Von Trapp Family.
Played by comedian Kristen Wiig, Dooneese was a recurring character on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE from 2008-2013. Her catchphrases were: “Is that bad?” and “And I’m Dooneese.”
Samantha Who?/ABC/2007 (Amnesia)
Samantha Newly (Christian Applegate), a 30-year-old real estate executive who develops retrograde amnesia after a hit and run accident.
As Samantha attempts to return to work and her life, she learns that before her accident she was a horrible, selfish, unlikable person so to make amends she sets out to reform her life and make the world see a new her.
People in her life include: her dysfunctional parents, Howard (Kevin Dunn) and Regina (Jean Smart), a self-centered Andrea (Jennifer Esposito), and needy but well-meaning Dena (Melissa McCarthy), her roommate and ex-boyfriend, Todd (Barry Watson) and her apartment house doorman, Frank (Tim Russ).
Silent Witness/BBC/1996-2019 (Wheelchair / Medical Disability)
Clarissa Mullery (Liz Carr), a disabled female in an electric wheelchair who works as a personal lab assistant for a team of forensic pathology experts as they investigate various crimes in the Cambridge and London areas of Great Britain.
Clarissa first appeared in Season 15 on episode “Change” (2013), when Dr Cunningham accepts a position in New York City and is replaced by forensics expert Jack Hodgson David Caves) who brings along his long-time assistant Clarissa Mullery to work with him at the Lyell Centre.
Note: Actress Liz Carr has used a wheelchair since the age of seven due to her disability known as arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. She is a comedian, broadcaster and international disability rights activist, who studied law at the University of Nottingham.
Delilah Fielding (Margo Harshman), disabled Department of Defense employee based in Washington, DC who is a specialist in web and information computer security. She was paralyzed when a bomb from an aerial drone controlled by Pakistani terrorist Benham Parsa killed six and wounded 22 guests at a black-tie gala held in her honor.
Rushed to emergency surgery, doctors tried to remove schrapnel in her spine. A second surgical intervention, resulted in her not being able to walk again. Despite her disability, Delilah was offered a job with the task force in Dubai as the senior intelligence analyst, targeting cyber-terrorists on social media.
A year later, Delilah returned to Washington, D.C. to bring down a digital terrorist and killer and to be with her fiancee, Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), Senior Special Agent and second-in command of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
See also: NCIS: New Orleans
American Horror Story/FX/2011-2017 (Down Syndrome)
Adelaide “Addie” Langdon (Jamie Brewer), young woman with Down Syndrome who is the daughter of Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange). They live next door to a haunted mansion called “The Murder House” in Los Angeles, California.
We first see Addy (Katelyn Reed) in the 1970s warning her twin brothers Troy and Brian not to go into “The Murder House.” Addy tries to tell the boys they will die if they enter the house, but they enter, begin to vandalize the place and they are killed, just as Addy prophesied.
Now grown up, Addy once again warns the new residents of the Murder House they will die, but the Harmons dismiss Addy’s statement as being a playful statement.
Meanwhile, Addy is drawn to the house and the Harmons discover Addy has entered their home on a number occasion. Addy visits the house to play with her friends, which turn out to be ghostly spirits of people who have died in the building, which include the ghosts of her brothers, Troy and Brian.
When Addy discovers home invaders have broken into house, she runs to tell her mother, but Constance refuses to listen and locks her daughter in a closet (“The Bad Girls Room”) whose walls are lined with mirrors, forcing Addy to look at her face, which her mother tells her is ugly.
When Halloween arrives, Addy asks if she can be a pretty girl. Constance provides Addy with a rubber mask of a pretty girl and Addy leaves to go trick or treating. Unfortunately, Addy is killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street in 2011.
In an effort to save her daughter, Constance drags Addy toward the Murder House in hopes that her spirit would somehow attach itself to the place and thus, keep Addy there for her mother. But Addy dies before that could happens. At the morgue, a now remorseful Constance applies makeup to Addy’s face and calls her daughter beautiful.
Later, with the help of a medium, Constance communicates with Addy’s spirit who tells her mother she was glad that her ghost had not been trapped in the Murder House.
Note: Jamie Brewer, who played Addy in the first installment of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: MURDER HOUSE returned in more stories. In the third season, COVEN, she plays Nan, a young enigmatic witch and clairvoyant who attended Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies. In the fourth season, FREAK SHOW, she appeared as a living ventriloquist doll named Marjorie.
Born with Down syndrome on February 5, 1985, Jamie Brewer began acting in 1999. She has trained at ‘The Groundlings Theatre and School’, and continues her training through the theatre and in improvisation at ‘The Ruskin School of Acting’.
She has been involved with a several non-profit organizations, including DSALA, DSiAM, BTAP, National Down Syndrome Congress, American Association of People with Disabilities of the United States, and Civitan International.
On February 12, 2015, she became the first model with Down syndrome to walk the runway during New York Fashion Week when she took part in Carrie Hammer’s “Role Models Not Runway Models” campaign.
Another disabled character to appear on AMERICAN HORROR STORY: MURDER HOUSE was a disfigured man named Larry Harvey (Denis O’Hare), a former resident of the Murder House whose wife and child burned in a fire. He was in love with Constance Langdon, but she never reciprocated his emotions.
Constance’s son Tate was the one responsible for Larry’s burns. He knew that Larry killed his brother, Beauregard, and retaliated by dousing Larry with lighter fluid and setting him on fire. In 1994, Tate Langdon murdered 15 people with a shotgun at Westfield High School.
Shake It Up/DISNEY CHANNEL/2010-2013 (Dyslexia)
Cecilia “CeCe” Jones (Bella Thorne), teenage girl with dyslexia who dreams of becoming a famous dancer. Born October 8, 1997, CeCe lives with her family in Apartment 3B and attends John Hughes High School. When school is out, she dances on a local teen dance show, Shake It Up, Chicago!
Cece is spoiled, selfish, shallow, very ticklish, can sing, snores in her sleep, is claustrophobic, afraid of the dark, and a troublemaker who spends a lot of time in detention (but her heart is in the right place). Some of Cece’s funnier phrases: “Well, stuff me in an llama and call me gulasto!” and “Well, smack me in the face with a Kansas City Pickle!”
“I’m the ocean. Wild, free, unpredictable!” – Cece Jones
Because CeCe has dyslexia she initially performed poorly in school but later she finds a tutor to help her with her math homework. Gradually, her academic performance improved.
CeCe’s best friend Rocky Blue (Zendaya) is her dance partner on Shake It Up, Chicago! Rocky is the opposite of CeCe in personality, being a good student with perfect attendance who ends up doing Cece’s homework.
CeCe: Really, Rocky, you’re just going to give up because there’s an obstacle in our way? Oh there’s a tree in the road, I better turn round and go back home, I’ll discover America some other time.
Rocky: What are you talking about? Columbus came here by boat.
CeCe: Yes, because he didn’t give up!
Note: Bella Thorne who played the role of CeCe Jones also suffered from dyslexia, but that has not stopped her from becoming a successful actress, singer, model and dancer. As Bella once said, “Dyslexia might have made things more challenging but it didn’t stop me, and the challenge made me stronger.” Thorne is a spokesperson for the Dyslexia Foundation.
90210/CW/2008-2013 (Bipolar Disorder)
Erin Silver (Jessica Stroup) is a teenager with bipolar disorder. She attends West Beverly High School and aspires to be a filmmaker. She is the younger half sister of David and Taylor Silver who lived in Beverly Hills, California.
As Erin struggles with her bipolar disorder, she exhibits reckless behavior, (hurling wine bottles, setting garbage cans on fire), rambling speech, grandiose ideas, hypersexuality, lack of sleep, euphoria, confusion and destructive tendencies.
When Erin was diagnosed with bipolar, she was frustrated at having to maintain a strict regimen, including a keeping a regular schedule for meals and sleep, taking her medication, seeing her therapist, keeping a journal and avoiding anything stimulating.
On one occasion, Adrianna (Jessica Lowndes), Erin’s alleged best friend switches her Bipolar medication with placebos and tries to steal her boyfriend, Navid (Michael Steger). Without her proper prescription, Erin spins out of control, dyes her hair red, and then has to be admitted to a psych ward for observation. Later, Adrianna’s mean deed is exposed and Erin reunites with Navid.
During her manic episode, Erin aced her interview with the representative from New York University, but then she totally blew her chances for acceptance by calling him about 1,000 times afterwards with every random thought in her head.
Whenever possible Erin’s sister, Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth), a guidance counselor at West Beverly High School tried to help Erin maintain a rigorous routine. It was also revealed that the birth mother of Erin’s friend, Dixon Wilson suffered from bipolar disorder.
Note: The Erin Silver character (Mercedes Kastner) appeared in 17 episodes of the original series BEVERLY HILLS 90210 (1997-2000) and 114 episodes of the sequel series 90210 (2008-2013).
On the series finale, Erin Silver (Jessica Stroup) was diagnosed with cancer. Earlier in the series, Erin had reconnected with her estranged mother who died of breast cancer.
Push Girls/SUNDANCE TV/2012-2013 (Wheelchair)
Angela Rockwood, one of four disabled females living in Los Angeles, California who face day-to-day challenges of women paralyzed by illness or accident.
The reality-documentary series chronicles the struggles of four sexy, dynamic Hollywood women as they “push” through stereotypes, disappointments and career obstacles faced by the disabled and triumph over tragedy by pursuing new dreams involving motherhood, relationships, athletics and stardom.
“The indomitable spirit of this series will give viewers permission to stare at a world that they may previously have been too polite — or too frightened” – Sundance Channel
Angela Rockwood became a quadriplegic after a car accident shattered her C4–C5 vertebrae and severed her spinal cord. She is an actress, model, producer. In 2001, she married actor Dustin Nguyen on Valentine’s Day, six months before her accident.
The other disabled females on the program are Auti Angel, Mia Schaikewitz, Tiphany Adams, and sometimes featured Chelsie Hill.
- Auti Angel was paralyzed in a car accident in 1992. She is a singer, dancer and actress. Auti founded the hip-hop wheelchair dance group Colours ‘n’ Motion in 2003.
- Mia Schaikewitz was paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 15 when a blood vessel (arteriovenous malformation) ruptured in her spinal cord. She is athletic and was a champion swimmer before her disability.
- Tiphany Adams was paralyzed in 2000 by a head-on car collision caused by a drunk driver that killed three of her friends while a senior in high school. She is an aspiring fitness model and clothing designer.
- Chelsie Hill was a passenger in a car driven by a drunk car driver who crashed the car and damaged Chelsie’s spinal cord. Before the accident, Chelsie hoped to pursue a career as a dancer. She dances with Auti and Mia in Colours ‘n’ Motion.
Note: “Push Girls'” producer, Gay Rosenthal, also worked on LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG WORLD, a show about a couple, each 4-feet tall, raising a family in Oregon, and RUBY, the story of a morbidly obese woman trying to lose hundreds of pounds.
See also: External Link – Push Girls
Grey’s Anatomy/ABC/2005+ (Amputated leg)
Dr. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw), physician with a prosthetic left leg who works at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in the City of Seattle, Washington. She is an attending surgeon and became the new chief of pediatric surgery following the death of Dr. Jordon Kenley (John Sloman).
Dr. Robbins graduated from John Hopkins School of Medicine. She was named “Arizona” after the battleship, U.S.S. Arizona because her grandfather served on the Arizona when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and saved 19 men before he drowned. Arizona’s love interest is orthopedic resident Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez).
When traveling on a plane with colleagues, Arizona’s plane crashed and she suffered a severe open fracture to her thighbone. Arizona refused to have her leg amputated despite the possibility of septic infection. But while operating on a patient she crashed and her lesbian partner Callie ordered Dr. Alex to cut off the leg to keep the infection from killing her. Alex performed an above-the-knee amputation (aka trans-femoral amputation).
After her surgery, Arizona underwent extensive physical therapy and was fitted with a prosthesis. To alleviate the phantom pain she feels in her leg, she tries massage, mirror therapy, and biofeedback.
After months of struggling with the aftermath of her amputation, Arizona finally let Callie (who gave the order for her amputation) help her with her aching leg.
Note: To give the appearance of a real leg, a prosthesis was built from a cast of Capshaw’s thigh and then technicians covered the prosthesis with a silicone skin cover matching the skin tones of the actress. While portraying the disabled Arizona, Capshaw attached the prosthetic leg to her knee while her lower leg stuck out behind her which was digitally removed for effect.
See also: Grey’s Anatomy
In the Flesh/BBC/2013-2014 (Leukemia)
Amy Dyer (Emily Bevan), young woman who lived in the village of Roarton, Lancashire in the United Kingdom. Raised by her grandmother, Amy died of Leukemia at age 21. Her gravestone epitaph reads “Amy Dyer 1988-2009 “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” (A poem by Dylan Thomas).
Shortly after her death, Amy Dyer and thousands of other people who died in 2009 were mysteriously re-animated as rabid zombies who began to search the countryside for living flesh to consume.This ushered in “The Pale Wars” as armed militias hunted down and destroyed the living dead threatening their lives.
In the interim, medical research discovered a serum (ULA) that controlled the zombie plague and returned consciousness to the victim’s body. Amy and the surviving zombies were given daily injections of the medication to maintain normalcy. These sufferers of Partially Deceased Syndrome (PDS) were given contacts and cosmetics to cover their faces to fit in with the rest of the community. Amy and others of her kind were called “rotters” by the villagers.
For some unknown reason, Amy becomes fully human again, but is stabbed in the heart by Maxine Martin, who thought Amy’s death would bring a Second Rising. After her funeral, the ground above her Amy’s grave begins to move. It is then, Agents of Halperin & Westin enter the graveyard with shovels intent on rescuing Amy who has apparently started to rise again.