CSI: Crime Scene Investigation/CBS/2000-2015 (Legs Amputated)
Dr. Albert “Al” Robbins (Robert David Hall), disabled Chief Medical Examiner at the Las Vegas Police Department. “Doc” Robbins lost his legs when he was hit by a drunk driver as a youth. He uses prosthetic limbs and a crutch to get around. He walks with a limp.
A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Robbins earned a Masters Degree in Physiology. He began his career as a Coroner in Arlington, Virginia. He now works the graveyard shift for the CSI division of the LVPD. His assistant, David Phillips (David Berman) is often sent into the field to examine corpses before they are transported to his laboratory.
Over the years, Robbins has interacted with supervisors Dr. Gil Grissom (William Peterson), a PH.D. who specialized in insects , and his replacements investigator Raymond Langston (Laurence Fishburne) and Director D.B. Russell (Ted Danson). In addition, Doc Robbins worked with LVPD Homicide Investigator Captain James “Jim” Brass (Paul Guilfoyle).
Robbins is married 25 years to his wife, Judy (née Rubino), has three children, a Siamese cat, likes coffee, plays guitar, bakes “low taste” vegan pies, is terrified of rats (musophobia), and according to his family tree, is a direct descendant of William “Buffalo Bill” Cody. His mother was a nurse. His twin was stillborn.
Robbins also has a photo collection of dead celebrities who have graced his autopsy table, including rapper Tupac Shakur, and John Entwistle, the bassist for The Who.
Note: The Dr. Robbins character first appeared on episode “Who Are You.” On episode “The Theory of Everything,” Doc Robbins mentions that he suffers from bradycardia and wears a pacemaker.
“If you support diversity and think shows should give a portrayal of what America truly looks like, then performers with disabilities must be included in that equation.” – RD Hall
Born on November 9, 1947 in East Orange, New Jersey, actor Robert David Hall had both legs amputated after suffering burns over 65% of his body, when his car was crushed by an 18-wheeler in 1978. Like his TV character, Hall uses prostheses.
Grey’s Anatomy/ABC/2005+ (Autism)
Dr. Virginia Dixon (Mary McDonnell), a blunt, socially awkward Cardio-thoracic Surgeon who briefly worked as an attending physician at Seattle General Hospital in the State of Washington.
Dixon was being courted by Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.), the Chief of Surgery to be the next head of Cardio-thoracic Surgery after the departure of Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith). Dixon ultimately declined the position but requested privileges at the hospital.
Called “a little off” by fellow doctors, Dr. Dixon suffered from Asperger syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As a child, she stuttered.
Dr. Dixon repetitively offers up all sorts of trivia and data on the subject of the heart. She is an expert in her field and will corrects physicians who use medical terminology inappropriately, like using the colloquial term piggy-back transplant instead of Heterotopic transplant.
She also avoids eye contact, does not comprehend sarcasm and has a thing about being touched. If a patient tries to hug her, she has a panic attack and flees the scene.To alleviate her panic, she needed firm pressure applied across her body to help calm her down. So two of the doctors on duty volunteered to wrap their arms around her body and squeeze. As Dr. Dixon told her helpers, this calming technique was used on cows before they get slaughtered.
Despite her quirks, Dixon performs her surgeries extremely fast. When she operates, she covers her entire head with only her eyes exposed.
Note: The Dr. Dixon character appeared on three episodes of the fifth season of this popular medical drama, including “These Ties That Bind” (2008), “All By Myself” (2008), and “Beat Your Heart Out” (2009).
Actress Mary McDonnell, who played the role of Dr. Virginia Dixon, is perhaps best remembered for her film roles as a white woman named “Stands with a Fist” captured by Native Americans in the western adventure “Dances with Wolves” (1990), snd May-Alice Culhane in Passion Fish (1992), as well as her TV roles as President Laura Roslin on the science fiction series BATTLESTAR GALACTICA/SYFY/2004-2009 and Captain Sharon Raydor on the police drama MAJOR CRIMES/TNT/2012-2016+.
NOAH’S ARK/NBC/1956-57 (Wheelchair)
Dr. Sam Rinehart (Victor Rodman/costar), an aging veterinarian confined to a wheelchair who was assisted by Dr. Noah McCann (Paul Burke), his younger colleague and their secretary, Liz Clark (May Wynn).
EARTH 2/NBC/1994-95 (The Syndrome)
Ulysses Adair (Joey Zimmerman/costar), disabled eight-year-old boy who needed to wear a clumsy life-support apparatus to negotiate the terrain of a planet called Earth 2 (actually known as G-889).
He suffered from “The Syndrome” caused by continuous life aboard a space station that deprived its occupants (who were forced to live there) of the benefits of naturally produced fresh air and water.
His mother Devon Adair (Debrah Farentino) hoped that the organic environment of the new planet would help cure her son of his technologically created affliction.