Glee/FOX/2009-2015 (Down Syndrome)
Rebecca “Becky” Faye Jackson (Lauren Potter), a member of the “Cheerios” cheer leading squad at William McKinley High School who has Down Syndrome. Becky is a sweet-hearted girl but she can be super brassy and a bit of a conniver.
Becky served as a secretary for Coach Susan “Sue” Rodham Sylvester. She helped the Coach with her schemes to destroy the school’s Glee Club, The New Directions and their teacher Will Shuester.
Becky is an excellent poker player; lactose intolerant; thinks making toast is silly, since bread is already baked; is a better speller than Britanny; can alter her inner thoughts voice to whatever she pleased (For example, she speaks like Queen Elizabeth II – voiced by the actress Helen Mirren); and Becky’s favorite movie is Schindler’s List. Toy Story 3 is a “close second.”
Becky is one of the four characters featured on the show with Down’s Syndrome: The other three being Sue’s sister Jean Sylvester (Robin Trocki) [who dies in Season 2]; Jason (Luke Spinelli) [Becky’s date in Episode “Prom Queen”]; and Sue’s baby daughter, Robin Sylvester (Jordyn Orr). Coach Sue likes Becky because she reminds her of her sister, Jean.
The Becky Jackson character appeared in 56 episodes of the series from 2009-2015.
Some Becky related quotes from the GLEE show.
Burt: How about “retard”? You call that nice girl in Cheerios with Kurt, you call her a retard?
Finn: Becky-no. She’s my friend, she’s got Down syndrome. I’d never call her that. That’s cruel.
Becky (to Blaine): I’m Queen Bee, and I can sting like a bitch! BZZ!
Becky (to Will): Give me chocolate or I will cut you!
Puck: So…uh… What should we do now?
Becky: Duh… Play Strip Poker! [whispers] I got condoms!
Kurt: Becky, Blaine and I are gay, remember?
Becky: Never stopped me before! [winks]
Becky: I made out with a girl.
Becky: [voiceover in a British accent] I, Becky Faye Jackson, am the hottest bitch at McKinley high school. I’m not only co-captain of the Cheerios, I’m president of the Perfect Attendance Club, and I won a participation award in rhythmic gymnastics. You may be wondering why I sound like the queen of England. It’s simple: in my mind, I can sound like whomever I want. So lay off, haters. Okay, let’s get reals. I could easily snag any dude east of the Mississippi, but I’m extremely picky. [sees Rory] For instance, Rory grins too much. He looks like an insane person. [sees Puck] Is that a mohawk, Puckerman, or did someone glue a squirrel to your head? [sees Mike] No Chang-do. I’m no rice queen.
Sue: Oh Becky, I’ve known ever since I tinker-tailor-soldier-spied my way into Figgins’s file cabinet and read the evaluation cards. And when I saw one written in crayon, I knew it was either you or Brittany, and you’re the better speller.
Becky: What if I go to college and everybody makes fun of me again? What if everybody calls me stupid like they always used to?
Artie: They won’t because you will have all these awesome professors and counselors and new friends that will have your back. And your old friends will have your back too. Like me.
Becky: You’re really my friend?
Will: I heard a rumor that you are making retirement plans.
Sue: Damn it, Becky. She tweeted it, didn’t she?
Note: Lauren Potter (aka, Becky Jackson) was chosen by President Obama to join the ranks of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID), making her the first person on the committee with an intellectual disability appointed by the President.
See also: Glee
Friday Night Lights/NBC/Direct TV/2006-2011 (Wheelchair/Injured Spine)
Jason Street (Scott Porter), disabled seventeen-year-old high school senior at Dillon High School in Dillon, Texas. Jason was the starting quarterback for the Panthers football team until a devastating spinal injury ended his promising career.
He was hurt tackling a rival player from making a game-ending touchdown. Jason’s injured the C-7 and T-1 level of his spine. He was paralyzed from the chest down. He can move his arms and hands but has limited use of his fingers.
With the help of his family and friends, Jason struggled to cope with his new reality of life as a paraplegic. But, living in a town that worships athletes is difficult for Jason to overcome, but eventually he finds purpose in his life. Meanwhile:
- Jason’s girlfriend, Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly), a former cheerleader becomes a Christian Youth leader.
- Jason befriends Herc, his rehab roommate and wheelchair rugby teammate.
- Lyla grows apart from Jason and dates Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch), the fullback for the Panthers and Jason’s friend.
- Jason works as an assistant coach for the Panthers but quits after the first game when he disagrees with the authoritarian style of Bill McGregor (Chris Mulkey), the new coach.
- A road trip to Mexico finds Tim Riggins and Jason looking for a non FDA approved treatment for his paralysis.
- Jason moves in with Herc and gets a job at Buddy Garrity’s (Brad Leland) car dealership as a salesman.
- Jason has a one-night stand on a blind date with a waitress named Erin (Tamara Jolaine Hassan) and gets her pregnant. He offers to do the right thing and take care of the woman and the baby.
- A real estate venture finds Jason and friends flipping Buddy Garrity’s house for a profit.
- Jason finds an entry-level job at a sports agency in New York City, and moves to be close to his girlfriend and newborn baby, Noah who have relocated to New Jersey to live with Erin’s parents. As Jason said, “far enough away that I’m not going to be stalker…but close enough that I can be here.”
- Jason, now a full-fledged sports agent, returns to Dillon and meets his former mentor Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) to see if he is interested in taking a college coaching job. The coach politely declines his offer.
Note: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS was inspired by H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger’s non-fiction book “Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream” (1990) and the 2004 film based on it. The book explores the 1988 season of the Permian Panthers, a high school football team in Odessa, Texas.
The Jason Street character was inspired by the career of David Edwards, a high school player in San Antonio, Texas.
In the last episode of the series (“Always”) an ending montage show the words “J.Street” written below the “P” in the Dillon Panthers’ locker room.
“Chill” Trainor (Daryl Mitchell), an African American owner of a sports-themed restaurant who is confined to a wheel chair after getting hit by a drunk driver.
He shares his parent’s Houston home with his brother, Mike (Michael Strahan), a retired NFL pro-ball player whose business manager ran off with all of his money.
“Chill” blames his brother for his accident because Mike never arrived to pick him up one night and soon after he was crippled by an an inebriated driver. Resentful, “Chill” refuses aid from his brother whose notoriety as a sports star could help his brother’s struggling restaurant. But, in the end, the brothers still care about each other.
Caught in the middle of all the tension are Mike and Chill’s parents, Coach (Carl Weathers), a opinionated high school football coach and Adele (CCH Pounder), the boy’s scheming mother.
THE BRADYS/CBS/1990 (Wheelchair)
Bobby Brady (Michael “Mike” Lookinland), the youngest son of Mike Brady (Robert Reed) and wife Carol (Florence Henderson) who live in Southern California. Now grown, Bobby aspires to be a race car driver and secretly drops out of college to pursue his passion.
Unfortunately, while driving in a race, Bobby’s car crashes and he is paralyzed from the waist down. Forced to give up his dream as professional race car driver, Bobby struggles through his recovery with the help of his brother, Peter (Christopher Knight). Later, Bobby and Peter go into business together.
While living a new life in a wheelchair, Bobby reconnects with his old girlfriend Tracy (Martha Quinn) and the two eventually get married.
SPORTS NIGHT/ABC/1998-2000 (Deaf)
Louise (mentioned but not seen), the deaf sister of Jeremy Goodwin, Associate Producer & Research Analyst on a cable show broadcast from Rockefeller Center in New York City on the Continental Sports Channel (CSC), a unit of Continental Corp. Louise is a sophomore at Amherst College.
Her character was first mentioned on episode entitled “Dear Louise” (Season #1 Episode #7 aired November 10, 1998) when Jeremy Goodwin (Joshua Malina) wrote a letter to Louise discussing his new job at “Sports Night” and his impending romance with a fellow worker Natalie Hurley (Sabrina Lloyd), Senior Associate Producer.
“Dear Louise. It is a little after midnight on Thursday in the middle of the main news room at Sports Night. I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this place. I’ve only been here three months but it feels like home to me. Some of the guys asked me to go out with them after the show. That’s never happened before. I’d kind of like to join them so I am going to make this a short one (email). In your last letter, your asked me what Dan and Casey were like. And I can’t wait to tell you all about them in person but for now I will say is that as impressive as they are on the air, the thing that constantly amazes me is that the pressure of writing and performing a live show every night never gets to them…You’ve probably notice I haven’t said anything about Natalie Hurley in this letter. I’m sure you are reading in the newspapers about the incident in the locker room. Things have calmed down considerable since then. I fell asleep one night whole making her dinner but that’s a whole other story. But since that night, it seems like things have been awkward between us. It’s hard to resist the urge to ask her out but I doubt would do much to lessen the awkwardness.
While I was writing this just now. Something kind of cool happened. I was sitting here at 1:00am when I heard music coming from the studio. (drunken coworkers return from a bar and start to dance, then Natale kisses Jeremy). One last thing, Dan finally go over his writer’s block. He met Stacey Curd of The Smoking Dogs. Stacy plays on the professional beach volley ball tour. Turns out that Stacey is a fan of Dan and was particularly taken by his writing. And in that moment, Dan was reminded why he want to write in the first place. The same reason anyone does anything. To impress women. Stay out of trouble, Louise. Love, Jeremy”
On episode “Louise Revisited” (Season #2 Episode #4 aired October 26, 1999) we discover that Jeremy is nervous when he finds out Natalie is writing to Louise.
AMERICAN GLADIATORS/SYN/1989-1997 (Deaf)
Siren (Shelley Beattie), a beefy and very beautiful athlete who competed against contestants on the syndicated sports program AMERICAN GLADIATORS from 1993-1996.
Known by her stage name of Siren, (5′ 7″ 150 pounds) Shelley battled weekly challengers in all sorts of physical bouts such as The Joust, Powerball, Human Cannonball, The Wall and The Eliminator.
Guided by hand signals given to her by her coach and fellow Gladiators, Shelley mixed it up with the best athletes in the country proving convincingly that, as Beattie said, “The only thing a hearing-impaired person can’t do is hear.”
Unlike what one would imagine how a deaf person would speak, Siren’s diction was excellent as she skillfully communicated with interviewers. Not only did she speak well, but Siren used sign language and she was an excellent lip reader.
Her fans showed their affection for their favorite female warrior by routinely waving their arms and stomping their feet.
Note: Shelley’s disability was caused when she accidentally swallowed an overdose of adult aspirin when she was three years old.
Offstage, Shelley sometimes wore hearing aids in both ears to lessen her total deafness. (People Weekly 10/26/92 p. 147-148)
Shelley Beattie appeared on the cover of Deaf Life (Vol 5 #6) as well as in such publications as MuscleMag International, Female Bodybuilding, Iron Man and Women’s Physique World.
Her other screen credits included the films, Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993); Joe Weider’s Ms Olympia XIII (1992 TV Movie); and an episode of the TV series FAMILY MATTERS (1992).
Born in Santa Ana, California on August 24, 1968, Shelley Ann Beattie suffered from manic depression and consequently committed suicide (by hanging herself) in Portland Oregon on February 13, 2008. She died three days later at the age of thirty nine.
See also: External Link – Shelley “Siren” Beattie – American Gladiators @ You Tube