Community·Updated on Apr 15, 202214 Actors With Disabilities Who Are Breaking On-Screen BarriersIf you didn't tear up during Troy Kotsur's Oscars speech, you're lying.by Shamindri De SayrahCommunity ContributorApproved and edited by BuzzFeed Community TeamFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink 1. Troy Kotsur — CODA Apple TV+ / Courtesy Everett Collection Troy Kotsur is a deaf actor and the star of the Oscar-winning film CODA. He also made history as the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar. The film follows the story of Ruby, as a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) where she is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family's fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her passion at Berklee College of Music and her fear of abandoning her parents. In his moving acceptance speech at the 2022 Oscars Troy signed, “This is dedicated to the Deaf community, the CODA community, and the disabled community. This is our moment." 2. Lauren Ridloff — The Walking Dead and The Eternals AMC, Marvel Studios/Disney Lauren Ridloff is a deaf American actor known for her roles as Connie in the TV series The Walking Dead and and Makkari in the film Eternals. She starred in the Broadway version of Children of a Lesser God, for which she was nominated for a Tony. She recently made history as the first deaf superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In an interview with Good Morning America, Ridloff said, “I feel that with more representation working behind the camera, the stories that are told in television, film, and stage would become more intriguing, truthful, and thought-provoking.” 3. RJ Mitte — Breaking Bad AMC RJ Mitte is an actor best know for his role as Walter White Jr. on the iconic series Breaking Bad, a show about a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer who turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine to secure his family's future. Although it ended over eight years ago, the show is still considered one of TV's best. Mitte learned he had cerebral palsy when he was only three years old, The same diagnosis his character has. The actor stunned audiences with his performance. Mitte reflected on his career, "I wouldn't be in the position I am today without my disability. I utilized everything I know about living with cerebral palsy for my role in Breaking Bad." 4. Daryl Mitchell — Fear The Walking Dead AMC In The Walking Dead spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, we see Daryl Mitchell play Wendel, who is a handicapped apocalypse survivor. In 2001, Mitchell was paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle crash, years after his acting career already began. Mitchell also performance also highlights the fact that there is a lack of Black people with disabilities present or represented in the entertainment industry. 5. George Robinson — Sex Education Netflix George Robinson is a British actor best known for his role as Isaac Goodwin in the Netflix series Sex Education. When he was 17 years old, he attended a school rugby tour to South Africa and suffered a severe spinal neck injury when attempting a tackle. As a result of the accident, Robinson is tetraplegic and uses a manual wheelchair, similar to his wheelchair-using character Isaac who was introduced in the second season of the show. In an interview with the Back-Up Trust, Robinson talked about representation in the acting industry, “The best way we’re going to get authentic stories that don’t come across as in-genuine is by having people with the right experiences playing the right roles.” 6. Zach Gottsagen — The Peanut Butter Falcon Roadside Attractions Zachary Robin Gottsagen's breakout role was in the film The Peanut Butter Falcon. This film follows the story of a man with Down syndrome who runs away from a residential nursing home where he was abandoned by his family to pursue his dream of becoming a wrestler. Later, he meets with an outlaw named Tyler who becomes his friend and coach. The pair become best friends as Tyler helps Zak achieve his dream. In 2020, Gottsagen became the first person with Down syndrome to be a presenter at the Academy Awards, also where he and Shia LaBeouf presented the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. In 2019, he was recognized as a "Breakthrough Entertainer" by the Associated Press. 7. Madison Ferras — The Glass Menagerie and Panic Prime Video Madison Ferris is an actor who is best known for roles portraying Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and Dayna Mason in the series Panic. Ferris made history as Broadway's first lead actor in a wheelchair. She then made the transition from stage to screen, having appeared in a series of different shows over the years. 8. Millicent Simmonds — A Quiet Place series Paramount Pictures Millicent Simmonds is an actor best known for her role in the Quiet Place movies. When she was one year old, Simmonds lost her hearing due to a medication overdose. She then started acting at the age of 12. When it came time for A Quiet Place to be cast, John Krasinski fought for a deaf actress to be cast, and made sure the entire cast learned ASL on set. Krasinski used a lot of input from Millicent and her family during the movie's filming. In 2021, Simmonds won the Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Award for Best Actress and in 2022 she was named one of the BAFTA Rising Stars.She remarked, “Never did I think I’d become a professional actor. We don’t see that, you don’t ever see people like me on the screens… I want kids out there to see themselves represented on screen. They can be the ones to save people, they don’t have to be saved.” 9. Kiera Allen — Run Hulu Kiera Allen recently made her film debut in the Hulu thriller Run alongside Sarah Paulson. The film is about Chloe, a teenager, who is forbidden from seeing the mail and is kept in isolation. She starts suspecting her mother of keeping dark secrets and decides to investigate. She soon learns she has been a victim of her mother’s Munchausen by proxy, which has led to her mother overdosing her on unnecessary medications to make her unwell. The film became the most-watched original film on the streaming service. Allen is the second female actor in a wheelchair to star in a suspense film, following Susan Peters in 1948 for the movie The Sign of the Ram. 10. Ryan O’Connell — Special Netflix Ryan O'Connell is a writer, actor, director, comedian, LGBTQ activist, and disability advocate. He is best know for starring in the semi-autobiographical Netflix series Special which is based on his memoir I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves to Get Through Our Twenties. He plays Ryan, a gay man with cerebral palsy who decides to do away with his identity as an accident victim and go after the life that he wants. After years of dead-end internships, blogging in his pajamas, and mainly communicating through text, Ryan figures out how to take his life from bleak to chic as he gets ready to start venturing toward adulthood. O'Connell also serves as an executive producer on the comedy series, along with The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons. 11. Marlee Matlin — Children of a Lesser God and CODA Paramount Pictures, Apple + Marlee Matlin is a deaf actor, author, and activist. She has been deaf since she was 18 months old. Matlin made her acting debut playing Sarah Norman in the romantic drama Children of a Lesser God, which is about a new speech teacher at a school for the deaf who falls in love with the janitor, a deaf woman speechless by choice. This film won her the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1987, making her the first deaf actor to win an Oscar. Her most recent film, CODA, where she starred alongside Troy Kotsur won Best Picture at the 2022 Oscars. 12. Ali Stroker — Oklahoma Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions Alyson Stroker is an actor and singer. In 2019 she made history by becoming the first actor in a wheelchair to be nominated for and also win a Tony Award for her role in Oklahoma. She has guest starred in multiple TV shows including Glee, Lethal Weapon, Charmed and most recently Only Murders In The Building and Ozark. 13. Gavin McHugh — 9-1-1 FOX Gavin McHugh is an 11-year-old television actor. He was adopted from Riga, Latvia at age two. He lives with spastic diplegia, which affects his legs, his vision, and causes some weakness on his left side. He landed his breakout role playing Christopher Diaz, the beloved son of army-medic-turned-firefighter Eddie Diaz (Ryan Guzman) in 9-1-1. His parents have remarked on how he has inspired many kids with similar conditions who don't get to see representation, “It’s also really special, for the kids or the people that have more disability than others, that they have somebody that gives them hope or something more to strive for. When you see Christopher on TV, you see that there’s a lot of value to him. You just don’t see what he isn’t able to do. You see his sweet comments and the love he shares with his friends and his family..." 14. And Jamie Brewer — American Horror Story FX Jamie Brewer is a model and an award-winning actor who is best known for her roles in the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story. After having her breakout role as Adelaide Langdon in Season 1, but later made appearances in the third, fourth, seventh, and eighth season. She made history as the first person with Down syndrome to walk in New York Fashion Week in 2015. In 2018, she became the first person with Down syndrome to win the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play.