From the Editor…
by Vicki Leeper
Hollywood and Disability
I know when people think of Hollywood and actors with disabilities, it often falls short of good representation and employment for the actors with disabilities. Anyone who knows me knows I love old movies. So when I come across a film that cast an actor with a disability, I take notice.
One such film is The Sign of the Ram. The actress Susan Peters was paralyzed in a hunting accident. After foursuccessful films at MGM, they kept her on the payroll for $100 a week, good money in the 40’s. But she turned down the pollyanna scripts they send her until she came across the challenging role in The Sign of The Ram. Here she got to play a manipulative villain. Tho it was her last film she went on to perform on stage including the Glass Menagerie (special permission from Tennessee Willians to play the character in a wheelchair). The ability of both the studios and the actors to work around the disability was ahead of their time. Hopefully this kind of inclusion will continue.
“I think [we] make a terrible mistake building our lives around a hope which doctors tell you cannot be realized except by a miracle. If you keep waiting for that miracle to happen in the future, how can you possibly adjust your life around your [disability]? ~ Susan Peters, 1947