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October 9, 2018

#deaftalent:”The Walking Dead” casts deaf actress Lauren Ridloff

deaf actress lauren ridloff
Lauren Ridloff, a deaf actress, well known for her role in “Children of a Lesser God” will star in Season 9 of “The Walking Dead” as a deaf character

Ridloff is the first deaf actress to join the zombie show. She will be cast in a major role as Connie, a new survivor to the series, appearing across a number of episodes during the ninth season.

Her character is depicted as “a seasoned survivor deft at using her senses to read people, situations, and trouble. Her character is deaf and uses American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate”, according to Entertainment Weekly

The use of American Sign Language and a deaf actress is a perfect opportunity for the show to raise awareness of deafness and to show how deaf actors and actresses can perform as well as their hearing peers.

A love for film

Born deaf, Ridloff grew up in Chicago with a love of reading, theatre, and film. She attended Gallaudet University high school where she performed in the school production of “The Wiz.”. Alongside this, in 2000, she was crowned Miss Deaf America.

After graduating with a degree in creative writing at the University of Illinois, Lauren went onto teaching in Washington D.C. Later she moved to Brooklyn, to settle with her husband, and then along came their two deaf sons.

Her rise to stardom

Lauren has appeared in various films, namely “If You Could Hear My Own Tune”, a story about deafness and music. Also, “Sign Gene,” a film about a deaf agent.

In 2017, Ridloff performed in “Wonderstruck” as Pearl, the Maid. She then went onto achieving a Tony Award for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play”, for her appearance on Broadway in “Children of a Lesser God”.

Read more: New movie ‘Wonderstruck’ shines spotlight on deaf culture

Ultimately, featuring in “The Walking Dead” which aired on October 7 in the US, shows her as a fantastic example of #DeafTalent.

Will you watch Ridloff on “The Walking Dead?” Let us know what you think of her performance in the comments!

Ellie Parfitt
Ellie Parfitt
Ellie was born profoundly deaf, uses verbal communication, lipreads and wears Phonak hearing aids. She is currently learning British Sign Language. Ellie hasn’t let her disability stand in the way and embraces every new challenge. Her deafness didn't prevent her from achieving major accomplishments in her life, such as excelling in her education, working as a Marketing Executive for a Spa & Health Club, Events and Promotions Staff for a local newspaper as well as blogging for Hearing Like Me. She is passionate about deaf awareness, campaigning for equality and helping others through her personal blog as Deafie Blogger.