Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Heather Whitestone McCallum

Heather Whitestone McCallum was born on 24 February, 1973. Heather is a beauty queen who was the first deaf Miss America title holder, having lost her hearing at the age of 18 months. Heather Whitestone McCallum represented Alabama at the 1995 Miss America pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Despite being profoundly deaf, she performed ballet en pointe to the song “Via Dolorosa” as her talent, winning the preliminary talent competition, as well as the preliminary swimsuit competition.

Heather Whitestone McCallum was born and raised in Dothan for the first 11 years of her life. Heather Whitestone McCallum’s mother, Daphne Gray, decided that her daughter would read lips and learn to speak (using what little hearing remained in her left ear) instead of learning to sign. She notes in her book Today’s Heroes: Heather Whitestone, that she has been greatly criticized in the deaf community for this decision. Although the book claims Heather Whitestone McCallum wanted to sign at first, her mother refused to allow it. Heather Whitestone McCallum does know sign language now, but she is reported to speak out against it.

In 1984, after doing poorly in mainstream education, Heather Whitestone McCallum attended the Central Institute for the Deaf where she improved her reading by 6 grade levels in just 3 years and eventually graduated in 1987 with a 3.6 GPA. Heather Whitestone McCallum moved to Birmingham at the age of 16, following her parents’ divorce. Heather Whitestone McCallum attended the Alabama School of Fine Arts for a year and graduated from Berry High School (now Hoover High School) in 1991. Heather Whitestone McCallum then went on to study at Jacksonville State University where she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority.

Heather Whitestone McCallum competed in many beauty pageants, winning the Shelby County Junior Miss pageant. Heather Whitestone McCallum’s 1st year in the Miss America system, she won the Miss Jacksonville State University title and went on to be 1st runner up to Miss Alabama 1992, Kim Wimmer. The following year she won the Miss Point Mallard competition and once again, placed 1st runner up to Miss Alabama, Kalyn Chapman (who had placed as Heather Whitestone McCallum’s 1st runner up at Point Mallard). The following year Heather Whitestone McCallum won the Miss Cullman Area title and finally won the Miss Alabama title in 1994. Heather Whitestone McCallum was the first deaf woman to win this title.

Heather Whitestone McCallum represented Alabama at the 1995 Miss America pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Despite being profoundly deaf, she performed ballet en pointe to the song “Via Dolorosa” as her talent, winning the preliminary talent competition, as well as the preliminary swimsuit competition. Heather Whitestone McCallum was the first double preliminary winner from Alabama since the 1978 Miss America pageant. That double winner, Teresa Cheatham, also a former Miss Point Mallard, was 1st runner up to Miss America, Kylene Barker of Virginia.

In 1995 the field again narrowed to Miss Alabama and Miss Virginia (Cullen Johnson). When the 1st runner up was announced, Heather Whitestone McCallum could not hear host Regis Philbin but could read his lips. Surprised, she looked to her fellow contestant for confirmation that she had won.

Since her Miss America win, Heather Whitestone McCallum has completed her studies at Jacksonville State University and has continued to promote awareness of deaf issues. Heather Whitestone McCallum has also spoken out in detail about her close relationship with God, one that she has had ever since she rediscovered church as a teenager. Heather Whitestone McCallum wrote about her life experiences in a book called Let God Surprise You: Trust God with Your Dreams.

In 2002, she courted controversy among the Deaf community when she decided to have a cochlear implant operation in order to hear to an extent in her right ear, something that she had never been able to experience before. Heather Whitestone McCallum said the primary motivation for electing the surgery was an incident when she did not hear her son’s cries for help. Heather Whitestone McCallum said that she has not regretted her decision, thanking her family for supporting her.

In 2006, after losing residual hearing in her left ear, she received a 2nd cochlear implant.

Heather Whitestone McCallum currently lives in the Atlanta area with her husband John McCallum, a former Congressional aide, and 3 children.

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend Anne Bancroft

Anne Bancroft was born on 17 September, 1931 in the Bronx, New York, USA and died on 6 June, 2005 of uterine cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, New York, USA. Anne Bancroft’s death came as a surprise to even some of her friends; she was intensely private and had not released details of her illness.

Anne Bancroft was an American Academy Award-,Golden Globe-,Tony-,and Emmy-winning method actress.

Anne Bancroft was born Anna Maria Louisa Italiano,the daughter of Mildred (née DiNapoli), a telephone operator, and Michael Italiano, a dress pattern maker. Anne Bancroft’s parents were both children of Italian immigrants.

Anne Bancroft graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx in 1948, and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Actors Studio, and the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women at UCLA. After appearing in a number of live television dramas under the name Anne Marno, she was told to change her surname for her film debut in Don’t Bother to Knock in 1952.

Anne Bancroft was a contract player in the early days of her career just as the studio contract system was ending. Anne Bancroft left Hollywood and returned to New York due to the quality of roles she was being offered.

In 1958 she appeared opposite Henry Fonda in the Broadway production of Two for the Seesaw, for which she won a Tony Award, and another in 1962 for The Miracle Worker. Anne Bancroft took the latter role back to Hollywood, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1962.

A highly acclaimed television special, “Annie: the Women in the Life of a Man” won her an Emmy award for her singing and acting. Anne Bancroft is one of a very select few entertainers to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony award.

Anne Bancroft as Mother Miriam Ruth in Agnes of God Other major film roles were in The Pumpkin Eater, 7 Women, and what is unquestionably her best-known role, Mrs. Robinson, opposite Dustin Hoffman in the film The Graduate. Ironically, Anne Bancroft, then only 36 years old, played opposite a 30-year-old Hoffman. Although Anne Bancroft is now iconically identified as Mrs. Robinson, she was not the first choice for the role; Patricia Neal(who had recently suffered a stroke), Doris Day and Jeanne Moreau turned it down. Anne Bancroft was ambivalent about her appearance in The Graduate; she stated in several interviews that the role overshadowed all of her other work.

In 1980, she made her debut as a screenwriter and director in Fatso, in which she starred along with Dom DeLuise. Anne Bancroft was also the original choice to play Joan Crawford in the 1981 movie Mommie Dearest, but backed out at the 11th hour, and was replaced by Faye Dunaway. Anne Bancroft was also a front-runner for the role of Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment, but declined in order to act in the remake of To Be or Not to Be (1983).

From 1 July, 1953, to 13 February, 1957, she was married to Martin May. The marriage produced no children.

In 1961, Anne Bancroft met Mel Brooks in a rehearsal for the Perry Como variety show. Mel Brooks bribed a studio employee to find out where she was having dinner so he could meet her again. Once Anne Bancroft met Mel Brooks, she went to her therapist and told him they had to conclude the therapy as fast as possible because she had met the man she was going to marry.

They married on 5 August, 1964, in New York City Hall and were together until her death. They had one son, Maximillian, in 1972. They were seen 3 times on the screen together: once dancing a tango in Brooks’s 1976 Silent Movie, in Brooks’s 1983 remake of To Be or Not to Be, and in the episode entitled “Opening Night” of the HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm. Mel Brooks produced the 1980 film The Elephant Man, in which Anne Bancroft acted. Mel Brooks also executive-produced the 1987 film 84 Charing Cross Road in which she starred. Anne Bancroft is on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6368 Hollywood Boulevard.

Anne Bancroft was survived by Mel Brooks, their son, a grandson, her mother and 2 sisters. Anne Bancroft is interred at the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York, near her father, Michael Italiano. A white marble monument with a weeping angel adorns her grave.

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Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Mervyn Leroy

Mervyn Leroy was born on 15 October, 1900 and died on 13 September, 1987. Mervyn was an Academy Award-winning American film director, producer and sometime actor. Mervyn worked in costumes, processing labs and as a camera assistant until he became a gag writer and actor in silent films. Mervyn’s first directing job was in 1927’s No Place to Go. When his movies made lots of money without costing too much, he became well-received in the movie business. Mervyn LeRoy retired in 1965 and wrote his autobiography, Take One, in 1974. Mervyn died in Beverly Hills, California and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Mervyn Leroy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Series-Disabled Legend Warren Zevon

Warren Zevon was born on 24 January, 1947 and died on 7 September, 2003. Warren was a Grammy Award-winning American rock singer-songwriter and musician. Warren turned to a musical career early, including a stretch with high school friend Violet Santangelo as part of a Sonny and Cher-type male/female duo called lyme & cybelle (in a 60s-ish affectation, the band name eschewed capitalization). In the mid-1970s, Warren returned to Los Angeles, where he roomed with then-unknown Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham and became associated with the then-burgeoning West Coast music scene. There, he collaborated with Jackson Browne, who would produce and promote Warren’s self-titled major-label debut, with the Eagles, who appeared on Warren’s second album, and with Linda Ronstadt, who both appeared on Warren’s albums and covered many of his songs, including “Hasten Down the Wind”, “Carmelita”, “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”, and “Mohammed’s Radio”.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Series-Disabled Legend Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese was born on 17 November, 1942. Martin Scorsese is an American Academy Award-winning film director, writer, producer and film historian. Martin is widely considered to be one of the most significant and influential American filmmakers of his era, directing landmark films such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas; all of which he colloborated on with legendary actor Robert De Niro.

Martin Scorses often makes movies based on intelligent people with flaws or diseases. Martin himself suffers from OCD maybe aiding him to better understand the characters in his movies.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Series-Disabled Legend Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr was born on 3 November, 1952. Roseanne Barr is an Emmy Award-winning American comedian, actress and writer. Roseanne became famous in the early 1980s with her stand-up comedy routine, receiving critical acclaim for her unglamorized portrayal of the typical American working-class housewife. In her routine she coined the now well-known phrase, “domestic goddess,” to refer to a homemaker or housewife. The success of her act led to her own series on ABC, called Roseanne. The show ran from 1988 to 1997, and co-starred Emmy winners Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman.

Roseanne herself also won an Emmy for her part in the show. For the final season Roseanne earned $650,000 an episode. In 1997, after the end of her sitcom’s run, she portrayed the Wicked Witch of the West in a production of The Wizard of Oz at Madison Square Garden.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Series-Disabled Legend Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton was born on 4 August, 1955. Billy is an Academy Award-winning American screenwriter, actor, as well as occasional director, playwright and singer. Billy came to fame in the mid 1990s, after writing, directing, and starring in the film Sling Blade. Billy Bob Thornton explains his particular penchant for repetitive compulsive actions. ‘I have a little bit of OCD,’ he says. ‘The simple ones I can explain to you. The more complex ones, I don’t even know how to tell anybody.’ Billy and rock singer Warren Zevon became close friends after sharing their common experiences with the disorder.

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