Just like the character that made him famous; actor, model, producer and activist RJ Mitte has Cerebral Palsy.
RJ Mitte was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three
You probably recognise actor RJ Mitte from his role on Breaking Bad, where between the ages of 14 and 21 he played a teenage son living with cerebral palsy. Well, it wasn’t entirely an act. RJ was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 3, but he certainly hasn’t let it stop him from accomplishing some lofty goals, and he uses his success and celebrity to help others. RJ is a passionate anti-bullying activist.
The Screen Actors Guild have named Mitte as the spokesman for actors with disabilities
Roy Frank "RJ" Mitte III was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on August 21, 1992. Delivered by emergency caesarian section, baby RJ was not breathing at the time of his birth, resulting in permanent brain damage. A few weeks after he was born, RJ was adopted a by Roy Frank Mitte Jr., and Dyna Mitte, who would later separate.
He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three, and doctors put both his legs in casts for six months in an attempt to straighten his feet. Mitte was then fitted with leg braces and used crutches throughout most of his childhood; however, over time, his body became stronger through sports and exercise and he no longer needed any walking devices by the time he was a teenager.
In 2006, RJ and his family moved to Los Angeles, where his younger sister Lacianne Carriere had received an offer for a role in a film project. Mitte was raised by his mother following the separation of his parents, and from the age of 13 was financially responsible for the family, which by then also included his sister, born when Mitte was 11 years old.
After receiving several roles as an extra, including in the Disney series Hannah Montana, Mitte became interested in films and decided to take acting lessons. Shortly after this, he was offered the role of Walter White Jr., who also has cerebral palsy, in the AMC series Breaking Bad.
The Screen Actors Guild named Mitte as the spokesman for actors with disabilities and he is the representative of Inclusion in the Arts and Media of Performers with Disabilities, which employs artists with disabilities.
Below: RJ is a passionate anti-bullying campaigner. Watch his video below about combating bullying of the disabled.
How can you #CutTheBull in bullying?
What do you see?
One-in-four students in the United States reports being bullied and those numbers can be two to three times higher for kids with disabilities, according to the National Center for Education. Studies also show that most bullying is never reported and can cause depression, anxiety and poor academic performance.
- Respect: Let us look beyond our differences and overcome our fears to #SeeTheAbility in everyone
- Reach Out: Talk to, include and get to know someone who is being treated differently
- Respond: If you see someone being put-down or teased, do not participate. Instead, show support for the person and tell an adult.
Top 10 Things You Should Know About Cerebral Palsy
Speechless features an actor with cerebral palsy. Combine that with the humor of Zach Anner, who also has cerebral palsy, and you have an awesome top 10 list. Check it out! WARNING: Funny!