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Some Missing limbed characters in movies and television.

At least one of the large cast of main characters on my Science-Fiction series (Show 1) is missing a limb. We would actually hire an actor missing a limb. This is an incredible concept for Hollywood who is obsessed with faking it, as the bulk of the programs below proves.


Aliens 4
Vriess, strapped to the back of
another man, being hauled up the
ladder as he keeps an eye out for
evil Aliens.



Aliens 4
Alien 4 cast: Vriess is in the
background in his wheelchair.

Alien 4: Resurrection.
In 1997 Alien 4: Resurrection was released. It featured a cloned Ripley who is stuck with a group of Space Truckers and Military Guards trying to survive when captured and cloned aliens manage to escape from a Science Lab.

One of the characters named Vriess is a Chief Mechanic. He was described in the original script as "Late forties, in pretty good shape considering he's got no legs." Yet when time came to film the movie, an actor was cast in the role who not only had his legs, but could walk. They rewrote his character to give him leg braces, as the photos to the left shows.


Forrest Gump
"Run Forrest, Run!"





Lt. Dan Taylor

Forrest Gump & Dan Taylor
Gary Sinise pretending not to
have legs.
(Hint: He's sitting on them)

Forrest Gump.
In 1994 Forrest Gump was released. Remember when "20/20", "Dateline NBC" and all the legitimate news programs did stories about how the Producers manipulated the images with computers to get historical Presidents to talk to Forrest? Among the amazing technical breakthroughs they prided themselves on was an extensive scene where Forrest and his Vietnam pal Danny were on a boat, where through the use of CGI, blue screens and specially constructed sets they were able to make it look like Danny was missing both his legs even though actor Gary Sinise had his.

Naturally of course when the ending of the movie came around, there was the happy conclusion where Danny stands there with his artificial legs grinning at Forrest. Instead of hiring the real thing, they went out of their way to raise the budget and revolutionise digital effects to fake it because they didn't want to work with an actor who was actually missing his legs. And Gary Sinise was not a big-name star at the time, so they didn't choose this route for his star-power.

Because of the amount of footage they showed of him, it would have actually cost the production less money to fake the walking scenes of an actor without legs than they spent to fake CGI scenes of an actor with legs pretending not to have them. But then you don't win Oscars pretending to NOT be disabled.


The Fugitive
"I caught him! Well that was
easy. Now I'll charge 30 hours
overtime and go to Hawaii."



Fred Johnsons
Fred Johnson, the man who
killed Mrs. Kimble.

The Fugitive (1963).
In 1963 The Fugitive premiered on television. The series followed Dr. Richard Kimble, a man wrongly convicted of murdering his wife and manages to escape in a train accident while on his way to the death house. In pursuit of him is Lieutenant Philip Gerard, a man obsessed with his capture. Throughout the series Dr. Kimble tried to find a one-armed man he saw leaving the scene of his wife's murder.

At first Lt. Gerard strongly believed that the concept of a one-armed man was a figment of Kimble's imagination. It was even implied that Kimble himself had doubts until 19 episodes into the series Kimble finally saw the one-armed man in the episode "Search in a Windy City", confirming to him that he wasn't crazy after all. He caught up to him just in time to see him through the window of a leaving bus. And the look on Fred Johnson's face clearly shows that he recognized Kimble as well. After that, the appearances of the one-armed man became a bit more frequent, even including an episode in the final season where after he failed to get mobsters to kill Kimble, Fred attempts to murder Kimble himself to get Kimble to stop chasing him.

The one-armed man was played by Bill Raisch, who actually was missing his right arm. Bill lost his right arm two inches above the elbow in 1945 after he was badly burned fighting a shipboard fire during World War II.

At the time, the series finale in 1967 was the highest rated program of all time. According to the information I have, even today it still stands at Number 9.


Fred and The Fugitive
The one-armed man and the
Fugitive have it out.


Fred Sykes
The one-armed man waves his
prosthetic menacingly at
Harrison Ford.

The Fugitive (1993).
In 1993 a big blockbuster movie version of The Fugitive was released based on the original series, with Harrison Ford in the lead role, although some elements were changed, such as names and locations (Lieutenant Philip Gerard became U.S. Marshall Sam Gerard), the element of locating the one-armed man still was key, even though this time Kimble traced the murder to one of his bosses.

Also changed this time was the hiring of an actor with only one arm. Instead the role of Fred Sykes (renamed from Fred Johnson) went to actor Andreas Katsulas who is better known to Babylon 5 fans as Ambassador G'Kar. Unlike other productions which used CGI and Bluescreen to digitally remove the limb so they would not have to work with a one-armed actor, instead this time they had Andreas wearing a big over-sized coat as he held his arm behind his back in every scene.


Starship Troopers
Jean Rasczak with his Bionic Arm.
Lee Majors would be proud.





Starship Troopers
Michael Ironside in Starship Troopers
ready to whack the giant bugs with his
fake Cyborg arm mounted on his
fake rubber stub. HooRah!

Starship Troopers.
In 1997 Starship Troopers was released. Loosely based on the 1959 book, Starship Troopers was about a group of young soldiers who fought giant bugs. Even though the book managed to endure over 40 years on its own, naturally of course Hollywood felt they needed to spice it up with lots of sex and violence in order to obtain an audience.

There were several characters seen periodically throughout the movie who had cyborg limbs, but the one that was featured the most was Teacher Jean Rasczak as played by Michael Ironside. An ex-soldier himself, Rasczak lost his left arm. First seen in the opening waving his fake rubber stub around at his students as he tought them how important it was to join the military, towards the end of the movie he made a surprise return as the leader of a squad of troopers, only this time he now has a cyborg arm. However, that didn't do him too good because after losing his legs as well, he asked the lead soldier to kill him.

Because his cyborg arm played no significant parts in his scenes, it would have actually been cheaper to fake the scenes with a real artificial arm in the battle scenes with an actor actually missing his arm than it was to fake the "missing limb" scenes in the opening of the movie with Michael Ironside, Bluescreen, CGI work and his rubber stub.


Deuce Bigalow
Deuce and Kate's artificial leg. He
doesn't realize it had come off yet.






Deuce and Kate
Deuce and Kate, his one-legged
girlfriend.

Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.
In 1999 Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo was released. Starring Rob Schneider as a fish tank cleaner who befriends a gigolo, when the gigolo leaves the country for three weeks and Deuce accidently causes $7,000 in damage to his apartment, Deuce takes over the gigolo's work in order to pay for the damage. Throughout the movie he encounters a diverse bunch of women, each with her own insecurity.

One of the women Deuce meets is Kate. While making out, Deuce accidently pulls off her artificial leg. And like the rest of Hollywood's movies, once again the leg is digitally removed with CGI-type work for the scene where Kate hops across the floor.

Because of the diverse women Deuce encountered that were used as the butt of many jokes, the movie resulted in a lot of angry organizations speaking out against them (the entire Tourette Syndrome Association for example) for making fun of numerous things, including blindness and narcolepsy.

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