In 1980, at the young age of 23, actress and comedienne Geri Jewell broke one of TV’s glass ceilings, and not surprisingly, long-time groundbreaker Norman Lear made the call that would change TV history.
After meeting the rising stand-up comic at an event, he cast her on the hit TV series “Facts of Life,” making Geri the first person with a disability to ever land a regular role on a prime-time TV series.
She was born with cerebral palsy after a tragic car accident while her mother was pregnant, but that hasn’t kept her from an incredible life’s journey.
She’s also appeared on HBO’s “Deadwood,” and she survived tax problems, drug addictions, a manager who stole from her and divorce.
She’s opening up about her ground-breaking life in her new book, “I’m Walking As Straight As I Can,” which refers both to her struggles with cerebral palsy as well as her sexuality.
She explains the incident that led to her cerebral palsy and describes how her family’s love and sense of humor helped her cope with childhood bullies.
Geri explains how her correspondence with Carol Burnett inspired her to pursue a career in comedy.
Plus, find out how the woman who came into the world fighting for her life had one other big battle ahead of her — coming out to the world. She describes her path to revealing her true self and her fears for its effect on her career.