5 most famous Deaf and hard of hearing characters in pop culture
Updated: Aug 18
We all have read and watched many movies, TV shows, and books in our days. But there are always certain characters in these works of art who leave a lasting impression on us.
Even though there is nothing wrong in loving one character over another, we believe you would enjoy exploring and learning about some iconic characters with hearing loss in pop culture.
So, let’s give you the most daring heroes and heroines in pop culture to admire:
1. Hawkeye (Clint Barton) — Marvel Comics
In the comic issue Hawkeye (1983) #4, Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) used a sonic arrowhead to stop the villainous Mockingbird from brainwashing him. The victory came at a price, as the arrow blasted out his eardrums and left Hawkeye without the ability to hear.
This didn’t keep him down for long though. Hawkeye continued his crime-fighting days using hearing aids and remained the deadliest sharpshooter with a bow and arrow (sorry, Green Arrow). Going toe to toe with assassins, robots and aliens, alongside the Avengers, shows that Hawkeye is possibly one of the most badass superheroes in Marvel history.
Here’s an extract from a comic where Clint Barton is communicating in sign language:
Let’s hope we get to see this version of Hawkeye even in the Marvel Cinematic Universe one day.
2. Madison Young — Hush
Madison Young from Hush is an aspiring Deaf author, who lost her hearing and the ability to speak after going through bacterial meningitis and a failed corrective surgery. Her lack of hearing doesn’t get in the way of her dreams though, and she is shown as a brave and independent woman living alone in her house in the woods.
In this horror thriller, Maddie has to defend herself following a home invasion from a psychopathic serial killer, who underestimates her strength and exploits her deafness in order to torment her.
The brilliant quality about her character is that despite the apparent advantage the antagonist has over her, Maddie is resilient against every one of his attempts to terrorise her and holds her ground without a flaw. She meets every odd head on and comes out in glory, showing not just the mental but also physical strength that Deaf people possess.
3. Elisabeth Doppler — Dark
One of the most watched Netflix shows in this quarantine is the German sci-fi thriller called Dark.
This mind-bending show sure does play with the emotions and thinking of its viewers and its characters divide opinions, but the one thing we may all agree on is the unique representation of the Deaf community in the form of its deaf character, Elizabeth. Daughter of the Chief of Police, Elizabeth uses sign language to communicate with the people around her.
MAJOR RED ALERT: Spoilers ahead!
We see Elizabeth’s growth throughout the three seasons, from her debut as an innocent schoolgirl to a post-apocalyptic leader of the people in the future. She doesn’t let anyone control her, and proves time and time again how intelligent and brave she is for her young age. Despite her small figure, she knows how to put up a fight, which was evidenced when she took down the man who had attacked her father in their RV.
Her choice of headwear is also the cutest little fox beanie you’ll ever see. As if we needed any more reasons to love her.
4. Regan Abbott — A Quiet Place
A Quiet Place follows a family who must live in silence to avoid dangerous creatures, which are alerted by the slightest of sounds. Regan, the eldest daughter, is profoundly deaf, and the family communicates in American Sign Language (ASL) to avoid making any noise.
The most special thing about this movie is that Regan’s character and her hearing loss are not regarded as a disability but rather, as a valuable trait to have in this dystopian world. Surviving in a world without hope requires a great deal of willpower and courage, and she shows she’s equal to the task.
In the climax of the film, Regan displays her heroism in the face of hard times and uses her hearing aids as a weapon to help defeat the monster.
5. Connie — The Walking Dead TV Show and Comics
In the zombie infested world of The Walking Dead, survival is as difficult as it can get. Among the survivors in this story, one stands out in particular: the seasoned and intelligent Deaf survivor, Connie.
Connie uses a mixture of ASL and written English to communicate with the other survivors. Even though she can’t hear, Connie uses her other senses as an advantage to read people, situations, and for any signs of trouble. In the TV show and comics both, she acts as her group’s eyes and even without being able to hear the sounds of zombies nearby, she is always super aware of her surroundings.
Before the world went south, Connie was even a famous journalist. She had exposed many corrupt politicians and put them behind bars. Connie is now a key figure in the fight against the sinister group known as the “Whisperers”. Her bravery on the field of the walking dead was made self-evident when during season nine of the show, Connie rescued an abandoned baby by diving into a zombie-infested cornfield.
Talk about a strong-willed, independent woman, right?
Want to know actual famous Deaf actors and personalities in Hollywood who prove that deafness is not a disability? Check out this blog we wrote.