A Child's Wish

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A Child's Wish
Directed by Waris Hussein
Written by Susan Nanus
Starring John Ritter
Tess Harper
Anna Chlumsky
Sarah Chalke
President Bill Clinton
Distributed by CBS network
Release dates
January 21, 1997
Running time
96 mins

A Child's Wish is a made-for-television movie based on actual events. John Ritter stars as a father of an ill 16 year old daughter played by Anna Chlumsky.


Ritter plays Ed Chandler, a father who is fired from his job for taking time off to tend to his 16 year daughter Missy (Chlumsky), who is battling cancer. Rather than accepting his dismissal, Ed decides to fight back. With the help of a United States senator, he lobbies the United States Congress and is the stimulus to passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Because Missy's cancer is terminal, she is visited by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and she wishes to go to the White House and visit the Oval Office and hopefully see President Bill Clinton himself. Although Make-A-Wish is not so sure if they can grant her wish, in the end she does in fact get to visit the Oval Office and meet President Clinton himself in a surprise cameo appearance.

Missy is based on the merging of two women, Melissa Weaver and Dixie Yandle. Ed Chandler's character is very closely related to George Yandle, who with his wife Vicki, helped push the Family Medical Leave Act through Congress. Both George and Vicki were on stage with President Bill Clinton (who in the movie plays himself in a cameo appearance) when the new law was signed.


  • John Ritter as Ed Chandler
  • Tess Harper as Joanna Chandler
  • Anna Chlumsky as Missy Chandler
  • Sarah Chalke as Melinda
  • Karl David-Djerf as Scott
  • Kevin McNulty as Robbie
  • President Bill Clinton as himself
  • David Lewis as Rick
  • Janine Cox as Karen
  • Aurelio Dinunzio as Hank
  • Merrilyn Gann as Dr. Cross
  • Eva De Viveiros as Jenny
  • Freda Perry as Lucille
  • Michael St. John Smith as Bailey
  • Teryl Roth as Donna

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