Geri Jewell

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Geri Jewell
Born Geraldine Ann Jewell
(1956-09-13) September 13, 1956 (age 57)
Buffalo, New York, United States
Occupation Actress/Stand Up Comedienne
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Richard Pemintel, divorced (1992-2004)
Website
www.gerijewell.com

Geraldine Ann "Geri" Jewell (born September 13, 1956) is an American actress.

Early life and career[edit]

Originally from Buffalo, New York, she is most famous for her role on the television program The Facts of Life from 1980 to 1984. This role made her the first person with a disability to have a regular role on a prime time series, as well as the first actor with cerebral palsy to be featured on a TV series.[1][2] She began her career doing stand up comedy at The Comedy Store in 1978. In 1980, she performed at the 2nd Annual Media Access Awards, when she was introduced to Norman Lear by producer, Fern Field.

Jewell appeared as the recurring character "Jewel" on the HBO original series Deadwood from 2004—2006.

Awards[edit]

She has been the recipient of many awards, including the 1992 Founders Award, the 2005 Independent Living Legacy Award, and a National Rehabilitation Hospital Victory Award (in 2006).[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Her autobiography I'm Walking as Straight as I Can was published in 2011 by ECW Press. The title refers to the facts that she has cerebral palsy and is a lesbian.[5]

Jewell's original autobiography, Geri, published in 1984, was a way for readers to learn more about her personal and professional life, even though her personal life was hanging by a thread at the time. "It did help children get comfortable dealing with a person who has a disability, and taught them the value of a good sense of humor, so I’m not going to knock the whole book. But it was such lighthearted fluff given that I was struggling so much at the time. Like I said, I had a manager who was a crook. People in my life were manipulating me and taking advantage of me. Then The Facts of Life did not renew my contract. Years later, they offered me one episode during the fifth season, and my new manager, Richard Lippin, who was trying to fix all the previous manager’s mistakes, turned it down. He felt that after everything that I’d done for Facts, it was a slap in the face that they would only offer me one show. If I had had it my way, I would have accepted it anyway. But I don’t blame him, because he was right. The problem was that he thought I was indispensable, and they didn’t. He figured that they would come back with something better. And—oops!—they never did. He told me not to worry about it, that I was going to find other work because I was very talented, and I was the first person with a disability to break ground in a series."[6]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1981 Nice Dreams Mental Patient Uncredited
1982 Two of a Kind Irene Television film
2006 The Night of the White Pants Aunt Lolly

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1980–1984 The Facts of Life Geri Tyler 12 episodes
1989 The New Lassie Dr. Rita Francis Episode: "Slumber Party"
1990 21 Jump Street Officer Rebecca Scanlon Episode: "Unfinished Business"
2004 The Young and the Restless Rose 9 episodes
2004–2006 Deadwood Jewel 23 episodes
2005 Strong Medicine Holly Episode: "Promising Treatment"
2012 Alcatraz Geri Tiller Episode: "Cal Sweeney"
2014 Glee TV Producer Episode: "The Back-Up Plan"

Books[edit]

  • Jewell, Geri; Stewart Weiner (1984). Geri. New York: Morrow. ISBN 0-688-02452-1. 
  • Jewell, Geri (2011). I'm Walking as Straight as I Can. Toronto: ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-883-8. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]