Andrea Fay Friedman

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Andrea Fay Friedman
Born (1970-06-01) June 1, 1970 (age 47)
California, U.S.
Other names Andrea F. Friedman
Education West Los Angeles Baptist High School
Alma mater Santa Monica College
Occupation Actress, public speaker
Years active 1992–present

Andrea Fay Friedman (born June 1, 1970) is an American film and television actress, who was born with Down Syndrome.

Early life[edit]

Friedman attended West Los Angeles Baptist High School and Santa Monica College. In 1992, she portrayed Amanda, the girlfriend of the character Charles "Corky" Thacher, on the TV show Life Goes On for two seasons.[1] In 1993 she appeared in an episode of Baywatch, in which Mary Lou Retton organizes a Special Olympics-like event.[2] She starred in the 1997 film Smudge as Cindy, a girl in a group home for people with disabilities who attempts to hide her puppy, Smudge.[3] The film won the 1998 Humanitas Prize in the Children's Live Action category.[4]


Friedman voiced Ellen, a character with Down syndrome, in the Family Guy episode "Extra Large Medium", her first role as a voice actress.[5] In the episode, Friedman's character stated "My dad's an accountant and my mom is the former Governor of Alaska", referencing Sarah Palin's son, Trig, who has Down syndrome. However, per Friedman, "Sarah Palin said that was insensitive and cruel" and Friedman felt "it was only a joke."[6] In an email concerning Palin's criticism of the episode, she said, "I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor."[7][8] She concluded, "In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life."[8]

Friedman also had main roles in episodes of Law and Order: SVU, "Competence", playing a pregnant young woman named Katie.[9] and Walker, Texas Ranger, "Special Witness", where she played a young woman in the Special Olympics who witnessed Trent Malloy being stabbed.

Personal life[edit]

A 48 minute documentary about her life, A Possible Dream: The Andrea Friedman Story with narration by Joanne Woodward premiered in 2009.[10][11] As of 2010, Friedman had been working at a law firm, in the accounting department,[6] for 20 years. She also occasionally works as an assistant teacher for the Pathway program in UCLA, where she helps teach students how to live independently.[6] She has traveled to India and Japan, and speaks some Japanese. She also enjoys bowling and skiing.[8]


  1. ^ Brooks, Tim; Earle Marsh (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. p. 789. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4. 
  2. ^ Hasselhoff, David; Peter Thompson (2007). Don't Hassel the Hoff: The Autobiography. Thomas Dunne Books. pp. 166–167. ISBN 0-312-37129-2. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Smudge (1997)". 2008. Retrieved February 22, 2010. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Past Winners". The HUMANITAS Prize. Archived from the original on April 6, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (February 19, 2010). "'Family Guy,' Palin and the Limits of Laughter". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ a b c Andrea Friedman — Sarah Palin and the Family Guy Feud, ABILITY Magazine, Regina Hall Issue, April/May 2010.
  7. ^ Linkins, Jason (February 18, 2010). "'Family Guy' Actress Responds To Sarah Palin's Criticism". 
  8. ^ a b c Itzkoff, Dave (February 18, 2010). "‘Family Guy’ Voice Actor Says Palin ‘Does Not Have a Sense of Humor’". 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "858-PTF-2007 A Possible Dream: The Andrea Friedman Story". Picture This...Film Festival. April 23, 2009. Retrieved February 21, 2010. [dead link]
  11. ^ "A Possible Dream". Coalition of Texans with Disabilities. 2009. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 

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