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Viewing Single Post From: AMC Expands Cast With Deaf Actors
Steve Frame
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New cast members have been added to All My Children following the introduction of a storyline concerning Kendall (Alicia Minshew) and her son, Spike, who lost his hearing in a car accident. The daytime drama has brought in deaf actors and actresses, one of whom is Bob Hiltermann.

Originally from Germany, Hiltermann made his American film debut on Children of a Lesser God, a love story about a speech teacher (William Hurt) who falls in love with a deaf woman (Marlee Matlin). He also appeared in Bridge to Silence and the television series, Sirens.

“Well, first of all, it is an honor and great way to get back to work as an actor,” Bob Hiltermann said of his new television role in an interview with deaf blogger, Ricky D. Taylor. “It's a fun job being an actor and meeting great people. My hope is that more people will watch [All My Children] and support the idea of having a deaf character, which is such a rare opportunity; to see a deaf male character on the daytime soap opera series, as opposed to what we've seen so many deaf female characters on many other tv shows.”

Aside from being an actor, Bob Hiltermann is also an accomplished musician. He is the drummer of a band called Beethoven's Nightmare and a founding member of the Musign Theater Company.

Hiltermann began appearing on All My Children on August 15. He plays Walter Novak, Annie Lavery's (Melissa Claire Egan) estranged deaf father. He will appear in two more episodes, airing August 31 and September 4.

In addition to Hiltermann, JQ DePaiva, son of daytime actress Kassie DePaiva (One Life to Live) is also slated to appear in the All My Children. The 10-year-old child actor was born deaf and received his first cochlear implant at the age of 18 months. He will play a guest on Erica Kane's (Susan Lucci) New Beginning's talk show. His episodes will air on September 20, 21 and 24.

Of the new deaf-centered storyline, ABC daytime president Brian Frons said, "This storyline gives us the opportunity to explore the emotional challenges and real-life decisions facing the parents of a child who has been permanently injured. We will go on a heart-wrenching journey with our characters as they learn about the medical options and obstacles facing their child."

-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: TV Guide, www.ridorlive.com
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