Linda Bove –The Successful Deaf Actress


Her both parents were deaf and she was naturally born deaf.  Because hearing loss can be inherited. “Both dominant and recessive genes exist which can cause mild to profound impairment. If a family has a dominant gene for deafness it will persist across generations because it will manifest itself in the offspring even if it is inherited from only one parent.” Linda attended schools for the deaf. In spite all of these, she became an actress and in 1972 she debuted on Sesame Street, as a deaf character. She played the role of Linda until 2003. However she confesses that “When I joined the cast I found the writers would write about ‘How would a deaf person do this?’ ‘How does a deaf person do that?’ And it was just related to my deafness and it didn’t feel like they were treating me as a person.”

Linda_Bove_on_Sesam_StreetBut, as mentioned before, she proved the viewers that deaf people are like everybody else.  During the show she introduced millions of children to sign language and other issues concerning the deaf community.  In addition to this she increased the awareness of deaf culture and let people know than being deaf is not something to be ashamed of.

Moreover, she performed in the soap opera “Search for Tomorrow” and for this role she received an award from AMITA (an Italian-American group of organization of women but she also become the first deaf actress to appear regularly on a soap opera.

Even to this day, Linda continues her work in the deaf community.  At the National Theater of the Deaf she also makes contributions and performances. With her husband she founded the DeafWest Theater, based in Los Angeles.  In 2003 the theater comes with an adaptation of Huckleberry Finn musical by combining sign language, but also hearing actors that speak are involved.  She was directly involved in the performance, she served as an American Sign Language master and she realized that the unspoken language still maintains the savor of Mark Twain’s language. She acted as Miss Watson in a tour in 2005 and it was also the year when she debuted on the drama “Open Window”.


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