You might think Inside Man‘s “Mobile Command Officer Rourke” is just another non-disabled actor plopped into a wheelchair for a bit part as the token cripple–there’s no way a uniformed policeman in a wheelchair could easily get inside a mobile command unit with narrow doorways and stairs–but Daryl “Chill” Mitchell is the real deal.
Born a biped in the Bronx, New York City, Mitchell enjoyed success as both a rapper in the ’90s and later as an actor in House Party and its sequel, Sgt. Bilko, Galaxy Quest, 10 Things I Hate About You, and the TV sitcoms The John Larroquette Show and Veronica’s Closet. He was paralyzed from the waist down by a motorcycle accident in 2001. Fortunately, Mitchell already had a disabled friend to show him the ropes, and support from friends including Denzel Washington and Chris Tucker allowed him to continue his acting career.
He has since appeared on TV shows Ed, Law and Order, Brothers, Desperate Housewives, and Wizards of Waverly Place, started the Daryl Mitchell Foundation, received the NAACP Image Award, and serves as a spokesperson for the Christopher Reeve Foundation.