Andrea Fay Friedman, renowned for her work on “Life Goes On,” died at the age of 53. She passed away in Santa Monica on Sunday due to difficulties brought on by Alzheimer’s. 

Before her death, her father said that she had not been able to talk for a year, as the New York Times reported.

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Andrea Fay Friedman won praise for making a substantial impact on the representation and visibility of people with disabilities, especially those who have Down syndrome. She was notable for portraying characters with the disorder, and her father discussed their view of Down syndrome as an “up disorder,” according to the New York Times. Andrea’s career was successful, and she received praise for her performance in “Life Goes On” from 1992 to 1993.

Who was Andrea Fay Friedman?

American actress Andrea Fay Friedman made significant contributions in breaking down barriers and advancing the depiction of people with Down syndrome in the entertainment business.

Her important portrayal of Amanda Swanson in the ground-breaking television series “Life Goes On” (1989–1993) dispelled myths and gave a realistic account of the relationships and daily activities of a teen with Down syndrome.

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In addition to her part in “Life Goes On,” Friedman played several other parts in movies and television series, demonstrating her versatility. Her television credits include roles in “Family Guy,” “ER,” “Baywatch,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and “ER.” 

Her first voice acting role was in the “Family Guy” episode “Extra Large Medium,” when she performed as the Down syndrome character Ellen. Through her work, Friedman has shown how dedicated she is to encouraging greater understanding and portrayal of people with Down syndrome in the entertainment industry.

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Friedman made important achievements outside of the entertainment industry in addition to her prosperous acting career. She supported students with impairments as they made the transition to independent living as an assistant instructor in UCLA’s Pathway program.