Early life, family, educational background
American producer, actor and writer, Sean Lance Berdy was born on June 3, 1993 in Boca Raton, Florida, USA. He grew up with his younger brother, Tyler by Scott and Terrie Berdy, in a Hebrew Catholic family. All four are deaf. Sean was born deaf and is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), but he also speaks English. He is of Irish-Russian ethnicity as his father is of Russian descent and his mother is of Irish descent; Sean has American nationality.
From an early age, Sean would perform comedy improv shows, with Tyler in charge of lighting; the shows fueled his passion for performing. As a young child, he was particularly interested in magic. and won first place at the World Children’s Magicians Festival in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
From grade school he attended Indiana School of the Deaf, and in 2010, during his sophomore year, won the title of Mr. Deaf Teen America. The Model Secondary School started the pageant for the deaf in 1999. Part of its job as a winner was to travel the US and spread awareness of the disability. His travels and performances led him to enroll remotely from California in 2011. He performed with the school tour group, Vibrations, when he was in high school and signed “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson in American Sign Language. He performed with the band nationwide and the performances became popular not only live, but also on YouTube where a video of the performance was posted.
Are acting career began in 2005, when he played the mischievous but loveable Sammy “Fingers” Samuelson in the movie sequel, “The Sandlot 2,” which was narrated and directed by David Mickey Evans. In 2006, he starred alongside Michael Angarano as the supporting role of Young Trey in the movie “The Bondage” directed and written by Eric Allen Bell. In 2008, he appeared as Nick in ‘The Legend of the Mountain Man’ and as Wesley in ‘The Deaf Family’.
From 2011 to 2017, he starred in five seasons of “Switched at Birth”, moved to California to film the ABC Family series, and played the main character, Emmett Bledsoe, one of the two deaf characters on the show. Marlee Matlin played Melody Bledsoe, Emmett’s mother; Vanessa Marano and Katie Leclerc were also regular actors on the series.
Emmett is a photographer, rides a motorcycle and drums in a band. Sean received the Deaf Nation Inspiration Award for Entertainment for the positive impact his role had on the deaf community, and the series was recognized for encouraging people to learn American Sign Language and for raising awareness of the deaf community.
In 2011, Sean was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for TV Breakout Star. In an interview with Time magazine, Sean shared his experience playing Emmett, saying that while Emmett grew up deaf, like himself, he has always been able to hear a little bit – he can hear sounds with a hearing aid and enjoys listening to music. . He considers himself bilingual as he has the ability to speak and understand English.
He added that he appreciates that people have taken the initiative to learn American Sign Language after watching the show. Sean explained that when he goes to a bakery or a restaurant, or anywhere else in public, people thank him and sign something, to which he replies, “Where did you learn that?” and they reply, “From the show,” proving that “Switched at Birth” made an incredible impact.
In “Ice Age: Continental Drift”, the Twentieth Century-Fox animated movie released in 2012, Sean drew the movie in American Sign Language for the DVD version. He can be seen during the film, displayed in a picture-in-picture window. In 2018, he appeared as Frank Bowe in the ‘Civil Rights’ episode of the ‘Drunk History’ series.
He co-stars as Sam Eliot in Netflix’s “The Society” from 2019, one of the main characters who is deaf and gay.
Sam’s best friends, Gordie (played by Jose Julian) and Becca Gelb (Gideon Adlon) both taught themselves American Sign Language to communicate with him more easily. Jack Mulhern plays Grizz, Sam’s boyfriend, who also learns to communicate with Sam after accidentally starting to learn British Sign Language. Sean spoke to Time magazine again when he joined the cast of “The Society,” sharing how the show was tackling sign language. He told the magazine that none of the actors knew how to sign, so then there was an American Sign Language coach on set who would help the actors learn their lines in sign language – the cast would have lessons on the weekends and during their free time . time on movie days. Sean expressed his admiration for Gideon Adlon, who plays Becca, saying that her determination to learn sign language perfectly made a huge impression on him.
Gideon had one and a half to two weeks to learn her lines and be able to sign them fluently, but she managed every episode. In his interview, he also talked about the movies ‘A Quiet Place’ and ‘The Shape of Water’, two big Hollywood movies with sign language and deaf characters ‘…in different ways’.
When interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, he spoke about why deaf representation is so important. Sean explained that good representation shows that deaf people don’t just “…move their hands…” but that there is an entire culture, community and language. That relationships between deaf and hearing people present multiple challenges, but are joyful and happy, just like ‘normal’ relationships. He has appeared in several music videos to provide interpretations in sign language, and has given numerous motivational keynote speeches across the country.
One of his most famous versions in American Sign Language is that of Enrique Iglesias’ famous song “Hero”. Sean’s version has been viewed over a million times on YouTube. In 2012, he sang “Hero” live in sign language at Disneyland’s inaugural SIGNin’ in the Street; the event celebrated creativity within the deaf community. In May 2019, he announced that he was writing a romantic movie in American Sign Language. He has appeared in several public service commercials throughout his career. He plans to develop his comedy “The Sean Berdy Show” which will feature skits, stand-up comedy, personal life stories and other topics. He also wants to make more music videos.
He has said that he is the complete opposite of his “Switched at Birth” character, Emmett, who is remote and icy; Sean describes himself as outgoing and playful.
From the age of 11 he suffers from bipolar disorder. He opened up about his struggles in June 2018, when he shared an Instagram post saying, “I’ve been hiding for so long and I’m done because I know when I share I’ll get more support.” He practices yoga and meditation, and goes for walks and hikes to help him cope with his disorder. He was in a relationship with Mary Harman, but the couple have since split, after which she got engaged and married Colin Whited, but Sean is apparently still single.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
In his interview with theTVaddict.com, Sean stated that his favorite actor is Jim Carrey, who inspired him from a very young age; his dream would be to star opposite Jim in a big comedy movie. He gushed, “He [Jim] is one of the great sources of inspiration in my young life, and he still is.’ His agility and speed at signing has earned him the nickname “drawing ninja.”
When he was two years old, his aunt jokingly said he would become an actor like Marlee Matlin, who ironically played his mother 15 years later in “Switched at Birth.” He is regularly recognized and praised for his work in revolutionizing people’s interest in the deaf community and learning sign language.
He has reddish brown hair and blue eyes. He is 1.78 m tall and weighs about 68 kg.
Wealth and salary
As of early 2020, his net worth is estimated to be over $2 million.