-• Lauren Ridloff is a deaf American actress born in Chicago, Illinois in 1978.
-• She was raised by her deaf African-American mother and Mexican-American father and learned sign language from a young age.
-• She studied creative writing, hip-hop and was part of a deaf performing group at California State University, Northridge, and later went on to earn a Master's in Education at Hunter College.
-• She has appeared in films such as "If You Could Hear My Own Tune," "Wonderstruck" and "Sound of Metal," and in TV shows such as "Five Under Five Project" and "Legacies."
-• In 2020, she and her colleagues won the CinEuphoria Merit – Honorary Award for their performance in "The Walking Dead."
Who is Lauren Ridloff and is she deaf?
Lauren Ridloff (nee Teruel) was born deaf in Chicago, Illinois USA, on 6 April 1978 – her zodiac sign is Aries and she holds American nationality. She is an actress, who is probably known best for her portrayal of Connie in the critically acclaimed horror thriller series “The Walking Dead”, created by Frank Darabont and Angela Kang, and which stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride. It follows Rick Grimes as he wakes up from a coma to learn that the world has been taken over by zombies. The series has been airing since 2010 and has won 78 awards, and has been nominated for 217 others, including a Golden Globe.
Early life, family and education
Lauren was raised in Chicago alongside her sister by their African-American mother and their Mexican-American father Hugo – both Lauren’s parents are also deaf. Her father worked at the University of Illinois at Chicago as a counselor and her mother was an artist.
Lauren was two years old when her parents found out that she was deaf, and she started learning sign language around the same time. She was enrolled at a Catholic school alongside children who could hear, and was amongst the best students there. Lauren progressed to Model Secondary School for the Deaf, and there became interested in acting starring as Dorothy in the play “The Wiz”. She was also interested in dancing, and was a cheerleader, while Lauren eventually became the first deaf American to compete internationally as a cheerleader.
Lauren matriculated in 1996, and then enrolled at California State University, Northridge at which she practiced creative writing, hip-hop dancing and was a member of a deaf performing group. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English in May 2000, following which Lauren decided to enter the National Association of the Deaf’s (NCOD) competition Miss Deaf America, and won. She continued her education at Hunter College, and graduated in 2005 with a Master’s degree in education.
Before choosing to focus on her acting career, Lauren taught kindergarten and first grade.
Roles in movies
Lauren has only 11 acting credits to her name, including “The Walking Dead”.
She made her debut film appearance in the 2011 musical drama “If You Could Hear My Own Tune” written and directed by Jade Bryan, and which starred Sylvie Marc-Charles-Weir, Omar Jaslin and Evan Armbrister. It’s the story of two musicians interested in a deaf woman who has a completely different view on music than they do.
Her following film role came six years later, when she portrayed the supporting character Pearl, The Maid in the mystery adventure drama “Wonderstruck”, written by Brian Selznick, directed by Todd Haynes and which starred Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams. It follows the lives of two children: Rose who is searching for a mysterious actress in 1927, and Ben who leaves home in search of his father in 1977.
The movie won one out of the 34 awards it was nominated for. Later in 2017, Lauren appeared in the adventure drama “Sign Gene: The First Deaf Superheroes”, written and directed by Emilio Insolera who also starred in it alongside Benjamin Bahan and Hiroshi Vava, and the year 2019 saw her star as Jessie in the short drama “See Through”.
Lauren’s most recent role in a movie has been in the hit 2019 musical drama “Sound of Metal”, written and directed by Darius Marder, and which starred Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke and Paul Raci. It follows the life of a drummer as he starts to lose his hearing, and won 48 awards and was nominated for 109 others, including a Golden Globe.
She has recently been cast to appear in two upcoming movies: the action adventure drama “Eternals” set to be released on 5 November 2021, and the drama “The Magnificent Meyersons” set for release in early 2022.
Roles in TV series
Lauren made her debut TV series performance in the 2016 episode “Earology” of the animated comedy drama “Five Under Five Project”, in which she voiced the supporting character Mom, and in 2018 she portrayed Dragon in the episode “Some People Just Want to Watch the World Burn” of the critically acclaimed fantasy adventure drama “Legacies”. The series was created by Julie Plec and is still airing, starring Danielle Rose Russell, Aria Shahghasemi and Quincy Fouse. It follows the werewolf/vampire hybrid Hope Mikaelson, as she struggles to find her place in the world.
Lauren’s only other appearance in a TV series has been in the 2019 episode “Happy Place” of the drama “New Amsterdam”.
She worked as a make-up artist on the 2011 musical drama film “If You Could Hear My Own Tune”.
Lauren has appeared in various documentaries, such as the series “Independent Lens”, another series “Working in the Theatre”, and the TV special “Celebrating Marvel’s Stan Lee”. She has also been invited to make a guest appearance in several talk-shows, such as “WGN Morning News”, “Hollywood Insider” and “Talking Dead”.
Lauren has won a single award – in 2020, she and her colleagues won a CinEuphoria Merit – Honorary Award for their performance in the series “The Walking Dead”.
Love life and husband
Lauren exchanged vows with her other half Douglas Ridloff in 2006, after the two had known each other for a couple of years. She‘s given birth to their two sons, both of whom are deaf, and Lauren then chose to quit teaching and instead stay at home and raise her boys.
It’s widely believed that Douglas is deaf as well, as he’s currently serving as the director of ASL SLAM, a space for deaf performing artists to share their storytelling and poetry. Douglas also refers to his project as the ‘Deaf Poets Society’.
Lauren hasn’t spoken about any other men she has perhaps been with, but it’s widely believed that Douglas isn’t her first love. As of February 2021, she is married and has two sons.
Hobbies and other interests
Lauren is physically very active, as she has several training sessions at the gym each week, while she also occasionally goes jogging with her husband.
She loves spending her free time in nature and there are numerous pictures uploaded onto her Instagram account taken from natural locations including forests, mountains and lakes.
Lauren used her fame on the internet (220,000 Instagram followers) to urge people to vote in the 2020 election, and to change the president. It appears that she voted for Joe Biden, although she hasn’t confirmed this.
She is an artist and is mostly interested in painting.
Lauren has her own favorite actors and actresses, some of whom are Robert De Niro, Matt Damon and Anne Hathaway, and a couple of her favorite movies are the trilogy “The Godfather”, “Good Will Hunting” and “Les Miserables”.
Age, height and net worth
Lauren’s age is 42. She has medium long black curly hair and brown eyes, her height is 5ft 2ins (1.57m) and she weighs around 110lbs (50kgs).
As of February 2021, her net worth has been estimated at over $500,000.