2 Strong Women: Helen Keller & Annie Sullivan for International Women’s Day

There are two remarkable women that I think should be remembered on International Women’s Day—and they are Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan.

Helen Keller 1880 – 1968

The place between your comfort zone and your dream is where life takes place.

Helen Keller
Helen Keller

Helen Adams Keller was born in Alabama on the 27th June 1880. At only 19 months, she suffered an illness that left her blind, deaf and dumb.

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.

Helen Keller

Annie Sullivan 1866 – 1936

Helen’s behaviour was wild and unmanageable and Annie Sullivan was hired to try to teach this out of control child. Annie became known as ‘The Miracle Worker’ for enabling Helen to overcome deafness and blindness and to learn language, how to communicate and talk.

People seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved

Annie Sullivan

Annie’s perseverance and teachings enabled Helen to overcome severe disability and become one of the most inspiring and influential women of the 20th century.

Helen Keller’s achievements were remarkable

  • Published twelve books
  • Communicated in several languages
  • A celebrity speaker worldwide
  • Became the first blind, deaf and dumb person to get a bachelor’s degree
  • And was an active Political and Social influencer.

Making a mistake is falling down—
Failure is not getting up again.

Helen Keller

The Miracle Worker

I was fortunate to play Helen and be nominated *Best Actress for the starring role in The Miracle Worker.

Lesley Scoble as Helen Keller

Twelve year old me in the role of Helen Keller

I first learned about Helen and her remarkable teacher Annie Sullivan when I was twelve years old and acting in the play The Miracle Worker Wyndham’s Theatre, London – Olympia Theatre, Dublin – Playhouse Theatre, Sheffield.

The Miracle Worker was written by William Gibson in 1961, and portrays the early part of Helen Keller’s life. The play is a powerful, emotional drama that highlights the battles between the young headstrong uncontrollable Helen and her stoic determined teacher Annie Sullivan. Eventually Annie succeeds in unlockIng ‘Language’ in her young blind, deaf and dumb pupil.

*The Miracle Worker first premiered in the West End at the Wyndham’s Theatre.
My school friend Janina Faye first starred in the role in this production – in which I was also a member of the cast.

*Best Actress nomination for my performance at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin

Janina and me meeting up again at a signing event in London

Helen Keller is one of the most influential women of the 20th Century

I think this is a good day to remember her—and Annie Sullivan too!

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

Helen Keller

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