Aimee Mullins
Mullins in April 2008
Personal information
Born1976 (age 47–48)[1]
Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
(m. 2016)
SportTrack and field
Event(s)Long jump, sprinting
College teamGeorgetown University
Achievements and titles
Paralympic finals1996 Paralympics

Aimee Mullins (born 1975)[1][2][3][4] is an American athlete, actress, and public speaker. She was born with a medical condition that resulted in the amputation of both of her legs beneath the knee. She is the first amputee to compete against nondisabled athletes in National Collegiate Athletic Association events, and competed in the Paralympics in 1996 in Atlanta. In 1999, she began modeling, and, in 2002, she began an acting career. She has periodically spoken at conferences, including TED Talks.

Early life and education

Mullins' prosthetic leg shown at CCCB exhibit in Barcelona, October 2015
Mullins watches fellow bilateral amputee Hugh Herr climb the wall at MIT Media Lab's h2.0 symposium, May 9, 2007

Mullins was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania to an Irish father Bernard Mullins from Crusheen, County Clare, Ireland and mother Bernadette Mullins. She was born with fibular hemimelia (missing fibula bones). As a result, both her legs were amputated below the knee when she was one year old. Her parents were told she would likely use a wheelchair for the rest of her life and never walk, but by the age of two she had learned to walk with prosthetic legs. She took up sports and acting at an early age.

In 1993, Mullins graduated from Parkland High School[1] in South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania.

She attended the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University on a full scholarship, where she competed against nondisabled athletes in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I track and field events. She is the first female amputee in history to compete in the NCAA and the first amputee in history (male or female) to compete in NCAA Division I track and field.


Mullins competed in the 1996 Summer Paralympics in Atlanta, where she ran the T42-46 class 100-meter sprint in 17.01 seconds[5] and jumped 3.14 meters in the F42-46 class long jump.[6] She retired from competitive track and field in 1998.


She was elected to represent American female athletes from 2007 to 2009 as Women's Sports Foundation president; the organization was founded by sports pioneer Billie Jean King. She remains a member of both its board of trustees and its athlete advisory panel for the Women Sports Foundation.[7] Sports Illustrated magazine named her one of the "Coolest Girls in Sports".[when?] Mullins was included as one of the "Greatest Women of the 20th Century" in the Women's Museum in Dallas prior to the museum's closure.

Along with Teresa Edwards, Mullins was appointed Chef de Mission for the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.[8]

In 2012, she was appointed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the State Department's Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports.[9]


In 1999, she modelled for British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, opening his London show on a pair of hand-carved wooden prosthetic legs made from solid ash, with integral boots. She is able to change her height between 5 ft 8in and 6 ft 1in by changing her legs.[10] She was on billboards in the U.S. as part of the "25 Years of Non-Uniform Thinking" campaign by Kenneth Cole in 2009. She was a face of L'Oréal Paris and was appointed a global L'Oréal ambassador in 2011.[11]

Film and television

In 2002, she starred in Matthew Barney's art film Cremaster 3 as six different characters, including a cheetah woman. Her other film and television credits include roles in World Trade Center, Poirot (S9:E1 Five Little Pigs), Naked in a Fishbowl, Quid Pro Quo, and Marvelous. In the River of Fundament, she continued collaboration with Matthew Barney, starring as Isis in performances both live and filmed since 2007 and released in early 2014. She has performed roles in Young Ones, The Being Experience, Rob the Mob, and the debut feature Appropriate Behavior. She acted in Crossbones, an NBC television show, and in the Netflix series Stranger Things.

She appeared on The Colbert Report on April 15, 2010, and declared having 12 pairs of prosthetic legs, including some "in museums".[12]


Mullins appears periodically as a speaker on topics related to body, identity, design, and innovation. Her TED conference talks have been translated into 42 languages. She is credited as being one of the speakers that inspired Chris Anderson to purchase the TED conference from Richard Saul Wurman.[13] She was named a TED "All-Star" in 2014.[14]

Personal life

Mullins began dating English actor Rupert Friend in 2013.[15][16] The couple married in 2016.[17]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 Cremaster 3 The Entered Novitiate
2006 Marvelous Becka
2006 World Trade Center Reporter
2008 Quid Pro Quo Raine
2013 In the Woods
2014 Rob the Mob Carrie
2014 Young Ones Katherine Holm
2014 Appropriate Behavior Sasha
2014 River of Fundament The Ka of Norman / Isis
2015 STRYKA Stryka Short film
2015 In Stereo Trisha Bontecou
2017 Rufus Celia Short film
2018 Unsane Ashley Brighterhouse
2019 Drunk Parents Heidi Bianchi
2023 Asteroid City Actor / Student


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Cremaster 3 The Entered Novitiate / Oonagh MacCumhail
2003 Agatha Christie's Poirot Lucy Crale Episode: "Five Little Pigs"
2011 Naked in a Fishbowl Nance Episode: "The Bold and the Bucious"
2014 Crossbones Antoinette / Woman in White / The Woman-In-White 4 episodes
2015 The Mysteries of Laura Connie Baker Episode: "The Mystery of the Exsanguinated Ex"
2015 Power Ellen Wenrich Episode: "Ghost Is Dead"
2016 Limitless Dr. Peri Episode: "Hi, My Name Is Rebecca Harris"
2016–2017 Stranger Things Terry / Teresa Ives 6 episodes
2017 Odd Mom Out Annabelle Hughes Episode: "Homo Erectus"
2019 Bull Alice Yarrow Episode: "Billboard Justice"
2020 Devs Anya 3 episodes
2020 MacGyver Jess Miller Episode: "Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice"
2023 Extrapolations Secretary of State Garrett Episode: "2059: Face Of God"


In 2017, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.[18]

On May 4, 2018, she received an honorary degree and gave the commencement address at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.[19]


  1. ^ a b c Miegoc, Joe (March 31, 2009). "Overcoming Adversity: Aimee Mullins never let her disability define her". Pocono Record. Aimee Mullins ... who attended Georgetown University after graduating from Parkland High School in 1993 ... the same doctor who had delivered Mullins in 1976
  2. ^ "Lehigh Valley Native Makes List of Top Irish Americans of 1999". The Morning Call. March 17, 1999. Aimee Mullins, 23
  3. ^ Conlon, Scarlett (June 6, 2016). "Aimee Mullins Shares Wedding Album". British Vogue. Mullins, 39
  4. ^ "Aimee Mullins: from Atlanta 1996 prosthetics pioneer to star in Stranger Things". International Paralympic Committee. May 22, 2023. The 47-year-old former sprinter
  5. ^ "IPC Historical Results Database". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  6. ^ "IPC Historical Results Database". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  7. ^ "Aimee Mullins". Women's Sports Foundation. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  8. ^ "Aimee Mullins named Chef de Mission for 2012 Paralympic Games". April 28, 2011. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  9. ^ "The U.S. Department of State's Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports". U.S. Department of State. June 21, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  10. ^ "Aimee Mullins: It's not fair having 12 pairs of legs | Video on". Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  11. ^ "L'Oreal publicity Feb 2011". Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  12. ^ "The Colbert Report". Comedy Central. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Patrick Pittman (2011). "Chris Anderson is the Curator of TED – Conversations with Extraordinary People". New York: Dumbo Feather. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  14. ^ Juliet Blake. "TED2014 All-Stars Line Up". Archived from the original on March 21, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  15. ^ Radnor, Abigail (February 15, 2014). "What I've Learnt". The Times. London. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  16. ^ Dowd, Maureen (November 26, 2015). "Maureen Dowd gives thanks for befriending Rupert Friend's stunning girlfriend". Irish Central.
  17. ^ Petit, Stephanie. "Surprise! Rupert Friend and Aimee Mullins Secretly Got Married One Month Ago". People.
  18. ^ "Ten women added to National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca". September 17, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  19. ^ "Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients". Archived from the original on June 26, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018.