Lauren Elizabeth Potter is an American actress, best known for her role as Becky Jackson in the television show Glee. Potter serves as an advocate for those with special needs through organizations including AbilityPath, Best Buddies International, the Down Syndrome Association, the American Association of People with Disabilities, and Special Olympics.
At the age of 16, Potter obtained her first acting role, starring in the film, Mr. Blue Sky.
From 2009 to 2015, Potter portrayed the recurring character Becky Jackson, a cheerleader with Down syndrome, in all six seasons of the TV show Glee. Cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) takes a special interest in Becky in part because Sue's older sister, Jean, also has Down syndrome. In 2012, Potter was nominated for a SAG award in the Ensemble in a Comedy Series category for her work in Glee. She also received the SAG/AFTRA Harold Russell Award at the 2012 Media Access Awards.
In November 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Potter to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, where she will advise the White House on issues related to that population. Twenty-one members are involved in the committee along with 13 U.S. federal government staff. During periodic meetings throughout the year, the committee will discuss a variety of different issues affecting those with disabilities including items such as education and workplace integration issues.
In 2015, Potter appeared as Jenny in the short film Guest Room, which premiered at SXSW. Potter played a young woman with Down syndrome, who dealt with the difficulties of an unplanned pregnancy.
Potter was an ambassador for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. She acted as a speaker and role-model to promote inclusion and disability awareness.
Bullied as a young child, Potter has partnered with AbilityPath to put an end to bullying. Additionally, she works with Special Olympics to help promote the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign. Her efforts include starring in a 2011 PSA commercial with co-star Jane Lynch. The commercial, "Not Acceptable", advocates to end the use of the R-word in everyday language.
Potter continues to give speeches across the United States to stand up for these causes.