Is Eric Graise an Amputee in Real Life? How Did He Lose His Legs?

In CBS’ ‘Tracker,’ Colter Shaw travels the country, trying to solve the cases that will win him rewards. He is a survivalist, and his penchant to find out anything, no matter how well hidden it might be, makes him excellent at his job. But while Shaw is good at tracking things physically, he needs someone else’s expertise when things get a bit technical. From digging into people’s backgrounds to finding out someone simply from their digital footprint, Bob Exley is the man for the job. While Shaw doesn’t have many friends and doesn’t trust many people, Bob is one of the few that he relies on when it comes to important things. In the show, Bob is a double amputee and is played by actor Eric Graise, who shares the character’s disability.

Eric Graise is a Bilateral Amputee

A native of Atlanta, Eric Graise was born with no fibula in both of his legs. The missing bone was the reason why the actor had his legs amputated when he was around one year old. Growing up, he was a fan of shows like ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ and dreamed about being a performer. He would take part in school theatre and showed his talent in singing, dancing, and acting, among others. He was particularly drawn towards dancing after he saw a video of Full Radius Dance company, which consists of both disabled and non-disabled dancers working together to create beautiful dance pieces.

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Graise attended the University of West Georgia, where he got a bachelor’s in Theatre. He was highly active during his time in college, becoming a two-time finalist in the Kennedy Centre American College Theatre Festival and the first National Kennedy Center Blanche and Irving Laurie Fellow from his region. He was the president of his Alpha Psi Omega fraternity and was involved in writing, directing, and designing many plays, starring in the likes of ‘Cabaret,’ ‘Once on This Island’ and ‘Rent.’ Following his graduation, he was invited to the White House for the 25th Annual Celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act as a speaker on the panel.

After college, Graise auditioned for ‘Full Radius Dance’ and ended up getting an internship with them, which changed his life. From here, he moved on to TV by starring in ‘Step Up: High Water,’ produced by Channing Tatum. After appearing as a zombie a couple of times on ‘The Walking Dead,’ Graise bagged roles in shows like ‘Locke and Key’ and ‘Queer as Folk.’

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Talking about his success as a performer, Graise said that he doesn’t want people to consider his success more important because they think it came “in spite of his disability,” noting that he is not the first actor with a disability to have found this level of fame and success in the showbiz. “What they are usually really saying is, ‘If you can do that, then I have no excuse.’ It is more about them, not me. And it diminishes all of my hard work. You can do anything if you work hard. I really worked hard to get here. It’s not about my disability,” he said in an interview with Megyn Kelly on TODAY.

For Graise, it is less about receiving praise for his success and more about finding ways to see that disabled actors and the stories of people with disabilities are reflected in Hollywood. On a personal level, he wants to make a name for himself and his family. He wants to do the roles that challenge him as a performer, be it in dancing or acting, and help tell more diverse stories.

Read More: Tracker: Exploring All Filming Sites of the CBS Show

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