NORWALK, Conn. -- Happy birthday to Norwalk’s Mitch Longley!
Longley, who grew up in Norwalk, turns 51 on Thursday. The actor and model was born June 23, 1965, in Cleveland.
At the age of 5, his family relocated to Rowayton, and he performed in local plays, acting and singing. He was a student at Brien McMahon High School and was involved in various after school programs and athletics.
On March 13, 1983, after attending a Senior Class party, he fell asleep at the wheel of his car and plowed into a wall a few blocks from his home. He learned he suffered a spinal cord injury and became a paraplegic. While in rehabilitation, he graduated from high school and walked with the aid of braces on graduation day, accepting his diploma. Longley is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair.
During his college years, Longley gave talks at several colleges in Boston on disability-related issues and sang in the Northeastern University choir. He completed internships through Northeastern University such as working with disabled children in San Francisco.
After graduating in 1989, he returned to his hometown in Norwalk, met designer Ralph Lauren and was hired to be a fashion model in his ad campaigns.
In 1991, Longley was hired for his first professional acting job as young attorney Byron Pierce. His personality and looks, were a hit with the fans of "Another World." He stayed at the soap for a year and then left of his own accord.
In December 1993, he permanently relocated to Southern California to pursue his acting dreams.
He is also known for his role of Matt Harmon on the soap opera "Port Charles" from 1997 to 2000.