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Ronnie Gene Blevins opens up about battle with deafness and blindness

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May 11, 2014 | 5:47pm EDT

TV and movie bad guy Ronnie Gene Blevins faces more challenges than most actors as he fights for roles because he's deaf in one ear and blind in one eye. The actor, who recently portrayed Nicolas Cage's nemesis Willie-Russell in Joe and has played villains in over 30 TV dramas including Shameless, Hawaii Five-O and the Mentalist, is currently undergoing treatment to get his sight back. He is also deaf in one ear since a cholesteatoma claimed his hearing when he was a child. He tells WENN, "I'm really blind in one eye... I have this weird thing called uveitis; it's a swelling of my retina, so it's rendered my blind in my left eye. "The good news is that I'm being treated for it; the bad news is the treatment has caused cataracts, so now the speculation is that it's actually the cataracts that are impairing the vision. So the hope is that when I get the cataracts removed, I'll have my eyesight restored, but I'll have to keep getting treatment." Blevins, who is currently shooting thriller Crawlspace, reveals he has had partial blindness for two years, but refuses to allow his condition to affect his work. However, he admits the diagnosis initially took some getting used to: "When I go to sleep I'm out of it. The lights are off and I wake up and it's pitch black and think I've gone completely blind. It caused these night terrors for a while."

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