Well known as one of the founders of the National Theater for the Deaf, actor Lou Fant helped to found that organization in 1967, gaining praise and attention for their sign language performance of Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky.
Born in Greenville, SC, to deaf parents, Fant gained a unique perspective and insight into deaf acting while serving as the "voice" for deaf actors while at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Soon focusing his efforts on the organization of the National Theater for the Deaf, Fant later moved to Southern California to pursue acting, appearing in such features as The Pom Pom Girls (1976) and Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977). Fant also made frequent guest appearances on such popular television shows as Kojack, Little House on the Prairie, and Cheers. As a signing instructor in film, Fant coached such actors as Diane Keaton and Henry Winkler in addition to serving as sign language coach for Children of a Lesser God (1986). Fant also authored the American Sign Language Phrase Book.
On June 11, 2001, Lou Fant died of complications of pulmonary fibrosis in Seattle, WA. He was 69.