Plot & Details
Made for television, Why Me? is the true story of Air Force nurse Leola Mae Harmon (Glynnis O'Connor), whose face is all but destroyed in a head-on automobile accident. As Leola recuperates in a military hospital, her will to live is seriously tested, not only by her shattered face, but also by the loss of her unborn child and the breakup of her marriage. The one person who refuses to feel sorry for Leola -- and who, in fact, admires her spunk -- is dedicated plastic surgeon James Stallings (Armand Assante). Persuading Leola to allow him to rebuild her face, Stallings puts his patient through 40 operations in the next four years. Understandably, the film's dramatic impact is greatest in the early sequences, wherein actress O'Connor, her face obscured by bandages (and by Michael Westmore's disturbingly realistic, Emmy nominated makeup), must convey her thoughts and moods through her eyes, her body language, and an occasional incoherent grunt. Why Me? originally aired March 12, 1984, on ABC.