WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- It's one of the most watched shows in the world, and a primetime hit for CBS.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation just passed a milestone. It's 300th episode aired last week, and actor Robert David Hall was there from the beginning. He plays coroner Dr. Albert Robbins in the show, cutting bodies and finding evidence.
Robert David Hall says, "That's some of what I do. I have to learn all of these 10-syllable medical words and sound like I know what I am talking about."
And he should, in real life, actor Robert David Hall spent plenty of time in hospitals. 35 years ago he nearly lost his life when an 18-wheeler plowed right into his car. The gas tank exploded and more than 65 percent of his body was burned. The truck driver was drunk.
"I've walked on artificial limbs since that time," adds Hall.
He made a career in radio and acting while adjusting to life with two artificial legs. During his career he used his visibility to become a voice for the disabled community. This leads him back to Washington, his childhood home. Wednesday night, he was the emcee for the Medstar National Rehabilitation Network's 2013 Gala Victory Awards at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Northwest DC.
This year's honorees at the Victory Gala include Boston Marathon survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis, Rep. Tammy Duckworth from Illinois, and 5-year old Delaney Saslav who overcame a serious brain injury that occurred 2 years ago.
Robert David Hall himself recieved a victory award in December 2011. He uses his platform to make sure disabled citizens get a fair shot in life. But, he also feels the responsibility to deliver a tough message.
Hall says, "I used to be a little bit softer and now if some kid with a disability tells me, 'I wanna be in show business' I tell them, 'then you better get good, you better study hard because nobody is going to hire you just because you're a cute person with a disability. They are gonna hire you because you have the chops, you have the skills.'"
And that resolved helped cement his role on one of the most successful prime time shows in the world.
Hall says, "I try in my own 'actorly' way to understand what i'm doing, and I must look like somebody's idea of a coroner because it's worked for 14 years, HA!"