November 14, 2003 by

Shirl Jennings


Categories: Artists

Shirley Jennings, the blind man whose life inspired a feature film, died on Oct. 26 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 63.

Jennings was three years old when he contracted meningitis, polio and cat scratch fever. The illnesses stole his eyesight.

After four decades of blindness, Jennings underwent two operations to restore his ability to see. The surgeries were successful, but he suffered from sensory overload. Less than a year later, Jennings came down with pneumonia, which left him disabled and caused much of his restored vision to vanish.

At the time, Jennings was working as a masseuse at the YMCA in DeKalb, Ga. The pneumonia cost him his job and his home, which was owned by the Y. In 1999, his story became the inspiration for the film, “At First Sight,” starring Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino.

In the final years of his life, Jennings began painting abstracts. His first one-man art show was held in 2002 at the Center Street Arts Gallery in Conyers, Ga.

95 Responses to Shirl Jennings

  1. Victoria

    I just finished watching the movie, “At first sight,” for the 6th time. I logged on today to give Shirl Jennings my support and to tell him how I admired him. I am ‘crushed’ to have learned of his untimely death.
    God be with his family.

  2. Jody

    I am so sorry, I just watched for the fourth time At First Sight. I am a Massage Therapist for many years now and work with many infirmaties. I was so sorry to hear of this death. I think his wife did a good thing. You are to be commended. I would have done the same.

  3. walter

    I’m Shirl Jennings nephew. I’ve witnessed how a man with so little could do so much. No sight, no wealth, no connections, and in a far away big city all alone. I have never heard him say a cross word against anyone or say anything negative. The man just never ever complained about anything. An almost impossible feat in todays world. The man was more “Christ like” than any minister could ever hope to be. He has been and always will be my favorite uncle.

  4. Susanne Andreasen

    My name is Susanne and I live in Denmark – Europe. I just watched for the 3. time At First Sight. I think Shirl Jennings must have ben a very special person and I’m sorry to hear of his death. What great paintings he made they are absolutely wonderful. My blessing to his family.

  5. Beth Walloch

    I just finished watchig “At First Sight”, was watching the credits, I’m an artist myself, but through my own suffereing I’ve beccome more interested in the emotional aspects of art, I saw he was a painter……. and ……. I’m terribly sad now, I just found this article……he died…… not even a year ago… look at me, I’m crying now. I would have LOVED to meet Mr. Jennings….. He must have been a wonderful man.
    Beth, Milwaukee WI
    “always belive in angels”
    is anyone knows where i can find his art online, please email me, and put shirl jennings in the subjectline so it doens’t get filtered out.

  6. Meg

    I just watched “At First Sight” for the 20th time, but I had never noticed the caption at the end about the Jennings. I am not sure how I missed it. I immedaitly became curious. I am aspiring radio producer and thought this would make a wonderful touching story for radio. Then I searched the internet and found he had died. He must have been a truly remarkable man.

  7. kathleen

    My family and I can’t stop watching the movie
    “At First Sight”
    We are so sorry to to hear Shirl passed on,
    both Shirl and Barbara are quite gifted.
    We noticed Shirl died on the same day and year my son and his family deceased.
    God Bless, Our Prayers Go with YOU and Yours.

  8. Jordan Gorle

    My name is Jordan Gorle. I just watched at first sight, and also looked at some of Shirl’s art. I am from a small town in Canada called Plattsville. My favorite place on earth in in my town by the river. I call it “my river”. I love it and always am happy to be there. I am comfortable there. I think it is a beautiful place, filled with nature and gods gifts. Shirls art opened my eyes to the fact that I love it there so much, not for how beautiful it is to my eyes but for how beautiful it is in my heart. Thank you Shirl. I am saddened by the fact I will never get to thank you in person. However, I have faith that you received my thanks even though I cannot see you. God bless you and yours.

  9. Anj

    I just watched At First Sight and I was so touched by it. I wish there were more people like Barbara and Shirl in this world. It would be a much better place to live in. I also wish I had got to know Shirl because he seems like such an amazing person. RIP.

  10. Sanne

    I just watched yhe film “at first sight” for the first time and I think it is amazing how he could work. I hope there are more people like him, I really admired him very much.
    I’m sorry to hear that he passed on.
    I live in Belgium and when I watched the film I really wanted to now more about shirl, because I think he is an amazing person.

  11. TOM

    I just watched “At First Sight” for the first time and I was so surprised to find out that the movie was a true story about the life of Shirl and Barbara Jennings. I felt sad to find out that Shirl Jennings had already passed away, but at the same time, I felt happy to know that the character that Val Kilmer played in the movie really lived, and I mean REALLY LIVED LIFE TO THE FULLEST! It is such a shame that people, like me, continue to live life taking a lot of things for granted. We preoccupy ourselves too much with power, wealth and envy that we fail to see the finer things in life. The things that really matter. The real beauty of people, places and nature. Shirl Jennings had inspired me to always see, accept and love the beauty of people and things that are just there right in front of me all this time. I thank God for Shirl Jennings and I wish that there were more like him in this world.

  12. Sue

    You know, I had seen this movie at the theatre when it first was released, and I was flooded with emotions. When it came out on HBO, I watched it maybe another 5-6 times, always sitting there speechless, watching, wondering just how many wonderful things in my life that I had allowed to pass by because of always being in a hurry. This movie showed me just how precious life is, and how important the little things are.
    Now, several years later, I find myself back in college pursuing a teaching degree in special education, and I’m working on a learning disabilities assignment. We were given many options of choices to use for this project, but this movie was one of our options, so I jumped on it. I promptly went out and rented the movie and sat down and watched it 3 more times. Again, I cried and was emotionally drained at the close of the film. I find myself even more exhausted and exasperated to have logged on to this website and find out that Shirl Jennings has passed away. Oh, that I could dare to accomplish with my life even a fraction of what he accomplished. I feel that I am a better person for having been exposed to his story and to that of his wife. Theirs is truly a remarkable love story. His story will live on through this movie and hopefully will touch many other people’s lives. Thank you for sharing your story with us. God Bless……

  13. terry

    Well, I have a v.c.r. attached to a small t.v. in my dining room and I watch at first sight everyday. it’s a beautiful love story, a story of courage, a story of humanity. My kids are tired of me having it on while we eat, they all say, Hi, to sheril and barbara when we sit at the table. I only wished I had met them both. I love the movie and will continue to watch and admire his life of passion.
    Terry, in San Anotnio, Tx

  14. Juan Carlos Alvarado Cruz

    Hi there, I am Juan Carlos Alvarado from Mexico. I live on the coast of the Gulf Of Mexico. I am an English teacher. I must confessed that At First Sight is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. I fell in love with this movie the very first time i watched on tv. There are some reasons: a)the humbleness and the greatness of a man’s heart that inspired a great movie, b)the chance that recovering his vision gave to scientific reasearch (life of generosity), c) the impact of a life that never lets go in spite of the physical absence.
    I am working on a thesis project for educational purposes where the impact of vision for learning English as a foreign language seems to be a reevant variable. I have decided to cite the movie. But more than anything else, I have to thank Shirley Jennings for contributing to life betterness.
    to the family of Shirley Jennings, I know about the sorrow of losing our beloved, however we must remember them for the winning they have given us…

  15. ewan muirhead

    just wanted to echo some of the comments below- saw the credits at the end of the film ‘first sight’ and was curious to find out more about shirl and barbara. thoroughly enjoyed the film and what it represents- what a fantastic legacy, i hope the memory lives on and touches more people along the way…

  16. Mike Davies

    oh my god, i have just watched “at first sight” and i am truly inspired by how some people get through the hardest tests in life….how we wish people like shirl, be given more than one chance in life…how the world will mish one of its most valuable creatures! love and respect to you both.
    my love is also with family and friends

  17. Camilla.L

    After just watching at first sight i loved it, and to find out it was true filled me with emotions. I am extremly sad of the terible loss and although i never met Shirl and Barbra, i admire them very much!!! They are very remarkable people and i give my love to his family and friends!!!

  18. Camilla.L

    After just watching at first sight i loved it, and to find out it was true filled me with emotions. I am extremly sad of the terible loss and although i never met Shirl and Barbra, i admire them very much!!! They are very remarkable people and i give my love to his family and friends!!!

  19. joe

    I have access to several authentic prints of C. Mcclain Campbell and Shirl jennings last art work called seasons; at first sight. what are they worth? Anyone interested please e-mail me.

  20. Naomi Melendez

    Yesterday I was looking for information on Shirl & Barbara Jennings to find out any updates on their lives and I was shocked and sad to learn that Mr. Jennings had passed away. This is so devastating to me. I recently saw “At first sight” and liked the movie so much that I wanted more info. God bless the Jennings family. The movie about Mr. Jennings is very inspiring and uplifting. It shows that there was a real man of character named Shirl who made a difference in peoples’ lives.

  21. maria marcus

    what a beautiful film I wish there were more of
    this kind ! It is a inspiration for us all !
    maria marcus holland april 2006

  22. Grace Harpe

    The movie “At First Sight” had moved me in many ways. I am sure glad I watched it and I learned a valuable things in life. Having sight is a wonderful gift from God that most of us take it for granted. Thank you for the inspiration and my best wishes to you Barbara and the family.
    God Bless. Best regards
    Grace Harpe
    Vancouver, BC
    April 30, 2006

  23. Linda Anderson

    I bought the DVD At First Sight and have seen it so many times I can’t begin to count….Each time I see more and feel more…..I got curious about this couple and came on line to find out more about their life after the “story” and was sorry to hear that Shirl had died. I appreciate being able to find his paintings on line and Barbara’s egg art as well. I am sure she misses him very much.

  24. Debbie Ault

    WOW! What a movie. I normally don’t go digging around online for further information. I really felt led to learn more about the “real” people behind the scenes. My heart dropped at learning about Shirl passing on and now I am anxious to see his art! I didn’t even realize this was an old film, yet, people are still writing about it. That says something!

  25. Angelica

    I have just watched the movie “At First Sight”, and like many that have said the same, I am so saddened (and shocked) by his death. It was a great movie; it must have been an amazing life experience !
    Sydney, Australia

  26. Elle

    This week I too saw the moving true story of Shirl Jennings and wife, Barbara. Having just logged on in search of further information on their life together, I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing. Having suddenly lost the “absolute love and light of my life” to melanoma, I can empathise with Barbara. One can only wonder why such remarkably caring and brave souls with abundant zest for life are taken from us.
    Bobbie’s girl forever and always
    Sydney, Australia

  27. TessErin

    Shirl and Barbara:
    I watched At First Sight for the first time last night. I found it very inspiring. You helped me see life’s true beauty.
    I enjoy reading about people like you and Louis Braille.
    Thank You for sharing your story.
    God Bless,

  28. Francisca

    I’m totally speechless, actually still in tears and with a mixture of emotions after watching “At First Sight”. What a learning and valuable lesson, it makes you reconsider the priorities in life. Immediately after it ended I went to look it up in the internet and I am sorry to know that Mr. Jennings passed away.
    God Bless him and his wife Barbara.

  29. Naomi

    I just finished watching “At first Sight” for the 6th or 7th time. I could not stop watching it. I think I will be forever addicted to it. No, definately will be forever addicted to it. The first time I saw it the whole way through I was angry in the end. I mean, it definately would have been better if his sight would have stayed with him, but it didn’t. But I see now that in a certain way, being blind has its advantages over seing. Because sometimes you can see without really seeing. A blind person has the accidental ability to not judge anything or anyone by their outward appearance. They are forced to “see” what a person is really all about. And I see now that that its truly amazing. I’m very sad to hear about his death and my condolences go with his entire family. God Bless You all and thanks for showing me what it means to “look without seeing.”
    Naomi Johnson,
    Long Beach, California

  30. Shelly Koonce

    I watched “At First Sight” for the first time today.
    I very much enjoyed the story performed by Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino. But I truly enjoyed reading the real life story of Shirl Jennings and Barbara Nolting. It left a lasting empression on my heart, soul, and mind. After crying at the end of the movie, the rest of the day all I could do is reflect on what I had the ability to see with my eyes and with my heart. What amazing gifts we are blessed with from God. I am sorry to hear of Mr. Jennings death. People like him who are no longer on this earth with us makes my heart sad, but I know we will see him again. May God bless you and your family.

  31. Leslie

    I’ve just watched At First Sight for the 1st time and was so touched by the story. It’s extremely inspirational and the lessons learned so impactful. I loogged on to find out more about Shirl and Barbara and am saddened to find out about his passing. Eternal Rest Grant Unto him, oh Lord and let Pereptual Light Shine Upon Him. Amen.

  32. Susannah

    I do not wish to sound artificial or emotional so I do not exactly know how to express my self here. But I am impressed about this true story.
    I have just watched the movie and have also recomended it to see to a good girlfriend of mine who has just found a loving man like the kind of Shirl wich seems to be so hard to find nowadays.
    Please let me express my apretiation for this 2 people Shirl and Barbara.
    I am both ashamed of how we humans are, included myself, taking too much for granted and not being truly apreciative of what God has given us.
    I hope I can become a better person after reading this beautiful experience. I will try to not use to many fancy words, but I hope you truly get the message that I think this is a beatiful lesson for all of os out here. Especially after reading the words of Shirl’s nephew, wich describe an extraordinary man.
    And though it is sad to learn that he has just died recently, please take courage and read the words of Rev. 21:4-6 So it can uplift your spirit and give you new strength in the hope of resurection.
    May Jah Bless you.
    Susannah K.

  33. Tamera

    I watched “At First sight” for the 4th or 5th time and last night, and for some reason hadn’t caught the notes at the end where they had gotten married, until last night. I wanted to know more about them. That, of course led me to find out that he has ‘passed’. I am so sorry to hear that. I hope I get a chance to meet him in heaven. I think Val Kilmer did an amazing job portraying such a wonderful man..he caught the charm and charisma that others talked about. I am anxious to find some pictures of his art. I pray Barbara is doing well. I was curious to find out if they had ever had any children, but from reading the other entries, it doesn’t seem like it.
    Shirl and Barbara were and are wonderful people and the world would be a better place with more people like them.
    God bless them, and keep them until they meet again.
    Tamera B, Lakeland,FL

  34. Daryl Hall

    I’m a songwriter from the U.K. Who saw “At First Sight” for the first time very recently. I was very touched by the movie especially the way that
    the chracter based on Shirl taught people how to see real beauty. I have just completed a song I wrote inspired by the film, and was just searching to find out who it was based on when I came across this site. Shirl obviously impacted a lot of people throughtout the course of his life. I was saddened to hear of his passing, and my thoughts are with Barbara and his family.
    If anyone would like to see a copy of the lyrics just e mail me and I would be happy to send a copy
    Daryl P Hall

  35. Fabiana

    Hi to all,
    I saw the movie “at first sight” last year, for the first time… tonight I saw that movie for second time, and I loved so much the story of Shirl and Barbara that I wanted to look for news of them in Internet. Now I know that Shirl is dead, I’m so sad about it and I would like to send a lot of love to Barbara since Italy…
    (Sorry for my poor english)
    I know that God is with you, and bless you and your family.
    With love,

  36. LAura Magaña

    Hi ther,e my name is Laura, O was blind until last year, now i can see after an operation, but i have now visual agnosia, i am learning about the visual world but i feel that i need an answer about how to learn to see.
    I saw the history and i wished to to see with all my energy, bue now, afer the operation I thing like shril that i was better before.
    Well i you know how to see please email me!
    Sorry for my poor english

  37. Andrea Giovana

    I’ve just finished seeing At First Sight for the first time, on TV, late in the evening, here in Brazil. I was so deeply touched, and I didn’t even see the movie from the beggining, was just zapping and suddenly couldn’t stopping watching it.
    Fortunately I never lost my vision, but maybe the film soon caught my attention because two years ago I had a Lasik surgery that brought so much confusion to my vision, my brain and my life. I had to learn how to “see” again, which was very disturbing – but nothing compared to Shirl’s experience.
    So sorry to hear that he passed away. My love to Barbara and his family.

  38. Anthony McAndrew

    Tonight was the second time, I had the opportunity to watch the film “At First Sight.” This was the first time I went in search of more information on this man and his wife. I am amazed and hope that I will live like they did. To learn and grow, together.
    God bless all who knew him and who still get to know even a shadow of who he really was.


    i just watched the movie for the first time and i cant stop crying.this is a true insparation to anybody, dont give and and dont let go to whats yours.

  40. ksk

    Great story. Saw it for the first time a few days back and was surprised to note that it is a true story. Is Barbara still around ? Sad to hear Shirl is no more. Bless them both.

  41. Marnie

    I first saw the film At First Sight when it was released theatrically and as soon as it came to DVD purchased it. I had always wondered what had happened to Barb and shirl and the daily struggles they must have endured with courage. When we live in a world where we eat on the run, drink coffee from plastic cups, and are so busy just trying to live that we forget sometimes to remember just to breathe, I think of Barb and Shirl’s inspirational journey and take comfort that no matter what curve balls life throws toward me….that I can see them coming and catch them….I am so saddened to think of Barb and her loss….our world is indeed sadly the worse from Shirl’s passing. Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino have humbly and respectfully depicted a story that will continue to inspire and resonate for years to come.

  42. Grama

    It hasn’t been 10 minutes,that FIRST SIGHT just ended on Lifetime. The first time I ever saw it,I was so saddened that he lost his sight at the end of the movie. No happy ever after there. I finally have a computer,so was able to look the real couple up. Only to just read he died. I am so sorry. In his passing,his sight has now been restored. Just think of the people,that through his film, were taught to appreciate THEIR sight before they died. . May angels keep you safe and surround you daily. God Bless you and yours. Grama Linda

  43. 'Chelle E

    Well, it must be 11 minutes for me, only the day after, and also my first time…I rushed to my laptop to find out more information about this absolutely courageous story only to be disheartened again to find out that he died. What an inspiration to everyone with or without sight. It made me want to go out and do it all and to never let true love get away when God puts someone absolutely extraordinary in your life.
    ‘Chelle E

  44. Tracey L.

    I too just finished watching “At First Sight.” Such a wonderful, moving story. It really lifted me up to see the kind and loving people both Shirl was and Barbara is. I finally sat down today to look up information about the Jennings couple and was so sad to hear that this world has lost such a good man in Shirl. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his wife. May you be well!

  45. Teri

    At first sight is wonderful…the part when he saw the cotton candy during the hockey game made me cry like a baby. I was overwhelmed with emotions when he said that was the last thing he saw and all along ppl were telling him it was a cloud.
    A beautiful movie…I wish barbara the best.

  46. Peggy Stevens

    At First Sight is a beautiful, warm love story. After watching the movie, I went straight to my computer to look up Shirl and Barbara Jennings. I am saddened to learn of Shirl’s death but anxious to look at his masterpiece, The Seasons: At First Sight. This was the first time seeing the movie but one I will definetely watch again and again. He was truly a man of character and one that gave so much to others. If only there were more Shirl Jennings in the world!!
    God bless you Shirl Jennings! Love and prayers to your family.

  47. Leslie

    I somehow missed seeing At First Sight until just last weekend. My husband and I rented a cabin in the Rockies for our anniversary, and he fishes with our three-year old, and I relax, read, watch movies. This was one the lodge provided in our cabin, and I just loved it. It was made so much more meaningful for me to see that it was based on a real couple. I just wanted to go find my husband, at the lake, and hug and kiss him, tell him how much he means to me. Barbara, honey, thank you so much for your efforts to better Shirls’ life. The most wonderful gift he recieved in his life was not the brief gift of sight, but the lifelong gift of your love and devotion. I pray for your peace of heart, and strength for you. Leslie

  48. Roger Oakes

    I saw the movie just last night for the first time and seeing at the end that the couple, Barbara and Shirl was living here in Atlanta, I wanted to know more about this most inspiring man. I was sadden upon my research to find that he was no longer here with us in the flesh, but his spirt is here with all of us whose hearts and lives he touched. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world.

  49. Sharon from Cape May, NJ

    I just watched the movie, At First Sight and after seeing the message at the end about this being based on the life of a real man I had to look him up on the internet. I feel sorrow for all those who now must live without his presence here on earth. I think this is the best role I have ever seen Val Kilmer in and I think he did a beautiful job of portraying a man of so much abilities and love. I am sorry to hear of his passing and send my deepest regrets to his family. An amazing man!

  50. Sean M.

    I just am full of tears after watching At First Sight for the first time God Bless Jennings. His story is an inspiration to us all. We all have pain but to live without judgement is a blessing.
    I realize i have been blind for far too long!!
    God bless

  51. Lisa

    I came home tonight, and started watching “at first sight”. I have seen this movie 5 times, and each time, it lifts me up.I decided to look him up, only to find that he passed away. Thank you shirl and Barbara, for sharing your story, and helping us to see that in life it is important to focus on what is real…. love, and the connections we share with eachother. Blessings,Lisa

  52. Maria

    It is January 17, 2008 and I just watched “At First Sight.” What a beautiful story…so much love…so much amazement of the power of love. I logged online to read more of this couple and discovered that Shirl had passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with Barbara and family. You are both inspiring people.

  53. Fajar Ramadhitya P

    I’m Fajar from Indonesia. Like everybody else here. I have watched At First Sight several times and wanted to know more about Shirl Jennings. I’m so surprised that his death was several years ago. It was an inspiring story of life. It teach me to be thankful for my eyes.

  54. Andrew

    I just watched “At First Sight” for the 2nd time. Also like everyone else, I logged on to find more out about the couple only to find Shirl had passed away. This movie was inspiring and uplifted my spirits. I am sorry to hear of Shirl
    ‘s passing in 2003. I hope Barbara is doing well after Shirl’s death…

  55. taufik

    i am so curious about the Jennings family with their inspiring story after i watched “at the first sight” for the second time.
    It is sad to know that Shirl had passed away. Surely that a lot of people wants to meet and learn from them how to live that kind of love- that some times i think only exist in the movie- in our live.

  56. Edward

    I was happy to have known Shril. I was lucky to have been presented by him with three of his works. I passed two of them on because he told me to share them, but the one that I still have has been a great inspiration to me. It is like looking into a vision. Every time I see it I see something new. I think that is what he wanted.

  57. Debra

    I just watched the movie and wanted to know more about Shirl and Barbara Jennings an see his work , and hers . he was an amazing man and i sense seen allot more then so many with out having his eyes to see. I believe he was right we do see with more than our eyes if we choose to. Shirl is an is a inspiration to me and as I have read others too , blessing for the family ,and thank you that his story was told to those who did tell his story for others to see and inspire . Debra St Amand I am an Artist as well. our site is

  58. Renata

    Hi! My name is Agata. I come from Poland. I saw “At First Sight” yesterday. The movie was absolutly the best. I thought about Shirl and Barbara whole day. I saw the movie one more time, today. The love between Shirl and Barbara was wonderful! God bless you and your family! Agata

  59. Alice

    Hi, My name is Alice, and in a lot of ways I can relate to what Shirl went through. I was born totally blind and thankfully had parts of my sight back. However, over the years I have started to lose it and I will one day be totally blind. I watched “At First Sight” for the first time when I was about 11 and from that day on it had insipired me to live my life and take what I can and see what I can with the very little sight that I have. So, to Shirl and his family…thank you for your insipiration.

  60. Johanna Work

    I watch “At First Sight” every night before I go to bed. It really inspires me to now that you got your vision back. Even if it was for a brief peiriod of time its still amazinge.God bless you!

  61. Johanna Work

    Hi my name is Johanna I live in San Miguel Ca, and I watch at first sight every night before I go to bed. I am really inspired by Shirl Jenning. I am doing a biograohy on him right know and im so sad to have found out he had died. God bless you and Barbra. love Johanna

  62. Rike

    I am very sorry to read that Mr. Jennings passed away in 2003 already – but I hope his wife Barbara and the people who knew him get some positive spirit out of these comments. I watched “At first sight” a few years ago on TV and was deeply moved by the story – Kilmer and Sorvino did such a great job. So recently I came across the DVD and found out this movie was still one of my favourites – now I even watch it on my iphone on the subway. Thank you.
    Best wishes from Munich, Germany.

  63. Silvi

    Hi,i’m silvi and i come from india.I watched this movie yesterday and i’m searching about shirl and barbara jennings since then.The movie is absolutely amazing!!!Shirl is an inspiration for so many across the world and for me too.
    God bless you and your family.

  64. Stella

    I really like the movie, besides I think it’s a little sad, even with de the “happy end”. I hope that Shril’s life had been good. Thank you.

  65. Harish Balakrishnan Marar

    I just watched the movie and in the end , I happen to realize that what I watched for few hours as a touching inspiring movie was based on real experience of Shirl and Barbara.
    Thanks for the movie as it helped me realize how a person blind for years find it difficult to adapt to new world and how hurting it would be as falls back to old world..
    I pay my respect to both of you!! It was great to know of you both.

  66. Kalpana

    Hi. My name is Kalpana and I’m from India. I saw the movie “At First Sight” the other day and I thought it was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I was very sad to learn of Mr. Jennings’ demise. Very few people on this earth appreciate life as he had. May his soul rest in peace.

  67. Bruce Bryner

    I just bought and watched “At first Sight” for the first time and was at the least inspired enough to search for a place express my thoughts only to find that the real man has been past away for some time. I am inspired for the view of life and the unbelieve portrail of a life viewed by most as unfortunate, but only to find the reality is that there are many more blessings to not having to see everything as we have grown to see them. Expressions and pain, confusion, and the ever so perfectly depicted feeling of jealously and how it is shown through our facial expressions everyday. I am a movie person, however I don’t find myself in uncontrollable tears very often, and even as I write this I realize that a man has passed who’s story should be told to the world, and I admittingly weap. . . God reveals himself in the most amazing ways, and to deny that is unfortunate as unfortunate should truley be seen. My condollence’s to Barbara and the family, may you know what your story has done for at least one person. Thank you.

  68. Frank Riela

    I don’t watch much television, however I found myself channel surfing this lonely night as I begin a new life here in Rancho Mirage, in the California desert. I came across “At First Sight”, a movie I’ve seen at least 3 times before and I had to watch it again. It never fails to move me, to bring me to tears. It is one of my favorite films because it conveys so much that we can learn from. Val Kilmer states toward the end of the film that we are blind when we don’t know who we are and that is so true. It is with such sadness I learned from this sight that Shirl Jennings has passed away. I wish I could have known him, however he lives on in that he inspires me and I’m sure thousands of others, with the courage with which he lived, his strength and his humility.

  69. JT

    I watched At First Sight for the first time today. As I finished the video, I wanted to know more about Shirl and Barbara Jennings. It was sad to know that Shirl has died but I felt such admiration for a man who lived his life as he did. And of course the love of Barbara too. It is a lesson for all of us. Blessings to his family.

  70. Monika

    oh my god.
    blind people are soo poor.
    i wish i can be so amanzing person as Barbara and Shirl was. I can’t believe that it was someone who havent seen anything than he got gift from God and next lost again this gift..
    he is a very big person. woow.
    I love you !

  71. Irene

    Believe it or not, I just watched “At First Sight” For the very first time. It was so touching to see what they both went through and the love that they had for eachother. It makes me realize everything that I take for granted. Barbara, my thoughts are with you.

  72. Alex

    We in America strive to be happy. We work hard to buy things, and enjoy life. Shirl, has shown us the incredible fallacy we live in. What an inspiration he was and continues to be through “At First Sight”. May God continue to bless many more, that we all may be wise and see with our souls and not the light given images that are on the surface.

  73. Kerry

    I just watched the movie for the first time in many years, and like others went in search of more information. Amazing family, amazing life and amazing lessons for us all. Thank you Jennings family.

  74. Leonte A. Arias

    I have seen this movie countless times and I will never get tired of it. Iam deeply saddened by the death of Mr. Jennings, however his story will continue to live within in me. This Story inspires me to be greatful in life.

  75. shakkira

    Hi. My name is Shakkira Harris. I watched the movie, and I have to say it touches your heart. I just had to get online and see about there life and how they did. And I am desperatley sorry about his death. And I’d just like to thank you for putting that movie out to open peoples eyes.

  76. dave

    This is a very very beautiful movie. I cry each time i see it.I would have loved to have been able to just see them both together.RIP Shirl.

  77. Jeff

    I saw this movie and touched me in so many ways, It was a beautiful thing they did for them which was to make it a movie and share so much of thier life to the world.

  78. Jillian from Australia

    Have watched “At First Sight” a third time today and love the depiction of Shirl and Barbara Jennings. It is such a great story and provides great insight into how he triumphed over his challenges. He could see quite clearly with his heart. We could learn from his example daily!

  79. Glen Woodfin

    I was so sad to see a review from CNN that “At First Sight” was not worth seeing.

    Through the movie, I realized that the blind often see the things that matter more then the sighted.

    I give the movie 5 stars for touching my heart.

  80. Christine

    I just finished watching the movie again. I am not sure how many times I have seen it. I had been looking through the movie channels for things to record and watch after the kids went to bed. Part o the reason that I recorded it is that I enjoy looking at Val Kilmer. I had looked it up on IMDB and read some of the reviews as I couldn’t remember too much what happened in the movie.

    You know this is a movie that touches people when they are still making posts 9 years later. Like others who have posted here, I saw the words before the credits and had to look him up. I will be watching the movie again because it is good and because there was a mention of one of Shirl’s paintings actually being in the movie and I want to see it. I also want to show the movie to my kids, but I plan on editing out the, ah, kissing parts. My oldest is only 10. I think that the movie has some good lessons for them to consider.

    For all of us, really.

  81. Jacqueline

    I had the good fortune of watching At First Sight for the First time last night.

    I was so very moved by this man’s ability to “see” the world the way it should be, not the way it is. He was truly blessed by his inabilities; his story will continue to encourage me to actually “listen” to the rain. Rest in eternal peace Shirl.

  82. Mary B.

    Here it is, Nov. 2012 and I have watched the movie, At First Sight, for the first time. I was just surfing channels when I came across it. Some of the best things happen by accident. This was one of them. I must get the DVD now to see the entire film. It was the best I have seen in a long time. The emotion of the film was amazing. Shirl and Barbara were an inspiring couple. RIP Shirl, you have given us courage to look at ourselves and appreciate every day. God’s Blessings to you both. If my children and grandchildren have not seen this film, they will now.

  83. Debra

    I just saw the end of this movie which I had watched years before. I did not know that Shirl Jennings had passed. What a loss. What an artist – he sees from within which is what we do not know how to process. I am just happy that he made an imprint in our world. God bless him and his wife!

  84. steve Cecchin

    I, along with so many, are so very sad to read of Mr. Jennings passing…..He met every challenge and smiled….Although I never knew the man, I feel I did…..So very sorry for all of us, that such a man has died….My best to his wife and hope life is kind to her.

  85. Leah Lacdao

    It was inspiring – what a remarkable couple. I call that true love. Rest in Peace Shirl. Barbara you’re such a loving and wonderful person too just like your husband. Thankyou very much for sharing us your beautiful story. Much love to you Barbara.

  86. Nicos from New Zealand

    One of the most touching movies I have ever seen. For me it doesn’t make any difference if it is a true story or not. If something, anything, touches your heart and makes you a little more human, a little more a better person, gives you a tiny step to raise your head above the ‘mud’ of every day’s ‘life’, well, then this is true for me, even if it comes through ‘fiction’ or ‘reality’. And Mira Sorvino. what a great actor. The warmth and tenderness of her voice, the way she speaks, in fact her lips’ movements look so fragile, like a butterfly’s wings, yet so capable of instilling, or unearth, the most subtle, humane attributes of man. Congratulations to all those who made that movie possible.

  87. Janie and Paul Williams

    A wonderful movie everyone should watch. No matter what is wrong in your life…….You will come to appreciate what you have and what you can have, not what you wasn’t giving in life, no matter how bad your life has been.
    My husband and I have had a similar experience with our health, disabilities, and accidents. We are coming up to 30 years of marriage and we are renewing our vows sept ’18.
    This movies has been an inspiration to us and kept us believing.
    Hope all can “see” that life is good and keep trying even when rough.Wish I could told Shirl “Thanks”

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