List of Famous People with Parkinson’s Disease

arkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer’s motor skills and speech.

Parkinson’s disease belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders. It is characterized by muscle rigidity, tremor, a slowing of physical movement and, in extreme cases, a loss of physical movement.

Estimated prevalence rates of depression vary widely according to the population sampled and methodology used. Reviews of depression estimate its occurrence in anywhere from 20-80% of cases.

There are currently no blood or laboratory tests that have been proven to help in diagnosing PD. Therefore the diagnosis is based on medical history and a neurological examination.

The disease can be difficult to diagnose accurately. Early signs and symptoms of PD may sometimes be dismissed as the effects of normal aging.

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic disorder that requires broad-based management including patient and family education, support group services, general wellness maintenance, physiotherapy, exercise, and nutrition. At present, there is no cure for PD, but medications or surgery can provide relief from the symptoms.

List of Famous People with Parkinson’s Disease:

Michael J. Fox – (born Michael Andrew Fox on June 9, 1961) is a Canadian/American film and television actor. His best known roles include Marty McFly from the Back to the Future trilogy, Alex P. Keaton from Family Ties, and Mike Flaherty from Spin City. Fox was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Fox co-starred in the Canadian television series Leo and Me at age fifteen and in 1979, at eighteen, moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, and disclosed his condition to the public in 1998. As the symptoms of his disease worsened, he retired from full-time acting in 2000. At present, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but medications provide some relief from the symptoms.

Adolf Hitler – (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945) was a German politician, who became the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party and was appointed as the Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria, the fourth child of six. As a boy, Hitler said he was often whipped by his father. Years later he told his secretary, “I then resolved never again to cry when my father whipped me. A few days later I had the opportunity of putting my will to the test. My mother, frightened, took refuge in the front of the door. As for me, I counted silently the blows of the stick which lashed my rear end.” Hitler’s health has long been the subject of debate. He has variously been said to have suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, skin lesions, irregular heartbeat, Parkinson’s disease, syphilis, and a strongly suggested addiction to methamphetamine. One film exists that shows his left hand trembling, which might suggest Parkinson’s. Beyond that, the evidence is sparse.

Muhammad Ali – (born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942) Muhammad Ali was one of America’s favorite boxers of all times. He was not only a great boxer but a source of inspiration, especially when it came to his quotes. He was fast, intelligent, kind, strong and he could take a good punch. He was admired by many because of his strong character and unique personality, he had a strength that not many have. Muhammad Ali never let any obstacles come in his way and did not believe that he could be defeated.

Roger CaronRoger “Mad Dog” Caron – (born April 12, 1938 in Cornwall, Ontario) Roger Caron is a Canadian bank robber and author of the 1978 prison memoir Go-Boy! Memories of a life behind bars. When it was published Roger was 39 years old and had spent 23 years in prison. Caron successfully broke out of 13 prisons and jails in his lifetime, more than any other criminal in Canadian history. During all of his life Caron had witnessed criminal activity, at a young age his father was into bootlegging and after a few raids from local police he bribed a police officer so that he could know when a raid was going to be under way. His father’s fights with the police and his criminal activity was all done in front of Caron, which is where Caron learned what was “good” and “bad”. His book “Go-Boy!” is titled from what Caron’s inmates would shout as he would escape the jails and prisons.

Anna Neagle – (born October 20, 1904; died June 3, 1986) Anna Neagle was a popular motion picture actress and singer well known for her beauty and portrayals of real life British heroines. Anna loved to act so much that even when she was greatly successful in films she still continued to perform on stages. Eventually her acts and performances in Britain had awakened interest directly from Hollywood, she then moved to America to perform her first American film “Nurse Edith Cavell”. At an older age Anna suffered from Parkinson disease.

Francisco Franco – (4 December 1892 – November 20, 1975) Franco led a successful military career and reached the rank of General. He fought in Morocco and suppressed a strike in 1934 to defend the Republican government’s stability. He eventually became the government through dictatorship. During the Second World War, Franco maintained a policy of neutrality, although he did assist Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy on a small scale against the Soviet Union, most famously by sending troops (known as the Blue Division) to aid Nazi Germany in fighting the USSR.

James Doohan – James Montgomery Doohan (March 3, 1920 – July 20, 2005) was a Canadian character and voice actor best known for his role as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in the television and film series Star Trek. Following his success with Star Trek, he supplemented his income and showed continued support for his fans by making numerous public appearances. In addition to playing Scotty, he also did many guest voices on Star Trek including: Sargon in “Return to Tomorrow” The M-5 in “The Ultimate Computer” and the Oracle in “For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky”. Doohan suffered from Parkinson’s disease, diabetes mellitus, and pulmonary fibrosis in later life. In 2004, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Jim Backus – American actor James Gilmore Backus (February 25, 1913 – July 3, 1989) was a radio, television, film actor, character actor, and voice actor. Among his most famous roles are the voice of Mr. Magoo, the rich Hubert Updike, III, of the Alan Young radio show, Joan Davis’ husband on TV’s I Married Joan, James Dean’s father in Rebel Without a Cause, and Thurston Howell, III, on the 1960s hit sitcom Gilligan’s Island. Backus and his wife, Henny Backus, co-wrote several humorous books, including Only When I Laugh. He also co-wrote the 1971 family film Mooch Goes to Hollywood, about a dog who tries to become a movie star. On July 3, 1989, Backus died in Los Angeles, California from complications of pneumonia, after suffering from Parkinson’s disease for many years.

Albert J Whitlock – (September 15, 1915 in London – October 26, 1999 in Santa Barbara, California) was an English motion picture matte artist best known for his work with Disney and Universal Studios. Whitlock began working as a matte artist during World War II. Recruited by Walt Disney, who was an admirer of his work, he would relocate to the U.S. in the early 1950s. In addition to his film work, Whitlock is famous among Star Trek fans for the matte painting used to establish the huge exterior of the Delta Vega lithium cracking station in Star Trek (1966). The painting was later modified and reused as the Tantalus penal colony from the Star Trek episode “Dagger of the Mind”. His work as a painter was cut short when he developed Parkinson’s Disease.

Deborah Kerr – Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer, CBE (30 September 1921 – 16 October 2007) was a Scottish actress. She won the Sarah Siddons Award for her Chicago performance in Tea and Sympathy, which she originated on Broadway, a Golden Globe Award for the motion picture, The King and I, and she was also the recipient of honorary Academy, BAFTA and Cannes Film Festival awards. Her debut was in the British film Contraband in 1940 but her scenes were left on the cutting room floor. She followed that with a series of other films, including Hatter’s Castle (1942), in which she starred opposite Robert Newton and James Mason. Kerr was the patron of the National Society for Clean Air and Environmental Protection (NSCA) from 1992 until her death from the effects of Parkinson’s disease on October 16, 2007 at the age of 86.

Mao Zedong – (1893-1976) Chinese military and political leader, who led the Communist Party of China (CPC) to victory against the Kuomintang (KMT) in the Chinese Civil War, and was the leader of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. Regarded as one of the most important figures in modern world history, Mao is still a controversial figure today, over thirty years after his death. He died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known in the U.S as Lou Gehrig’s Disease and elsewhere as Motor Neurone Disease. Mao had been in poor health for several years and had declined visibly for some months prior to his death.

Mary Jackson – American actress (November 22, 1910 – December 10, 2005) was an American actress. She is best known for the role of the lovelorn “Miss Emily Baldwin” in The Waltons and was the original choice to play “Alice Horton” in The Days of Our Lives. Mary Jackson is survived by her husband of 68 years, Griffin Bancroft Jr., to whom she was married from July 4, 1937 until her death from Parkinson’s disease at age 95 in Los Angeles. They had no children.

Chester Himes – (July 29, 1909 – November 12, 1984) Chester was born in Jefferson City, Missouri and lived in middle class homes in both his city of birth and Ohio. His parents were both in the education system, his father being a peripatetic black college professor of industrial trade, and his mother a teacher. Chester’s parents did not have an idea relationship and it leaded to divorce. Later on Chester got expelled from school for a prank and later got arrested for armed robbery a few years later. Even through all these painful events Chester mad it out in one piece and maintained a clear mind, although then filled with hatred he continued to write books and kept fighting against racism in America.

Ba Jin – (November 25, 1904 – October 17, 2005) Li Yaotang was a Chinese writer and was known under the name of Ba Jin. He eventually joined an Anarchist organization and became it’s most prominent member. He fought for equality and actively distributed propaganda leaflets whenever he found spare time. Being an Anarchist he has written many books such as Chicago Anarchist Martyrs and Dead Sun. Ba Jin was able to speak Chinese, English, Esperanto and a little bit of French. He maintained his activism within the Anarchist organization for many years and confronted many decisions that were taken before the war.

Joe Cook – (7 December 1860 – 30 July 1947) Joe Cook was a politician and Prime Minister of Australia at first working in mines from the age of nine in the city he was born. With no formal education he then became founder of the Australian Labor party in 1891 also active in the Single Tax League. Cook was part of the Australian delegation at the Paris Peace Conference where he defended the White Australia Policy and supported Australia’s annexation of German New Guinea, in which he became the treasurer.

George Roy Hill – (December 20, 1921 – December 27, 2002) Working his way to the top George Roy Hill eventually made it on Broadway through writing and acting. For a time Hill was the only director to have made 2 of the top 10 moneymaking movies. The 1964 Peter Sellers movie The World of Henry Orient raised Hill’s profile in Hollywood, but his 1966 blockbuster Hawaii was a setback. Although with time he regained his fame with more successful productions. George eventually died in his home of complications from the Parkinson’s disease.

George Wallace – – (August 25, 1919 – September 13, 1998) George was a United States politician, being elected four times as Alabama’s governor and eventually attempting four times for United States presidency. George nearly died of spinal meningitis while in service but was saved by immediate medical attention. The process left him with partial hearing loss and nerve damage. Later on Wallace lost the ability to walk due to an assassination attempt and also suffered from Parkinson.

Vincent Price – (May 27, 1911 – October 25, 1993) Vincent Price was a competent American actor, although he suffered from Parkinson and lung cancer due to being a life long smoker. Price had to retire from several productions because of his health problems, which were becoming more apparent on scene. With time Vincent was well known not only for his roles in films, but the donation of collectable pieces to a community college which now is call the Vincent Price art gallery, containing 2000 pieces with an estimated worth of 5 million dollars.

Luis Marden – (January 25, 1913 – March 3, 2003) Luis Marden was an American explorer, writer, photographer, filmmaker, diver, linguist and navigator working for the National Geographic Magazine. He eventually became chief of the editorial staff, having written over 60 articles for the magazine. He excelled in photography whether it was on land or underwater, and has made many scientific discoveries. Luis has gone to the edges of the globe to be able to finish some of the longer articles he has written.

John Lindsay – (November 24, 1921 – December 19, 2000) John Lindsay was an american politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives. During World War II John joined the United States naval reserves obtaining the rank of Lieutenant. Eventually going towards politics and getting elected as a republican in the congress. He was well known for preventing racial riots by frequently taking un-escorted walks through ghetto neighborhoods, to urge the residents to keep calm.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau – – 18 October 1919 – September 2000) Trudeau earned a law degree at the University of Montreal in 1943, followed by a master’s in political economy at Harvard. During his attendance at the University of Montreal, Trudeau was conscripted into the Army, like thousands of other Canadian men, as part of the National Resources Mobilization Act. As Minister of Justice, Pierre Trudeau was responsible for introducing the landmark Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69, an omnibus bill whose provisions included, among other things, the decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults, the legalization of contraception, abortion and lotteries, new gun ownership restrictions as well as the authorization of breathalyzer tests on suspected drunk drivers. In the last years of his life, Trudeau was afflicted with Parkinson’s disease and prostate cancer, and became less active, although he continued to work at his law office until a few months before his death at the age of 80. He was devastated by the death of his youngest son, Michel Trudeau, who was killed in an avalanche in November 1998.

Booth Gardner – – (born August 21, 1936) an heir to the Weyerhaeuser fortune, was the Governor of the U.S state of Washington between 1985 and 1993. He also served as the ambassador of the GATT. He is a Democrat. Before serving as governor, Gardner was Pierce County Executive. His service was notable for advancing standards-based education and environmental protection. After his retirement, Gardner, a sufferer of Parkinson’s Disease. He has become an advocate and promised to spearhead a campaign to pass an assisted dying law in Washington state, similar to Oregon’s Death with Dignity law.

Walter Lord – (October 8, 1917 – May 19, 2002) Walter was an American author, best known for his documentary-style non-fiction account A Night to Remember, about the sinking of the RMS Titanic. While Lord wrote a dozen successful books on such subjects as Pearl Harbor (Day of Infamy, 1957), the Battle of Midway (Incredible Victory, 1967), the Battle of the Alamo, polar exploration and the civil rights struggle, he was best known for his best-selling 1955 book A Night to Remember about the sinking of the Titanic. It was made into a popular 1958 British movie of the same name. In writing A Night to Remember, Lord took the time to track down nearly 60 Titanic survivors to get their stories. He also wrote another book about the Titanic titled The Night Lives On, published in 1986.

William Masters – (December 27, 1915 – February 16, 2001) was an American gynecologist, best known as the senior member of the Masters and Johnson sexuality research team. Along with Virginia E. Johnson, he pioneered research into the nature of human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual disorders and dysfunctions from 1957 until the 1990s. Masters was born in Cleveland, Ohio, attended the Lawrenceville School and graduated from Hamilton College. He was a member of Alpha Delta Phi, and became a faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis. Masters met Johnson in 1957 when he hired her as a research assistant to undertake a comprehensive study of human sexuality. Masters divorced his first wife to marry Johnson in 1969. They divorced three decades later, largely bringing their joint research to an end.

William Lawrence Boyd – (June 5, 1895 – September 12, 1972) was an American film actor best known for portraying Hopalong Cassidy. Boyd was born in Hendrysburg in Belmont County, located 26 miles east of Cambridge, Ohio. He was reared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of day laborer Charles William Boyd and his wife, the former Lida Wilkens. Following his father’s death, he moved to California and worked as an orange picker, surveyor, tool dresser and auto salesman. Boyd died in 1972 in Laguna Beach, California from complications from Parkinson’s disease and heart failure.

Owen Chamberlain – (July 10, 1920 – February 28, 2006) Owen Chamberlain was an American physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his discovery, with collaborator Emilio Segre, of antiprotons, a sub-atomic antiparticle. In 1948, having completed his experimental work, Chamberlain returned to Berkeley as a member of its faculty, where he, Segre, and other physicists investigated proton-proton scattering. In 1955, a series of proton scattering experiments led to the discovery of the anti-proton, a particle exactly like a proton except negatively charged. Chamberlain’s later research work included the time projection chamber (TPC), and work at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC).

Kenneth More – (20 September 1914 – 12 July 1982) was an English cinema, television and theatre actor. In the 1950s he entered into a contract with the Rank Organisation, which led to a successful career in starring roles for a decade. He enjoyed great success in films of the 1950s after winning a BAFTA as best newcomer for Doctor in the House in 1954. He played the lead role in the seminal Titanic movie ‘A Night to Remember’ in 1958. His film parts got smaller in the 1960s, but his popularity recovered through West End stage performances and television roles, especially following his success in The Forsyte Saga, and as the title character in ATV’s 1974 Father Brown. He is also known for his role as the Ghost of Christmas Present in 1970’s Scrooge.

Harry Dalton – – (August 23, 1928 – October 23, 2005) Harry Dalton was an American front-office executive in Major League Baseball. He served as general manager of three American League teams, the Baltimore Orioles (1966-71), California Angels (1972-77) and Milwaukee Brewers (1978-91), and was a principal architect of the Orioles’ dynasty of 1966-74 as well as the only AL championship the Brewers ever won (1982). On July 24, 2003, Dalton was inducted into the Milwaukee Brewers Walk of Fame outside Miller Park. He died at age 77 in Scottsdale, Arizona of complications from Parkinson’s Disease.

Mo Udall – (June 15, 1922 – December 12, 1998) Mo Udall was an American politician who served as a U.S. Representative from Arizona from May 2, 1961 to May 4, 1991. A former professional basketball player with the old National Basketball League Denver Nuggets, noted for his liberal views, Mo Udall was a tall (6’5″), Lincolnesque figure with a self-deprecating wit and easy manner. Mo Udall was born in St. Johns, Arizona, a son of Levi Stewart Udall. He lost one of his eyes to a friend’s pocket knife at the age of 6, while the two were attempting to cut some string, and wore a glass eye for the rest of his life. He attempted to enlist in the Army early in World War II, and almost succeeded, by covering his glass eye each time he was told to alternate during the eye exam. Federal funds for Parkinson’s research are designated through the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Research and Education Act. The legislation funded a national network of “Centers of Excellence” to diagnose and treat Parkinson disease patients, and to refer patients into research protocols. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Mo had fallen at his home and suffered several broken bones and a cerebral contusion which deprived him of the ability to speak.

Pope John Paul II – (18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005) Pope John Paul II reigned as the 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City from 16 October 1978, until his death, almost 27 years later. On 13 May 1981 John Paul II was shot and critically wounded by Mehmet Ali Ag(ca, a Turkish gunman, as he entered St. Peter’s Square to address an audience. He was rushed into the Vatican complex, then to the Gemelli Hospital, where Dr. Francesco Crucitti, a noted surgeon, had just arrived by police escort after hearing of the incident. The Pope had lost almost three-quarters of his blood, a near-exsanguination, despite the fact that the bullets missed his mesenteric artery and abdominal aorta. He underwent five hours of surgery to treat his massive blood loss and abdominal wounds. John Paul II’s health suffered a major blow after the first failed assassination attempt. He went on to a full recovery, and sported an impressive physical condition throughout the 1980s. Starting about 1992, however, his health slowly declined. He rarely walked in public and began to suffer from an increasingly slurred speech and difficulty in hearing. Most experts agreed that the frail pontiff suffered from Parkinson’s disease, although it wasn’t until 2003 that the Vatican finally confirmed it.

Terry-Thomas – (14 July 1911 – 8 January 1990) Terry Thomas was a distinctive English comic actor, known as Terry-Thomas. He was famous for his portrayal of disreputable members of the upper classes, especially cads, the trademark gap in his front teeth, cigarette holder, dressing gown, and such catch-phrases as “You’re an absolute shower!” and “Good show!”. He played a variety of exuberant, malevolent and silly characters during the 1960s, and became famous for his portrayal of the archetypal cad, bounder, and absolute rotter. (Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines; Monte Carlo or Bust; Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon). In the 1970s he reprised his character from the first two of the films above along with Eric Sykes to make high quality cinema and TV advertisements for Benson and Hedges cigarettes.

Janet Reno – born July 21, 1938 – was the Attorney General of the United States (1993-2001) She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1993, and confirmed on March 11. She was the first female Attorney General and the second longest serving Attorney General after William Wirt. In 1995, Reno was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease an incurable degenerative illness that causes muscular stiffness and involuntary trembling. Although the disease has little effect on life expectancy, it almost always worsens with time. In its advanced stages, sufferers are often severely disabled, with problems feeding themselves, talking and walking.

Frederick “Freddie” Roach – (born on March 5, 1960) is an American boxing trainer and a former professional boxer – Roach suffers from Parkinson’s disease. As chronicled in the HBO series Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, he is able to actively control the disease through medication, injections and his training of boxers. Roach’s doctors feel that his active in-ring training routines with his fighters and tremendous hand-eye coordination that he has to exhibit has made it possible to slow the progress of the incurable disease.

Barney Childs – (1909-2000) American composer and teacher

Basil D’Oliveira – South African cricketer (1931-)

Boyi Bhimanna – Telugu poet (1911-2005)

Brockman Adams – American politician (1927-2004)

Carlos Antonio Gomes – Portuguese footballer (1932-2005)

Deng Xiaoping – Chinese politician (1904-1997)

Edward Winter – American actor (1937-2001)

Enoch Powell – British politician (1912-1998)

Eugene McCarthy – (1916-2005) American politician

Farnsworth Wright – American editor (1888-1940)

Ferdy Mayne – German actor (1916-1998)

George Coulouris – British actor (1903-1989)

Giulio Natta – Italian chemist (1903-1979)

Guy Kibbee – American actor (1882-1956)

Hans Ras – Dutch academic (1926-2003)

Jack Anderson – US newspaper columnist (1922-2005)

Jack Buck – American sportscaster (1924-2002)

Jeffrey Hamm – (1915-1994) British Fascist

Jimmy Knepper – American jazz trombonist (1927-2003)

Joe Pasternak – (1901-1991) American film director

Joseph M. McDade – former Congressman from NE Pennsylvania

Lane Evans – Member of the US House of Representatives (D – IL) (1951-)

Leonid Shamkovich – USSR Chess grandmaster (1923-2005)

Margaret Bourke-White – American photographer (1904-1971)

Meldrim Thomson Jr. – (1912-2001) Republican Governor of New Hampshire

Mervyn Peake – British author (1911-1968)

Nathan Heard – American novelist (1937-2004)

Norman Panama – American writer – producer and director (1914-2003)

Pauline Kael – American film critic (1919-2001)

Prince Claus – (1926-2002) – husband of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

Salvador Dali – Spanish artist (1904-1989)

Sir Alec Issigonis (1906-1988) British car designer

Sir John Betjeman – KBE – British Poet Laureate (1906-1984)

Sir Michael Redgrave – British actor (1908-1985)

Steve Alten – American author

Ted Kroll – American golfer (1919 – 2002)

Tim Wall – Australian cricketer (1904-1981)

Walter Sisulu – South African freedom fighter (1912-2003)

Whit Bissell (1909-1996) American character actor

William Everson (1912-1994) – American poet

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