6 Celebrities With Parkinson’s Disease


There are many celebrities battling Parkinson’s disease. Living with the disease is difficult enough without worrying about your health deteriorating in the public eye.

Let’s take a look at how these public figures have managed their disease in Hollywood.

Muhammad Ali
Ali was initially diagnosed in 1984, just three short years after he retired from boxing. He developed a tremor and speaking became increasingly difficult. But the boxer battled his disease with grace and dignity. He did not indulge in self pity but displayed courage and strength. He continued to live his life and never quit or gave up.

Michael J. Fox 
A shining example of a man who has never given up, Fox continued to work and started the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to help with finding a cure. He went public with his diagnosis to help raise awareness as well as financial donations. Even though his doctor told him when he was diagnosed that he only had 10 years left to work, he’s gone way beyond that and has been working for more than 25. It’s unusual to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s so young, but he has continued to live life to the fullest.

MORE: 11 facts about Parkinson’s you may not know

Billy Graham
Known as America’s Pastor, Graham’s been a spiritual advisor for many U.S. presidents. Through he’s had Parkinson’s for almost 25 years, it wasn’t public until his son Franklin revealed his condition to the world on his 97th birthday. Graham celebrated his 99th birthday in November 2017.

Linda Ronstadt
Ronstadt was a rock superstar in the 1970s, but Parkinson’s stole her ability to sing due to the loss of muscle control. At 71 she uses a wheelchair when traveling and poles when walking. She goes on speaking tours and is writing a book.

Ben Petrick
Petrick was just a 22-year-old MLB pitcher when was first diagnosed during his rookie year in 1999. He was forced to retire at the end of the 2004 season due to Parkinson’s and not being unable to keep up with the rigors of Major League Baseball. He’s the father of two young daughters and the author of the inspirational book, Forty Thousand to One.

Charles Schulz 
The creator of the beloved comic strip Peanuts was in his 50s when he was diagnosed with PD. Sadly he had to retire at the age of 77 and passed away in 2000. For more than 50 years, he created comic strips with Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus. Though Schulz suffered from Parkinson’s for many years, it was colon cancer that caused his death in 2000. He will forever be remembered for his contributions to the industry.

MORE: What is Parkinsonism?

Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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  1. Ann says:

    I guess that Parkinson Disease Research is all a BIG BUSINESS with BIG PHARMA. With all the Money that has been poured into finding a CURE for Parkinson Disease for Decades, I am Astounded that NO Cure has been found. I believe that BIG PHARMA is ONLY Interested in Discovering More Drugs (Poisons), and we will NEVER see a CURE for any Disease, like Parkinson. Yes, BIG PHARMA is making BILLIONS of Dollars with their Poisons, and the Researchers will ALWAYS be Employed!

  2. John Ryden says:

    I have had Parkinson’s since [at least] 1998 and was officially diagnosed in the year 2000 with early onset PK at the age of 46. I’m now 63. Like most, the news hits hard. Not just the inflicted , but attacks MANY OTHERS as well. Mentally, it slowly erodes any and all [even heathy groups of people]. From my point of view, PK can eat up physically fit bodies, fresh thinking minds from ANY walk of human life. It is a hideous creature that can be, and will be vanquished. it will require billions [or more]. billions of: $$, workman hours, caretaker hours ANY WHO ARE WILLING, to be counted and to do what you can do. Stand up to this ugly bloody war against Parkinsons. Our fight at times seems futile, but I believe: the money and time spent, with well trained doctors, caring help it can be reduced to a pile of smoking bones! If we just sit and watch, the fight is going to die. Too many REAL live human loss is at stake. Yes, this is Armageddon times. Certainly. Figuratively or Realistically.

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