Famous People With Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking and other symptoms. Living a normal life with the disease is a challenge that millions around the globe face. To be burdened with so many physical symptoms that might also be coupled with cognitive and behavioral problems is indeed difficult. However there are some truly gutsy people out there who prove that even PD can’t dampen their love for life. Michael Andrew Fox was diagnosed with the disease when he was just 29, yet he went on to become a prominent actor, producer, and an advocate for research toward finding a cure for PD. The recently deceased professional boxer and activist Muhammad Ali was also suffering from Parkinson's disease; he had previously been diagnosed with Parkinson's syndrome, which his doctors attributed to boxing-related brain injuries. The multi-faceted Johnny Cash, widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, also suffered from PD later in his life. Billy Connolly, Dave Parker, and Michael Kinsley are a few other celebrities who have been diagnosed with PD. Read on for more information about famous people with Parkinson's disease.
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 1 
Muhammad Ali
(The Greatest Heavyweight Boxer of All Time)
Muhammad Ali
203
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: January 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: June 3, 2016

Widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali was a major figure of the 20th century. He was an inspirational figure for African-Americans during the civil rights movement. Because of his opposition to Vietnam War and his refusal to be drafted into military, Muhammad Ali became an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

 2 
Michael J. Fox
(Retired Actor, Activist & Philanthropist)
Michael J. Fox
49
Birthdate: June 9, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada

Beginning his career as a child star, actor Michael J. Fox went on to play more mature roles as a young adult and established himself firmly in Hollywood. His thriving career suffered a setback when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at just 29. Despite his health issues, he continues to act and advocates for Parkinson's disease research.

 3 
Pierre Trudeau
(15th Prime Minister of Canada)
Pierre Trudeau
51
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 18, 1919
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: September 28, 2000

Pierre Trudeau was a Canadian politician who served as the 15th prime minister of the country. His personality generated excitement within Canada's mass media, which gave rise to the term Trudeaumania. The effects of Trudeau's contribution to Canadian nationalism can still be felt in Canada. 

 4 
Billy Connolly
(Stand-up Comedian)
Billy Connolly
32
Birthdate: November 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

Billy Connolly is a retired stand-up comedian, actor, and musician. Known for his observational and idiosyncratic comedy, Connolly is widely considered one of the most influential and greatest stand-up comedians of all time. He has also worked with the British charity, Comic Relief and has appeared in a documentary and a live stage show for the charity.

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 5 
Bob Hoskins
(Actor)
Bob Hoskins
11
Birthdate: October 26, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bury St Edmunds, West Suffolk, England
Died: April 29, 2014
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 6 
Samuel Beckett
(Irish Novelist Who Won the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Samuel Beckett
5
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 13, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Foxrock, Ireland
Died: December 22, 1989

Samuel Beckett was a legendary Nobel Prize-winning Irish postmodernist and minimalist playwright and author, regarded as a prominent figure of the "Theatre of the Absurd.” He is best known for the play Waiting for Godot and for his tragi-comic themes and black comedy. He was also the Saoi of Aosdána.

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 7 
Eugene O'Neill
(American Playwright and Winner of the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Eugene O'Neill
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 16, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 27, 1953

Eugene O'Neill was an American playwright whose works earned him several prestigious awards, including four Pulitzer Prizes for Drama and the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature. His play Long Day's Journey into Night is frequently named among the 20th century's finest American plays. In the 1981 film Reds, Eugene O'Neill is played by actor Jack Nicholson.

 8 
Vincent Price
8
Birthdate: May 27, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: October 25, 1993

Vincent Price was an American actor who was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Remembered for his iconic voice, Price narrated many animation films and documentaries. His life inspired Tim Burton to direct a stop-motion film titled Vincent. Since he was also an ardent art collector, The Vincent Price Art Museum is named in his honor.

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 9 
Richard Winters
(United States Army Officer and a Decorated War Veteran)
Richard Winters
16
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 21, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Holland, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 2, 2011
Richard Winters is best remembered for his act of parachuting into Normandy on D-Day. He was recalled to the army from the inactive list during the Korean War. Following his retirement, he started selling Hershey Company by-products to animal-feed manufacturers and also taught at the U.S. Military Academy.
 10 
Rickson Gracie
(Brazilian Mixed Martial Artist)
Rickson Gracie
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 21, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
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 11 
Richard Benjamin Harrison
(Businessman, TV Personality)
Richard Benjamin Harrison
22
Birthdate: March 4, 1941
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Danville, Virginia, United States
Died: June 25, 2018

Businessman Richard Benjamin Harrison became famous as a reality TV personality when he started appearing in the History Channel series Pawn Stars as the co-owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. His already successful business started thriving following the show’s success. He was nominated for the 2012 Time 100 list.

 12 
Mao Zedong
(Communist Leader of China)
Mao Zedong
109
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shaoshan, Xiangtan, China
Died: September 9, 1976

One of the most significant and controversial leaders of the 20th century, Mao Zedong was a communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People's Republic of China which he governed as the chairman of Chinese Communist Party. He is appreciated for numerous development work but is criticised for his authoritarian regime and policies which resulted in millions of deaths .

 13 
Frances Shand Kydd
(Mother of Diana, Princess of Wales)
Frances Shand Kydd
18
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 20, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sandringham, Norfolk, England
Died: June 3, 2004
Frances Ruth Shand Kydd was the mother of Diana, Princess of Wales. She apparently had a tiff with Diana over an interview with Hello! magazine and was not on speaking terms with her at the time of her death. Frances later spent most of her time in Catholic charitable initiatives.
 14 
Deng Xiaoping
(Politician)
Deng Xiaoping
36
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Guang'an, China
Died: February 19, 1997
Deng Xiaoping led the People's Republic of China from 1978 to 1989. He ordered a crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protestors in 1989, leading to the June Fourth Massacre. However, he also earned the tag of the "Architect of Modern China" for ushering in a market economy in the country.
 15 
Jim Backus
(American Actor Best Known for His Role as ‘Thurston Howell III’ in the TV Sitcom ‘Gilligan's Island’)
Jim Backus
8
Birthdate: February 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: July 3, 1989
Jim Backus is best known as Thurston Howell III from Gilligan's Island and as Frank Stark from Rebel Without a Cause. He also became popular as the voice of the animated character Mr. Magoo. He was also a skilled golfer and has his own show, The Jim Backus Show.
 16 
James Doohan
(Screenwriter, Television actor, Film actor, Actor, Novelist, Science fiction writer)
James Doohan
8
Birthdate: March 3, 1920
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vancouver
Died: July 20, 2005

Canadian actor James Doohan was initially a soldier in the Canadian army and had even sustained injuries in World War II. He later soared to fame with his Saturn Award-nominated role of Montgomery Scott in the Star Trek film and TV franchise. He also voiced the character in various video games.

 17 
Leo Fender
(Inventor)
Leo Fender
4
Birthdate: August 10, 1909
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Anaheim, California, United States
Died: March 21, 1991
 18 
Howard Cosell
(Journalist)
Howard Cosell
10
Birthdate: March 25, 1918
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Winston-Salem
Died: April 23, 1995
 19 
Terry-Thomas
(Actor)
Terry-Thomas
2
Birthdate: July 14, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 8, 1990
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 20 
George H. W. Bush
(President of the United States (1989-93))
George H. W. Bush
174
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 12, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milton, Massachusetts, United States
Died: November 30, 2018

The 41st president of the U.S, George H.W. Bush also twice served as the vice president of the country and held various other important political positions before assuming the presidency. During his presidency, he led successful military operation against Panama and Iraq which made him popular, but domestic issues prevented him from winning a second term at the office.

 21 
Red Grange
(American football halfback)
Red Grange
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 13, 1903
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Forksville, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 28, 1991
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 22 
Henry Gibson
8
Birthdate: September 21, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 14, 2009
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 23 
Chespirito
(One of the Greatest Comedians of All Time)
Chespirito
18
Birthdate: February 21, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico
Died: November 28, 2014

Mexican comedian Roberto Gómez Bolaños became a cultural icon with his show Chespirito, which also starred him as the titular character and thus made him adopt Chespirito as his stage name later. He was a boxer before venturing into entertainment and had even dropped out of an engineering course.

 24 
G. Gordon Liddy
(FBI Agent Who was Convicted for His Role in the Watergate Scandal)
G. Gordon Liddy
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: March 30, 2021
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 25 
Mitzi Shore
(Co-founder and owner of The Comedy Store)
Mitzi Shore
6
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: July 25, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Marinette, Wisconsin, United States
Died: April 11, 2018
 26 
Enoch Powell
(Former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care of the United Kingdom)
Enoch Powell
8
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 16, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Birmingham
Died: February 8, 1998

Enoch Powell was a British politician, linguist, classical scholar, philologist, and poet. Also a soldier, Powell served in World War II, reaching the rank of brigadier. His political career is remembered for his iconic and infamous Rivers of Blood speech, which was interpreted as a demonstration of racism. The speech became the subject of a play titled What Shadows.

 27 
Kenneth More
(Actor)
Kenneth More
2
Birthdate: September 20, 1914
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England
Died: July 12, 1982
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 28 
James Roosevelt
(United States Congressman, US Military Officer, Businessman)
James Roosevelt
6
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: December 23, 1907
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Died: August 13, 1991
 29 
Freddie Roach
(Former Professional Boxer & One of the Best Boxing Trainers of All Time)
Freddie Roach
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 5, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dedham, Massachusetts, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 30 
John Lindsay
(Mayor of New York City (1966-73))
John Lindsay
6
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 24, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 19, 2000
 31 
Eugene McCarthy
(Politician)
Eugene McCarthy
8
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: March 29, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Watkins
Died: December 10, 2005
 32 
George Wallace
(45th governor of Alabama, Politician)
George Wallace
20
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 25, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clio, Alabama, United States
Died: September 13, 1998

Four-time Alabama governor George Wallace was known for his segregationist views. He ran for president multiple times. After an assassination attempt that left him paralyzed, he softened his stance on segregation and appointed two black members in the same cabinet. He remains the fourth longest-tenured U.S. governor in history.

 33 
Frank Kelly
(Actor)
Frank Kelly
2
Birthdate: December 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Blackrock, Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 28, 2016
 34 
M.F.K. Fisher
(Writer)
M.F.K. Fisher
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 3, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Albion, Michigan, United States
Died: June 22, 1992
 35 
John Betjeman
(Poet)
John Betjeman
1
Birthdate: August 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 19, 1984
 36 
Sterling Marlin
(American Professional Stock Car Racing Driver)
Sterling Marlin
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Columbia, Tennessee, United States
 37 
Dean Jones
(Actor)
Dean Jones
5
Birthdate: January 25, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Decatur, Alabama, United States
Died: September 1, 2015
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 38 
Billy Graham
(American Evangelist and an Ordained Southern Baptist Minister)
Billy Graham
42
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 7, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Died: February 21, 2018
Billy Graham was an evangelist and an ordained SBC minister. He had been on Gallup's list of the 10 most admired men 61 times. He broadcast his sermons through radio and TV, and organized annual "Crusades,” or evangelistic campaigns. He owned several media outlets and advised many U.S. presidents. 
 39 
Wilhelm Kempff
(German Pianist and Composer Known for His Interpretations of the Music of 'Ludwig Van Beethoven' and 'Franz Schubert')
Wilhelm Kempff
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 25, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jüterbog, Germany
Died: May 23, 1991

One of the greatest German composers of the 20th century, Wilhelm Kempff specialized in interpretations of legends such as Beethoven and Chopin. Born into a family of church musicians, he began learning the piano at age 9. He had also played for the Nazi officers, once a short distance away from Auschwitz.

 40 
Benny Mardones
(pop/rock singer and songwriter noted for his hit single)
Benny Mardones
1
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 9, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: June 29, 2020
 41 
Walter Sisulu
(Former Deputy President of the African National Congress (1991 - 1994))
Walter Sisulu
9
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: May 18, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ngcobo, South Africa
Died: May 5, 2003

Walter Sisulu was a South African activist who played an important role in the anti-apartheid movement. Counted among the most important members of the ANC, Sisulu served more than 25 years in prison for his anti-apartheid activities. For his contribution to the success of the ANC, Sisulu was honored with the prestigious Isitwalandwe Seaparankoe in 1992.

 42 
Anna Neagle
(English Actress Who is Best Remembered for Her Comedies, Lightweight Musicals and Historical Dramas)
Anna Neagle
3
Birthdate: October 20, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Forest Gate, London, United Kingdom
Died: June 3, 1986

Anna Neagle was an English actress, dancer, and singer. She dominated British cinema for two decades. In 1949, she was adjudged the most popular celebrity in Britain. Best remembered for her comedies, lightweight musicals, and historical dramas, Anna Neagle was loved and respected for providing sophistication and glamor to war-torn London audiences.

 43 
George Roy Hill
(Film Director)
George Roy Hill
0
Birthdate: December 20, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: December 27, 2002
 44 
Gunther von Hagens
(German Anatomist Best Known for Inventing 'Plastination' and Establishing the 'Body Worlds' Exhibition)
Gunther von Hagens
1
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: January 10, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Skalmierzyce, Poland

German anatomist and physician Gunther von Hagens is best known for inventing plastination, or a unique method of preserving human body tissue after death. He also started the Body Worlds exhibition, to display dissections, and later established permanent exhibitions. He has also been dragged into legal hassles for using corpses illegally.

 45 
Peter Thomson
(Only Golfer in the Modern Era to Win a Major Three Times in Succession)
Peter Thomson
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
Died: June 20, 2018

Peter Thomson was an Australian golfer best remembered for winning the Open Championship on five occasions between 1954 and 1965. He won three consecutive Championship titles in 1954, 1955, and 1956, becoming the only modern era golfer to win a major on three successive occasions. In 1988, Peter Thomson was made an inductee of the World Golf Hall of Fame.   

 46 
Jean Shepard
(Singer-Songwriter)
Jean Shepard
3
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, United States
Died: September 25, 2016
 47 
Theodore Hall
(American Physicist Who was One of the Atomic Spies for the Soviet Union During World War II)
Theodore Hall
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 1, 1999

Theodore Hall was an American physicist. He was one of the atomic spies for the Soviet Union during World War II. Hall gave a detailed description of a plutonium bomb named Fat Man to the Soviet Union. He also passed on vital information such as the processes involved for purifying plutonium. His life inspired a documentary titled A Compassionate Spy.

 48 
André Courrèges
(French Fashion Designer Known for His Streamlined 1960s Designs Influenced by Modernism and Futurism)
André Courrèges
0
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: March 9, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France
Died: January 7, 2016

André Courrèges was a French fashion designer whose designs were influenced by futurism and modernism. Courrèges is remembered for being one of the designers to have invented the miniskirt. He is also renowned for his extremely simple designs that were paired with go-go boots; the go-go boot was initially known as the Courrèges boot.

 49 
Francisco Franco
(Former Caudillo of Spain)
Francisco Franco
69
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 4, 1892
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ferrol, Spain
Died: November 20, 1975

Francisco Franco overthrew the Second Spanish Republic by leading the Nationalist forces as their general during the Spanish Civil War. Subsequently, Franco ruled over Spain as a dictator from 1939 to 1975. He had such an impact as a dictator that the period between the Nationalist victory and Franco's death is known as Francoist Spain in the history of Spain.

 50 
Alan John Percival Taylor
1
Birthdate: March 25, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Southport, England
Died: September 7, 1990