1 / 14 Raising Awareness of Parkinson’s Disease
Alan Alda revealed today that he has Parkinson’s disease. The award-winning actor, best known for his role in the long-running TV series M*A*S*H, broke the news during an appearance on the CBS This Morning TV news show. Alda said he was first diagnosed with the disease three and a half years ago.
“I decided to let people know I have Parkinson’s to encourage others to take action,” Alda posted on Twitter. “If you get a diagnosis, keep moving!”
Alda (pictured above) is one of many celebrities living with Parkinson’s disease who are raising the profile of this little-understood neurological condition.
Earlier this year, Neil Diamond announced that he was ending his 50th anniversary tour early because of a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Many Diamond fans reached out to say they were donating their ticket refunds to Parkinson’s research, among other causes.
The list of well-known people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease includes a former U.S. attorney general, a heavyweight boxing champion, and many stars of the stage and screen.
With their fame, people like actor Michael J. Fox have worked to bring more Parkinson’s disease awareness into their professions, which sometimes value physical perfection over health concerns.
About 1 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease — and an estimated 7 to 10 million people are living with it worldwide. Patient advocacy helps promote research into this condition that causes, among other problems, balance and coordination difficulties.
2 / 14 Neil Diamond: Stepping Away From Touring Because of Parkinson’s
The singer Neil Diamond announced on January 22, 2018, that he was retiring from touring because of a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. He was on a 50th anniversary tour at the time and had to cancel upcoming concert dates in Australia and New Zealand. In a widely reported statement, he said, “It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years.”
Diamond said he would continue writing and recording music, but not performing in front of live audiences. His hits over the years have included “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Song Sung Blue,” and “Red, Red Wine.”
The musician, 77, is known for his rich bass baritone and a smooth delivery that has just enough rough edges to give his voice a hint of melancholy.
Diamond was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Grammy Awards.