Famous People with Disabilities Past & Present:
1). Nicholas James Vujicic – born without arms and legs – is an Australian-American Christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of his limbs.
2). Stephen Hawking – was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. He suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a neurodegenerative disease that wears away at nerve and muscle function over time.
3). Frida Kahlo – A Mexican famous painter contracted polio during her childhood and, according to some sources, also had spina bifida, which caused dysmetria in her right leg. Her spinal problems were also aggravated by an accident suffered in her adolescence, which left her with physical issues for her entire life and eventually bedridden where she painted in her bed.
4). John Nash – an American mathematician whose life was consumed by acute paranoid schizophrenia. His life was later adapted into a film “A Beautiful Mind” Diagnosed and treated for the illness, Nash through his determination fought against it and developed a successful academic career that earned him the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994.
5). Andrea Boccelli – Tenor, musician, writer, and music producer born in Italy, Andrea sold more than 75 million records. He was born with congenital glaucoma that left him partially blind, something that did not prevent him from taking piano lessons until the age of six. After sustaining head trauma at the age of twelve during a football game the injury left him completely blind. He found peace in his music and decided to focus entirely on his music career specifically on singing. He also studied Law.
6). Michael J. Fox – American actor made famous by his starring role in ‘Back to the Future was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1991 when he was only 29 years old and he was at his peak in his career. This disease is in its very advanced stage and Michael continues to pursue spirits of improvement.
7). Alex Zanardi – Four times world champion F1 racing driver suffered an accident in 2001 in which he had to have his both legs amputated. Three years later he was on the track again driving a BMW for which he himself had adapted some prostheses.
8). Aaron Fotheringham – World famous wheelchair skater underwent several failed hip operations that forced him to use a wheelchair permanently. Passionate about the sport he adapted his disability to pursue his career. In 2005, Aaron landed a great jump with a 180º turn, and in 2006 made the first somersault in wheelchair history. Since then, his achievements and challenges are an example for thousands of people.
9). Richard Branson – Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, investor, author, and former philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group in the 1970s, which controls more than 400 companies in various fields. Born on July 18, 1950, in London, England, he has struggled with dyslexia and ADHD and as a child, dropping out of school at the age of fifteen to start a youth-culture magazine called Student. The publication sold $8,000 worth of advertising in its first edition which was launched in 1966.
10) Ralph Braun – Founder of the Braun Corporation which is the leading company that manufactures accessible vehicles and wheelchairs in the world as well electrical equipment such as shavers and hair driers. Ralph was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, but his condition didn’t stop him from making a difference in the world. Barrack Obama named Braun as “a champion of change”. Indeed, Braun not only changed but improved the lives of millions of wheelchair users from around the world.
11). Tom Cruise – The world-famous American movie actor, is extremely dyslexic, which is classed as a learning disability.
12), Elton John – World Famous singer-songwriter has struggled with epilepsy for years but was indeed induced by the years of drug use.
13). Robin Williams, an American comedian, and actor was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and bipolar disorder as an adult. Before his untimely death, he also received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease.
14). Daniel Radcliffe, a Famous actor for his starring roles in Harry potter suffers from dyspraxia, a neurological problem that impairs the organization of movement.
15). Christopher Reeve, an American actor who played the original Superman character, suffered a spinal cord injury whilst horse riding. He dedicated the remainder of his life to researching spinal cord injuries and inspired many people in his situation.
16). Rik Mayall, the British comedy actor, had a form of epilepsy and experienced seizures.
17). Sudha Chandran is an extremely talented Indian dancer and actress who, following an accident, had her right leg amputated and continued to gain a highly successful career in her industry.
18). Stevie Wonder, the well-known singer and pianist, is blind.
19). Adam Ant, the singer famous for songs like Stand and Deliver and Prince Charming, meanwhile, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
20). Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States for a massive four terms, went through polio and became a wheelchair user to help with his resulting paraplegia, although this was often hidden in official briefings and photographs.
Types of Physical Disabilities:
Physical Disabilities are not always immediately visible and can be broken down into many types of disorders, such as those that affect a person’s: Vision, Hearing, Thinking, Cognitive & Learning, Movement, Mental health, Remembering, Communicating, Social relationships.
Acquired brain injury
Brain injury after birth can include a blow to the head (head trauma) , stroke, alcohol or drugs, infection, diseases such as AIDs or cancer, or a lack of oxygen.
Famous People With Cerebellar Atrophy:
To Be added.
Cerebellar atrophy is the cerebellar portion of the brain, which is the part that controls motor function, movement, and the senses, which may not be all that is affected. Cerebellar atrophy is a neurological disease or process of wasting that affects the brain, brain stem, and potentially even the spinal cord. Atrophy occurs when human tissue decreases in size or shrinks to a size smaller than normal, or what is considered average. It can be referred to as body wasting, describing an observation that part of the body is diminishing. Atrophy takes place for a variety of reasons, including the following:
Immobilization: Limbs that have been placed in casts or that are unable to function are prone to muscle wasting, or atrophy. This means that when a muscle has not been used for a period of time, it’s slowly broken down and reabsorbed by the body.
Disease: Many musculoskeletal, neurological, and vascular diseases can lead to atrophy. Other illnesses, such as cancer, can also put a drain on the body’s resources.
Trauma: Head trauma in some instances can restrict blood flow to the brain and may divert itself to areas of the body that are in critical need. When this diversion occurs for a prolonged period of time, vascular pathways begin to atrophy and blood flow establishes new routes based on priority.
Famous People with Spina Bifada Past & Present:
Hank Williams, Sr, Frida Kahlo – Artist, Jean Driscoll — Wheelchair Racer & Olympian, Jay Bradford Fowler — Poet, Jim LeBrecht – Sound Designer, Rene Kirby – Actor.
Spina Bifida definition is the incomplete spine and spinal cord formation in utero. It can cause the spinal cord and nerves to be exposed on the surface of the back, instead of being inside a canal of bone surrounded by muscle. People with spina bifida suffer a wide range of symptoms from mild to severe physical ailments which can include paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain cavities), deformities of the spine, and learning difficulties. Spinal cord injury (SCI) The spinal cord can become injured if too much pressure is applied and/or if the blood and oxygen supply to the spinal cord is cut.
Famous People with Cerebral Palsy Past & Present:
Francesca Martinez. The 34 year old English stand-up comedienne and actress is perhaps best recognized for her appearances in Ricky Gervais’ BBC 2 series Extras, and children’s drama series Grange Hill in which she starred as character Rachel Burns for several years. Other famous people include Sophia Warner, Nicolas Hamilton, Abbey Curran, RJ Mitte.
Cerebral Palsy is usually due to an injury to the growing brain before birth or during labor, caused by a reduced blood supply and lack of oxygen to the brain. Illnesses during pregnancy such as rubella (the German measles), accidental injury to the brain, meningitis in young children, and premature birth can all be leading causes of the disability. Patients with Cerebral palsy may experience weakness in their limbs, difficulty walking, lack of muscle control, problems with coordination, involuntary movements, and other symptoms.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
Famous People With Cystic Fibrosis Past & Present:
Lisa Bentley, Gunnar Esiason, Nolan Gottlieb, James Fraser Brown, Alice Martineau, Travis Flores, Nathan Charles, Sir Josh LLwellyn Jones OBE.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic disorder, which affects the body’s respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It primarily affects the mucus and sweat glands in the body, causing mucus to be thick and sticky. In relation to the lungs, this can block the airway passages and trap bacteria causing lung damage and recurrent infections. The most common symptoms of CF include sinus infections, liver damage, diabetes, poor growth, diarrhea, and infertility. People with CF can also have low salt levels in the body which causes problems such as tiredness, cramps, and high levels of thirst.
Famous People with Epilepsy Past & Present:
Prince, Cameron Boyce, Danny Glover, Truman Capote, Tiki Barber.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder where a person has a tendency to have recurring seizures due to a sudden burst of electrical activity in the brain. Often strobe lighting can onset an attack. Seizures can cause unusual movements, odd feelings or sensations, a change in a person’s behavior, or cause them to lose consciousness. The causes of epilepsy are not clear, however, brain injuries, strokes, cancer, brain infection, structural abnormalities of the brain, and other genetic factors may be contributing factors for a person to have seizures. There are many different types of epilepsy and the nature and severity of seizures experienced by people can vary widely. Some people can control their seizures with medication and the condition is not lifelong for every person.
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Famous People With Multiple Sclerosis Past & Present:
Joan Didion. Joan Didion is an award-winning American author and screenwriter, Rachel Miner, Jack Osbourne, Clay Walker, Ann Romney, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Richard Pryor, Frasier C Robinson III, Gordon Schumer, Jason DaSilva.
Multiple Sclerosis occurs when the myelin sheath that protects the spine– known as the protective tissue around nerve fibers in the body – becomes damaged, causing random patches, scars, or lesions. The scars can interfere with messages sent through the central nervous system, affecting the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. The symptoms of MS can be genetic but can also be caused via brain trauma after birth and are very varied but can include fatigue, loss of motor control, tingling, numbness, visual disturbances, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties. The progress and severity of MS can be difficult to predict – it may progress very slowly for one person, but develop quickly in another.
Famous People with Tourettte Syndrome Past & Present:
Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connel (Born Dec. 18, 2001) American singer and songwriter, Dan Aykroyd, Dash Mihok, David Beckham, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Howard Hughes, Jamie Grace Harper, Jim Eisenreich – James Michael Eisenreich.
Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that involves involuntary and repetitive vocalizations, sounds, and movements called tics. These tics are neurological, not behavioral – which means a person with Tourette syndrome cannot control them. Vocal tics can include sniffing, throat clearing, tongue clicking, grunting, or more rarely blurting out socially unacceptable words or phrases such as swearing. Motor tics can include eye blinking, shrugging, nose twitching, head jerking, facial expressions, touching objects or people, spinning around, imitating someone else’s actions, or jumping up and down. Tourette syndrome is typically diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 21. It is not known exactly what causes Tourette syndrome, but it is likely a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurochemical (chemicals of the brain) factors.
Famous People with Muscular Dystrophy:
Nawaal Akram, David Anthony (wheelchair rugby), Rona Barrett, Trevor Bentham, Hridayeshwar Singh Bhati, Steven Blier, Chew Chor Meng, Kitty Cone, Quentin Crewe, Ida Daly, Lynn Deas, Donnie Demers, Madison Ferris, Bryson Foster, Nikki Fox, Alex Fridman, Daniel Michel, Stacey Milbern, Dirceu Pinto, Darwin Ramos, Luigi Rocchi,Pedro Moreira Salles, Stuart Shorter, Pablo Soto (software developer), Rungroj Thainiyom, Bradley Walker (singer), J. T. Whitney, Yip Pin Xiu.
Muscular dystrophy is the progressive and irreversible weakness and loss of muscle mass. There are more than 30 different types of muscular dystrophy, and each has a separate cause. Symptoms include trouble walking, problems with breathing or swallowing, restriction in joint motion, and heart and other organ problems, symptoms can be varied from person to person. The most common symptoms of the disease appear in childhood, although in others it may not become apparent until middle age or older.
Famous People Past and Present with Dwarfism.
1). Peter Dinklage best known for playing the role of Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones.
2). Warwick Davis best known for playing the title roles in Willow and The Leprechaun.
3). Tony Cox best known for his appearances in such films as Bad Santa and Me, Myself and Irene.
4). Zelda Rubinstein best known for her role in the Poltergeist film series.
5). Verne Troyer best known for his role in the Austin Powers film series.
6). Jason Acuna AKA Wee Man is the best to know for being a part of the Jackass film and television series.
7). Angelo Rossitto best known for his work in silent films, but he also appeared in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
8). Billy Barty appeared in several films and television shows. He also founded the Little People of America organization in 1957.
9). David Rappaport was best known for his appearances in the films Time Bandits and The Bride. He was reportedly 3′ 11″ tall.
10). Felix Silla best known for playing Cousin Itt on The Addams Family. Before getting into Hollywood he performed with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
11). Harry Earles was best known for his performance in The Wizard of Oz. He and his three dwarf siblings were known as The Dancing Dolls.
12). Herve Villechaize best known for his performance in “Fantasy Island.” He had proportionate dwarfism, most likely due to an endocrine disorder.
13). Kenny Baker best known for portraying R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise. He was 3 ft 8 inches tall and his parents were of average height.
14). Michael Dunn appeared in several notable films and television series. His dwarfism was caused by spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia.
15). Michael J. Anderson best known for his role in “Twin Peaks.” His short stature was caused by the genetic disorder Osteogenesis imperfecta.
Dwarfism is short stature that results from a genetic or medical condition. Dwarfism is generally defined as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches (147 centimeters) or less. The average adult height among people with dwarfism is 4 feet (122 cm) Diseases Associated with Dwarfism are: Growth hormone deficiency; Achondroplasia
Mental Health Disorders
Mental Health Disabilities include:
- Anxiety & Panic Attacks
- Bipolar Disorder
- Eating Disorders (Bulimia & Anorexia)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Personality Disorders
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Schizoaffective disorder
- Self Harming
- Suicidal Feelings
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is something I suffer from and have done for the best part of 30 years.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. OCD can affect men, women, and children. Some people start having symptoms early on in life usually during puberty whilst for others, it can start during early adulthood. OCD can be distressing and significantly interfere with your life, but treatment can help you keep it under control.
Symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
OCD is having frequent obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. An obsession is a thought you cannot get rid of and keeps repeating itself over on over again usually unwanted and unpleasant thoughts, images, or urges that enter a person’s mind, causing feelings of anxiety, insecurity, disgust, or unease. A compulsion is a repetitive behavior or mental act that you feel you need to do to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought. For example, someone with an obsessive fear of being burgled may feel they need to check all the windows and doors are locked several times before they can leave their house. Women can sometimes have OCD during pregnancy or after their baby is born. Obsessions may include worrying about harming the baby or not sterilizing feeding bottles properly. Compulsions could be things such as repeatedly checking the baby is breathing.
Famous People With OCD Past & Present
Leonardo DiCaprio suffers from OCD and says that he allowed his condition to worsen in order to play Howard Hughes in “Aviator.”
His childhood memories were to step on cracks in the pavement and if he missed any he would have started all over again, even as far as a few blocks.
“Sin City” star Jessica Alba talked about her OCD in an interview with CosmoGirl stating,
“It was like a panic comes over me and I had to do something, and once I did it, I was OK. …
It was really me needing to control something.”
Justin Timberlake suffers from OCD that makes him need everything to be organized perfectly.
He also only allows certain foods in his refrigerator.
Pop star Katy Perry suffers from OCD and says that she brushes her teeth 4-6 times a day.
Howie Mandel has been very open about his OCD. He calls handrails his enemy.
Cameron Diaz’s OCD makes her have a fear of germs.
Soccer great David Beckham has admitted to struggling with OCD saying that he has to reorganize hotel rooms in order to feel comfortable and keeping things organized and symmetrical.
“Young Adult” star Charlize Theron says that her OCD keeps her up at nights worrying about messy cabinets and closets.
Historians believe that Albert Einstein suffered from OCD, as do many individuals with very high levels of intelligence.
“Vanilla Sky” actress Penelope Cruz is said to suffer from OCD.
Charlie Sheen has OCD and needs things to be in order. He told Dr. Oz that his OCD even propelled him to fix a stranger’s shirt collar at a restaurant.
Jennifer Love Hewitt
“Client List” star Jennifer Love Hewitt thinks she inherited her OCD from her mother.
Alec Baldwin self-diagnosed his OCD. Baldwin spoke of the frustrating nature of his condition stating,
“The thing is, you always feel the need to do it, mostly when there’s something at stake. Like,
I will literally be leaving my apartment in New York and I’ve got to go to the airport.
The worst possible time is when the bell rings loudest. A voice will say to me, ‘Move the snowglobe to the right three inches.”
Michael Jackson had Body Dismorphic Disorder which is similar to OCD.
“Planet Terror” star Rose McGowan suffers from OCD related to agoraphobia.
“Star Wars” star Harrison Ford says that his OCD is related to his fear of spiders and reptiles.
Donald Trump says that his OCD prevents him from shaking hands with people.
(Which is Fake News in my opinion as I have seen him shake hands).
Director Martin Scorsese suffers from OCD and he explored the depths of the condition in his film “The Aviator.”
Roseanne Barr has struggled with OCD and she talked about her experience with Larry King.
Howard Stern’s OCD developed as a defense mechanism when he was first starting out.
Stern stated, “When I was in college and nervous about entering the world of broadcasting and earning a living, the pressure was enormous. …
As a defense mechanism, my brain had set up an elaborate maze of rituals that kept me from confronting my fear.”
Filmmaker Woody Allen has OCD and the main subject that he obsesses about is death.
Historians believe that Nikola Tesla suffered from OCD in his later years.
Fiona Apple suffers from OCD and she calls it a problem that can destroy your life.
“Blues Brothers” star Dan Aykroyd suffers from Tourettes, Aspergers and OCD.
Researches believe that Charles Darwin most likely suffered from OCD.
“A Clockwork Orange” director Stanley Kubrick is thought to have had OCD because of the way that he would shoot an excessive amount of takes when filming his movies.
Kathie Lee Gifford
Talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford is thought to have OCD.
Billy Bob Thornton
“Sling Blade” star Billy Bob Thornton calls suffering from OCD exhausting.
TV show host Marc Summers suffers from OCD. Who knows how Summers managed to deal with all of the slimy messes on his Nickelodeon show “Double Dare.”
People speculate that composer Cole Porter most likely suffered from OCD.
Historians believe that Michelangelo suffered from OCD.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Researchers believe that Ludwig van Beethoven displayed many symptoms of OCD.
Entrepreneur and filmmaker Howard Hughes suffered from OCD and used to obsess over the size of peas.
Later in his life, Hughes became a recluse and continuously watched movies.
Historians believe that Samuel Johnson likely suffered from OCD.
Researchers find that Stonewall Jackson demonstrated many of the symptoms of OCD.
Talk show host Jeremy Kyle suffers from OCD.
“Werewolves of London” songwriter Warren Zevon suffered from OCD.
He developed a friendship with fellow OCD sufferer Billy Bob Thorton later in his life.
Historians believe that “A Christmas Carol” author Charles Dickens likely suffered from OCD.
Historians believe that Marcel Proust suffered from OCD.
Limp Biscuit front man Fred Durst says that suffering from OCD makes touring really tough.
Gerald Kaufman has self-diagnosed his OCD.
Joey Ramone had a severe case of OCD and low self-esteem.
John Melendez, better known as “Stuttering John,” suffers from OCD, just like his good friend and boss Howard Stern.
Pop singer Natalie Appleton suffers from a mild case of OCD.
British actress/musician Jane Horrocks has been diagnosed with OCD.
Soccer star Steven Gerrard’s OCD manifests itself as constant hand washing.
British actress Emily Lloyd has gotten treatment for OCD and she blames the disorder for stalling her career.
Soccer star Paul Gascoigne suffers from OCD as well as other mental illnesses.
Soccer player Tim Howard had a tough time in school coping with his OCD.
Actor Ian Puleston-Davies has OCD and a fear of germs.
Baseball player Jim Eisenreich was diagnosed with Tourettes and OCD.
Volkert van der Graaf
Murderer Volkert van der Graaf has been diagnosed with OCD and Aspergers
Baroness Michelle Mone (OBE)
Entrepreneur, Public Speaker, Interior/Jewellery/Bra Designer proclaims to have OCD for being neat, tidy, and symmetrical as quoted in her book.
We are not alone.
Often taking people for granted and not always knowing what people are going through and judging a person for being different sometimes can cause the person who is suffering to feel much worse. Never be judgemental.
I once told my daughter’s Godfather’s partner I have Cerebellar Atrophy & OCD and she laughed, I am thick-skinned to a certain degree but I thought that was uncalled for considering she has a hearing impairment and knows what it is like to live with a disability. I made the conscious decision to sever ties with both of them after that.
I may not be perfect but I am caring and kind. Treat me with respect and you will be respected.
With all the famous people that I have mentioned above, that have and are affected with disorders and disabilities not to mention other people who may be suffering from an incurable and sometimes terminal diseases, you have to say yourself and ‘Thank God Every Day’ that you have been given another day to make a difference in the world and think that there is always someone much worse off than you. So finding the strength to carry on and make the world a better place you will be leaving a legacy for your family, friends and your children. There is absolutely no excuse that you cannot turns things around and make your life better. If you do not try you cannot succeed.
The Editor Suffers From OCD & Cerebellar Atrophy. She is an Entrepreneur & Published Author, she writes content on a range of topics, including politics, current affairs, health and business. She is an advocate for Mental Health, Human Rights & Disability Discrimination.
Whilst her disabilities can be challenging she has adapted her life around her health and documents her journey online.
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