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Famous People who Have and Had Dementia

A listing of famous people around the world who have, and had, Dementia. What is Dementia? Dementia is the progressive decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what might be expected from normal aging. Although dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, it may occur in any stage of adulthood.

In dementia, affected areas in cognition may be memory, attention, language, and problem solving.

The prevalence of dementia is rising as the global life expectancy is rising. Particularly in Western countries, there is an increasing concern about the economic impact that dementia will have in future, older populaces

There is no cure to this illness, although scientists are progressing in making a type of medication that will slow down the process. Cholinesterase inhibitors are often used early in the disease course

Tacrine (Cognex), donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Reminyl), and rivastigmine (Exelon) are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of dementia induced by Alzheimer disease. They may be useful for other similar diseases causing dementia such as Parkinsons or vascular dementia.

List of Famous People who Have and Had Dementia
Charles Bronson - Charles Bronson (born Charles Dennis Buchinsky, November 3, 1921 - August 30, 2003) was an American actor of "tough guy", or "macho" roles. In most of his roles, he played a police detective, western gunfighter, vigilante, boxer or Mafia hitman. Bronson's father died when he was only 10, and he went to work in the coal mines like his older brothers until he was drafted for World War II. His family was so poor that, at one time, he reportedly had to wear his sister's dress to school because he had nothing else to wear.
Charlton Heston - (October 4, 1924 - April 5, 2008) was an American film actor. In a long career he was mostly known for playing heroic roles such as Moses in The Ten Commandments, Colonel George Taylor in Planet of the Apes, and Judah Ben-Hur in Ben-Hur. Heston's most frequently played roles on stage include the title role in Macbeth, Sir Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons, and Mark Antony in both Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. Charlton Heston was lost in a world of Alzheimer's Disease, according to close family friends.
Rita Hayworth - (October 17, 1918 - May 14, 1987), Margarita Carmen Cansino, better known as Rita Hayworth, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Spanish flamenco dancer Eduardo Cansino (Sr.) and English/Irish-American Ziegfeld girl Volga Hayworth. After about 1960, Hayworth suffered from extremely early onset of Alzheimer's disease, which was not diagnosed until 1980. She continued to act in films until the early 1970s and made a well-publicized 1971 appearance on The Carol Burnett Show. Both of her brothers died within a week of each other in March 1974, saddening her greatly, and causing her to drink even more heavily than before. Rita Hayworth public diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in 1980 was a big step in destigmatizing the degenerative disease.
Ronald Reagan - Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981-1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967-1975). Born in Illinois, Reagan moved to Los Angeles in the 1930s. In July 1989, the Reagans took a trip to Mexico, where Reagan was thrown off a horse and taken to a hospital for tests. The Reagans returned to the U.S. and visited the Mayo Clinic where they were told President Reagan had a head concussion and a subdural hematoma, and was subsequently operated on. Doctors believe that is what hastened the onset of Alzheimer's disease, an incurable neurological disorder which ultimately causes brain cells to die, and something Reagan was diagnosed with in 1994.
Alfred Van Vogt - Born on a farm in Edenburg, a Russian Mennonite community east of Gretna, Manitoba, Canada, van Vogt was one of the most popular and highly esteemed science fiction writers of the 1940s. Van Vogt's first published SF story, "Black Destroyer" (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1939), was inspired by The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. In the 1950s, van Vogt briefly became involved in L. Ron Hubbard's projects. Van Vogt operated a storefront for Dianetics, the secular precursor to Hubbard's Church of Scientology, in the Los Angeles area for a time.
Sugar Ray Robinson - (born Walker Smith Jr., May 3, 1921 - April 12, 1989) was a professional boxer. Frequently cited as the greatest boxer of all time. Robinson was a fluid boxer who possessed a quick jab and knockout power. He possessed tremendous versatility-according to boxing analyst Bert Sugar, "Robinson could deliver a knockout blow going backward." In Robinson's last years, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He died in Los Angeles at the age of 67.
 Stan Mikita - (born Stanislav Guoth; May 20, 1940), is a Slovak-born Canadian retired professional ice hockey player for the Chicago Black Hawks of the National Hockey League, generally regarded as the best centre of the 1960s. Mr. Mikita's family has announced he has been diagnosed with dementia, and the doctors suspect it to be Lewy body dementia (LBD), one of the most debilitating forms of dementia. LBD affects 1.4 million Americans.
 Burgess Meredith - (November 16, 1907 - September 9, 1997) Burgess Meredith was a versatile two-time Academy Award-nominated American actor. He was known for portraying Rocky Balboa's trainer Mickey Goldmill in the Rocky films and The Penguin in the television series Batman. Burgess Meredith was adept playing both dramatic and comedic roles, and with his rugged looks and gravelly voice, he could convincingly play either an everyman hero or a sinister villain.
 Iris Murdoch - (15 July 1919 - 8 February 1999) Iris Murdoch was a Dublin-born writer and philosopher. Her first published novel, Under the Net, was selected in 2001 by the editorial board of the American Modern Library as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 1987, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Murdoch's novels are by turns intense and bizarre, filled with dark humor and unpredictable plot twists, undercutting the civilized surface of the usually intellectual upper middle-class milieu in which her characters are observed.
 Jack Lord - (December 30, 1920 - January 21, 1998) Jack O'Brien was an American television, film, and Broadway actor.Born in Brooklyn, New York, Jack Lord was the son of Irish-American parents. His father, William Lawrence Ryan was a steamship company executive. His first work on Broadway was in Traveling Lady with Kim Stanley. He was then cast as a replacement for Ben Gazarra in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Jack Lord died of congestive heart failure at his home on January 21, 1998 in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the age of 77. He left an estate of $40 million, and being a philanthropist in his lifetime, the entire estate went to various Hawaiian charities upon his wife Marie's death in 2005. Portions of their estate were auctioned on eBay in March 2007.
 Abe Burrows - (December 18, 1910 - May 17, 1985) Abe Burrows was a noted American humorist, author, and director for both the radio and the stage, particularly Broadway. He began working as a runner on Wall Street while at NYC, and he also worked in an accounting firm. After he met Frank Galen in 1938, the two wrote and sold jokes to an impressionist who appeared on the Rudy Vallee radio program. Abe burrows later suffered of dementia at an older age.
 Kay Swift - (1897-1993) Kay Swift was an American composer of popular and classical music, the first woman to score a complete musical. Swift was educated as a classical musician and composer at the Institute of Musical Art (now known as the Juilliard School). Her teacher of composition was Charles Loeffler, while harmony and composition was taught to her by Percy Goetschius. Her marriage to a cowboy and subsequent move to Oregon prompted an autobiographical novel, Who Could Ask For Anything More? Which was made into the film Never a Dull Moment in 1950, which had a Kay Swift musical score.
 Barry Goldwater - (January 2, 1909 - May 29, 1998) was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona (1953-1965, 1969-87) and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. He was a Major General in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He was also referred to as "Mr. Conservative". Goldwater is the politician most often credited for sparking the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s. By the 1980s, the increasing influence of the Christian Right on the Republican Party so conflicted with Goldwater's libertarian views that he became a vocal opponent of the religious right on issues such as abortion and gay rights. Goldwater concentrated on his Senate duties, especially passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986.
 Dana Andrews - (January 1, 1909 - December 17, 1992) was an American film actor. Andrews signed a contract with Samuel Goldwyn and nine years after arriving in Los Angeles was offered his first movie role in William Wyler's The Westerner (1940), starring Gary Cooper. In the 1943 movie adaptation of The Ox-Bow Incident with Henry Fonda, often cited as one of his best films, he played a lynching victim. He gave a finely calibrated performance in Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), followed by the Andrews' two signature roles, as an obsessed detective in Laura (1944) opposite Gene Tierney, and as a soldier returning home from the war in the Oscar-winning 1946 film The Best Years of Our Lives.
 Harry Ritz - The Ritz Brothers were a comedy team who appeared in 1930s films, and as live performers from 1925 to the late 1960s. Although there were four brothers, only three of them performed together. The fourth brother, George, acted as their manager. The influence of the Ritz Brothers was greater than their film career, in part because of their long career as nightclub entertainers. They influenced actors including Danny Kaye, Jerry Lewis, and Sid Caesar. In his 1976 film Silent Movie, Mel Brooks paid tribute to the Ritz Brothers by casting Harry in a cameo (he's the nutty fellow leaving a tailor's shop). It was the actor's last role.
 Mervyn Leroy - (October 15, 1900 - September 13, 1987) was an Academy Award-winning American film director, producer and sometime actor. LeRoy worked in costumes, processing labs and as a camera assistant until he became a gag writer and actor in silent films. His first directing job was in 1927's No Place to Go. When his movies made lots of money without costing too much, he became well-received in the movie business. LeRoy retired in 1965 and wrote his autobiography, Take One, in 1974. He died in Beverly Hills, California and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street.
 Rockwell - (February 3, 1894 - November 8, 1978) Norman Rockwell was a 20th century American painter and illustrator. In 1943, during the Second World War, Rockwell painted the Four Freedoms series, which was completed in seven months and resulted in his losing 15 pounds. The series was inspired by a speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt, in which he described four principles for universal rights: Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Worship, and Freedom from Fear.
 Perry Como - (May 18, 1912 - May 12, 2001) was an Italian-American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century he recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with it in 1943. "Mr. C", as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records for RCA and also pioneered a weekly musical variety television show, which set the standards for the genre and proved to be one of the most successful in television history. His combined success on television and popular recordings was not matched by any other artist of the time.
 Peter Michael Falk - (September 16, 1927 - June 23, 2011) was a retired American actor, best known for his role as Lieutenant Columbo in the television series Columbo. He appeared in numerous films and television guest roles, and has been nominated for an Academy Award twice (for 1960's Murder, Inc. and 1961's Pocketful of Miracles), and won the Emmy Award on five occasions (four for Columbo) and the Golden Globe award once. Peter Falk starred on TV as Lieutenant Columbo, the shabby detective whose apparent absentmindedness hid a razor-sharp brain. It is said Falk no longer remembered his role in Columbo, for which he won four Emmys, due to advanced Alzheimer's disease (Dementia) that has left him unable to care for himself. At a two day conservatorship trial in Los Angeles in June 2009, one of Falk's personal physicians, Dr. Stephen Read, reported Falk rapidly slipped into dementia after a series of dental operations in 2007.
 Aaron Copland - composer
 Arlene Francis - actor
 Arthur O'Connell - actor
 Betty Schwartz - Olympic gold medal winner in track events
 Bill Quackenbush - professional hockey player
 Carroll Campbell - Former Rebublican Senator
 Irving Shulman - screenwriter
 James Brooks - artist
 James Doohan - actor
 Joe Adcock - baseball player
 John Douglas French - physician
 Joyce Chen - chef
 Louis Feraud - fashion designer
 Mabel Albertson - actor
 Marv Owen - baseball player
 Mike Frankovich - film producer
 Molly Picon - actor
 NormanOtto Preminger - director
 Paul Silva Henriquez - Roman Catholic cardinal, human rights advocate

Ross MacDonald - author

 Rudolph Bing - opera impresario
 Simon Scott - actor

Thomas Dorsey - singer

 Tom Fears - professional football player and coach
 Willem DeKooning - artist


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