Skip to main content

Famous People with Tourettes Syndrome


What is Tourettes Syndrome?

Tourette syndrome (also called Tourette's syndrome, Tourette's disorder, Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, GTS or, more commonly, simply Tourette's or TS) is an inherited neurological disorder with onset in childhood, characterized by the presence of multiple physical (motor) tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic; these tics characteristically wax and wane.

The exact cause of Tourette's is unknown, but it is well established that both genetic and environmental factors are involved.

Genetic studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of cases of Tourette's are inherited, although the exact mode of inheritance is not yet known, and no gene has been identified.

Tourette's was once considered a rare and bizarre syndrome, most often associated with the exclamation of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks (coprolalia). However, this symptom is present in only a small minority of people with Tourette's.

A person with Tourette's has about a 50% chance of passing the gene(s) to one of his or her children.

List of Famous People with Tourettes Syndrome
Tim Howard - March 6, 1979 - Once known as Tim Dawg, is an American soccer player who plays as a goalkeeper for English club Everton and the United States national team despite having tourettes syndrome. It was an everyday battle but he kept it under control, especially when he was to be catching and blocking 65 miles an hour curve soccer balls from the best players in the world. Tim says it's just a battle of the will, he just constantly fights what his mind tells his body to do, he has been capable of shutting out tourettes.
Howard Hughes - Being one of the richest man in history Howard Hughes had always been lost in dreams, most of them being born from movies or figments of imagination. He seemed to dislike or even fear all that was too real, although his career in aviation would prove otherwise. He was but a mystery, when all the fame was directed towards him he would hide in the darkest of places, for he would not like other people. As he got older everything seemed like an enemy to him, he would not touch anything without gloves or tissue to protect his hands from what he saw as bacteria and disease. Then he would contradict his excess of sanity by barely eating and taking too much medecine. He was one of the richest man yet he was ill, and suffered from tourettes.
Marc Summers - Marc Summers was a popular tv host and entertainer, he had an obsessive-compulsive disorder and would do everything a certain way, anything else wouldn't work. When he would take a shower at a hotel he would wear flip-flops to avoid touching the floor, he would not remove them until inside the shower. Marc would have a great fear of losing, he wanted to win whatever happened regardless of who he was playing with. When it was time to play basket-ball or monopoly he would not accept losing, even to his children.
Dan Ackroyd - Aykroyd was born on Dominion Day at the Ottawa General Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Dan was diagnosed with tourette's and asperger syndromes at an early age, but the symptoms seem to have disappeared when he was around 14. The diagnosis of Asperger syndrome did not exist in the 1960s, when Aykroyd was a preteen. It involved mostly grunting and physical tics through nervousness.
David Beckham - David suffers from OCD and it manifests itself through constant cleanliness and perfection of all that is around him. Anything out of order is enough to cause a conflict and must be attended to immediately. Examples of this complete order is that everything must be in pairs, if there are three books on a table one must be added, or one must be removed. Only 2% of the population suffer from this strong OCD.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - (1756-1791) In late 1992, the British Medical Journal published an article by endocrinologist Benjamin Simkin, M.D. speculating that Mozart had Tourette Syndrome. Apparently he wrote several letters to his cousin Maria that contained many obscene words, especially words having to do with bodily functions. It has also been documented that he was hyperactive, suffered from mood swings, had tics, and loved made-up words. Despite these behaviors, we will probably never know for certain whether Mozart had TS.
Dr. Samuel Johnson - Samuel Johnson LL.D. MA (September 18 1709 - 13 December 1784), often referred to simply as Dr Johnson, is one of England's best known literary figures, an essayist, biographer, lexicographer and a critic of English Literature. He was also a great wit and prose stylist, well known for his aphorisms. Johnson had poor eyesight, was hard of hearing and had a scarred face as a result of childhood scrofula. He also had a number of tics and other involuntary movements, the symptoms described by Boswell suggest that Johnson had Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Jim Eisenreich - James Michael Eisenreich (born April 18, 1959 St. Cloud, Minnesota) is a former major league baseball player utility player with a 15-year career. He played for the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals of the American League, and the Philadelphia Phillies, Florida Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League. Eisenreich has Tourette syndrome (TS) his condition caused him to go on to the voluntary retirement list between 1984 and 1987 while he was undergoing treatment. Eisenreich resides in the Kansas City area with his wife Leann and four children. They run the Jim Eisenreich Foundation for Children with Tourette Syndrome which they founded in 1996. It helps children with TS to achieve personal success.
Michael Wolff - Michael Wolff (born September 19, 1954 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American jazz pianist, composer, and actor. Wolff is the leader of a jazz band, Michael Wolff and Impure Thoughts, which features Indian tabla player Badal Roy, drummer Mike Clark and electric bassist John B. Williams. Wolff has Tourette syndrome he serves on the Board of Directors of the Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA), and is involved with mentoring children with Tourette's through the chapters of the TSA.

Dash Mihok - American actor (born May 24, 1974 in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan in New York City) - Mihok has been mostly featured in supporting roles in commercial films such as The Day After Tomorrow, The Perfect Storm, The Thin Red Line, Lifted, and Romeo + Juliet. He has had starring roles in independent features such as Telling You and Loveless in Los Angeles. Dash Mihok has Tourette Syndrome and is the spokesperson for the nonprofit Jaylens Challenge Foundation, Inc.

Jamie Grace Harper - (November 25, 1991) is an American Contemporary Christian musician, singer, rapper, and songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. In 2010, she was discovered (via her YouTube channel) by TobyMac and signed to his label Gotee Records. She released the song "Hold Me" in 2011 (landing her a nomination at the 2012 Grammys) and won the 2012 Dove Award for New Artist of the Year. Jamie Grace was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome in 2003 when she was 11. She has spoken of this illness through her music and speaking.

View other well known and Famous People with Disabilities of different types.

NOTE: Disabled World has assembled this list from both online and offline resources. If you know of a discrepancy in this article please contact us so we can amend the entry.

Comments and Discussion

Questions and AnswersHave Your Say: We welcome relevant discussions, criticism and your unique insights. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved. NOTE: We do not verify information posted in the comment section.




Newsletter

     What will I receive?
Finance icons
Information
for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Programs include grants, home ownership, vehicle modification loans, personal loans and scholarships.