Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease which affects the nervous system in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged, which hinders the ability of parts of the nervous system to transmit signals. This may result in physical, mental, and psychiatric problems. There is no cure for MS yet. Here we make a list of celebrities diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
1. Teri Garr
Teri Garr was a actress who was in many prominent movies in 1970s and 1980s. She first came to my attention as a funny guest on David Letterman’s talk show. But in one of her later appearances, she looked like a sorry figure. Turns out she had something called Multiple Sclerosis, which is the first time I heard of the disease.
The actress finally confirmed in October 2002 that she is diagnosed with MS after years of secrecy. She first began noticing the symptoms around 1982 while shooting Tootsie. After the disclosure she became a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Teri explained that reason for her disclosure was to let people know that they aren’t alone.
2. Tamara Dobson
The statuesque actress known for her appearances in blaxploitation films and is recognized by Guinness Book of World Record as the tallest leading lady ever in film was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000. She died of it in 2006 at age 59.
3. Christina Applegate
The actress who gained recognition after her appearance in Fox sitcom, Married… with Children, in 1987 at age 15, announced in August 2021 that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a few months prior. She recieved a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 14, 2022, which she said will be her last red carpet. As of 2023 she has retired from acting on camera and will only be available for voiceover work.
4. Selma Blair
Selma Blair revealed in October 2018 that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in August of that year. She starred in a documentary Introducing, Selma Blair (2021), which followed her journey of adapting new ways of living after revealing her diagnosis.
5. Montel Williams
The host of the self-titled tabloid talk show was diagnosed with MS in 1999. He founded the Montel Williams MS Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that focuses on research and education, the next year. Montel has stated that he uses medical cannabis to help ease the neuropathic pain caused by MS. He was hospitalized on May 30, 2018, after he had a cerebellar hemorrhagic stroke while working out at a gym.
6. Richard Pryor
7. Mayte Garcia
The dancer who had Prince’s only child which died in infancy, was detected with early symptoms of MS in 2010. With the help of healthy diet and exercise regimen, the progression of the disease was stopped and she is able to continue to work.
8. Captain Beefheart
The symptoms of MS were noticed in the avant garde musician as early as late 1970s, but his condition got so severe that he had use wheelchair in early 1990s. He finally succumbed to it in 2010 at age 69.
9. Lola Falana
The actress/dancer who was the highest-paid entertainer in Las Vegas in the year 1979, was diagnosed with MS in 1987. As a result, her left side was paralyzed and she became partially blind. She recovered after a year and a half, which she attributed to her spiritual awakening. The disease returned in 1996 after which she returned to her parents home in Philadelphia.
10. Margaret Leighton
The actress who usually appeared as neurotic matronly figure in movies was diagnosed with this neurotic disease in 1971. She continued working despite it and you see her movements got jerky in her later movies. Margaret died of MS in 1976 aged 53.
11. Annette Funicello
The actress known for popularizing Beach Party genre films with her co-star Frankie Avalon, revealed in 1992 that she was diagnosed with MS in 1987. Annette opened the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Disorders at the California Community Foundation in 1993. She made her final public appearance on September 13, 1998, at California’s Multiple Sclerosis Society, along with Frankie Avalon. The actress finally succumbed to the disease on April 8, 2013, at age 70.
12. Joan Didion
The Pulitzer prize winning author was diagnosed with MS in 1972 after periods of partial blindness. She experienced chronic migraines and remained in remission throughout her life. She died in 2021 at age 87..
13. Jamie-Lynn Sigler
The Sopranos actor revealed in January 2016 that she was diagnosed with MS when she was 20, after she was paralyzed from the waist down for several days. But despite her condition she was able to continue with her work and become a mother of two.