Alan Alda has Parkinson’s disease.
And the 82-year old actor has been dealing with it gracefully.
He says he has been leading a full life since his diagnosis of 3 1/2 years ago.
“The reason I want to talk about it in public is… I’ve had a full life since then,” he said.
He revealed that he had the disease on the CBS This Morning show.
Alda always has been graceful, a raconteur, a gentleman and a modest personality.
So it should come as no surprise that he has been graceful and even joking about his disease.
“And I’m not entering dementia. I’m no more demented than I was before. Maybe I should rephrase that. Really, I’m good.”
“I take boxing lessons three days a week, play singles tennis twice a week and take a mild pill – all Dr. recommended. I even juggle a little.
“You still have things you can do,”
“I thought, it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view but that’s not where I am,”
Parkinson’s is a progressive condition in which the brain becomes damaged. It can lead to tremors, difficulty moving, speech changes and eventually memory problems.
Alda is best known for playing Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce in the TV series M*A*S*H from 1972 to 1983.
He went on to play presidential candidate Arnold Vinick in The West Wing and was Oscar nominated in 2005 for The Aviator.
Alda said he had decided to talk publicly about his diagnosis when he began to exhibit symptoms of the disease. “I had been on television a lot in the last couple of weeks talking about the new podcast – and I could see my thumb twitch in some shots,” he said. “And I thought, it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but that’s not where I am.”
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