Alzheimer’s disease has claimed the minds and lives of so many people. And while science continues to try to find a cure, it is sadly still something we have yet to figure out. As such, it’s not uncommon for us to lose major celebrities from Alzheimer’s, or from a mix of Alzheimer’s and other diseases. In this video, we’re taking a look at some of the biggest celebrities who have battled and lost against this sad and debilitating disease. So stay tuned, as Facts Verse presents: Celebrities Who Died of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Rita Hayworth was an American actress and dancer. She achieved fame during the 1940s and 1950s, and was one of the era’s biggest movie stars. Hayworth is considered one of the most well-known sex symbols of her era, if not all time. She was born in Brooklyn in 1918, and her name at birth was Margarita Carmen Cansino. Her father was a Spanish dancer and her mother was an American actress. From a young age, Hayworth showed a talent for dance; when she was only six years old, she began performing with her parents’ vaudeville act. She later studied at the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. In 1935, Hayworth made her film debut in the movie “Blood Money.” Hayworth starred in a number of popular movies during the 1940s and 1950s, including “Gilda,” “The Lady From Shanghai,” and “Pal Joey.” She retired from acting in 1961. Rita was married to several high-profile men, including Orson Welles and Prince Aly Khan. She was also linked to other celebrities during her lifetime, including John F. Kennedy and Frank Sinatra. Sadly, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1980. While her death came from a variety of things, including a life long battle with alcoholism, her Alzheimer’s was a big factor. But there was a small silver lining that came from her ailment. By disclosing her diagnosis to the public, she helped spread awareness of the disease. It was fairly unknown at that point, so having a major movie star talk about having it was a huge step in advancing fundraising and research efforts to fight the disease. Rita died at age 68, on May 14, 1987
Ronald Reagan is known best as the 40th president of the United States. He served in the highest office from 1981 to 1989, and is considered by many, especially on the conservative end of the spectrum, as one of the most influencial presidents in history. Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois, on February 6, 1911. and developed a love for acting and public speaking early on. After graduating from college, Reagan moved to Hollywood and began his career as an actor. He starred in a number of movies, including “Knute Rockne, All American,” “Kings Row,” and “The Hasty Heart.” He later served as governor of California before being elected president in 1980. As president, Reagan pursued a conservative agenda, which included tax cuts and increased military spending. He also helped negotiate the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. After he was elected president, he was unable to continue acting because of the security required around him. However, he did make a few cameos in movies and TV shows after he left office. Reagan suffered from Alzheimer’s disease during his last years in office and passed away on June 5, 2004.
James Stewart was born on May 20, 1908, in Indiana, Pennsylvania. He was the oldest of three children. Stewart’s father was a hardware store owner and his mother was a homemaker. When Stewart was young, he loved to go fishing and play baseball. He also had a passion for reading and horses. After high school, Stewart attended Princeton University. He originally planned to study architecture but eventually switched to engineering. However, he left school before graduating in order to pursue a career in acting. Stewart made his movie debut in 1938 with “The Shopworn Angel.” He went on to star in several popular movies, like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “Vertigo.” Stewart served in the Air Force in World War II and later became a member of the Air Force Reserve. He continued to act after the war, though he retired from movies in 1968. Stewart was married to Gloria Hatrick McLean from 1949 until her death in 1994. The couple had two children together. Stewart died on July 2, 1997, at the age of 89, of Alziehmer’s related complications.
Charlton Heston was born in Evantson, Illinois, on October 4, 1923. He was the son of a clothing manufacturer, and his mother was a homemaker. Heston had one sister. As a child, Heston loved to go swimming and play football. He also developed a love for reading and horses. After high school, Heston attended Northwestern University, where he studied acting. He later served in the Air Force during World War II. Heston made his movie debut in 1950 with “The Savage.” He went on to star in many popular movies, including “The Ten Commandments,” “Ben-Hur,” and “Planet of the Apes.” Heston was married to Lydia Clarke from 1944 until her death in 1955. The couple had one child together. Heston later married Yvette Mimieux in 1958. The couple had two children together, but divorced in 1972. Heston passed away on April 5, 2008, at the age of 84, from Alzheimer’s disease.
Charles Bronson was born on November 3, 1921, in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania. He was the youngest of three children. Bronson’s father was a coal miner and his mother was a seamstress. As a child, Bronson loved to go hunting and fishing. He also had a passion for cars and motorcycles. After high school, Bronson worked in a coal mine and then served in the Air Force during World War II. He later became a member of the Air Force Reserve. Bronson made his movie debut in 1952 with “Machine-Gun Kelly.” He went on to star in a number of popular movies, including “The Great Escape,” “The Magnificent Seven,” and “Death Wish.” Bronson was married to Harriet Tendler from 1964 until her death in 2003. The couple had one child together. Bronson passed away on August 30, 2003, at the age of 82, from Alzheimer’s disease.
Etta James was born January 25, 1938, in LA. She was the daughter of a truck driver and a homemaker. James had one sister. As a child, James loved to sing and dance. She also developed a love for horses. After high school, James attended El Camino Junior College. She later dropped out to pursue a career in music. James made her debut as a singer in 1955 with “The Wallflower.” She went on to have a number of successful hits throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including “At Last,”, “I’d Rather Go Blind” and “All I Could Do Was Cry.” Her incredible, rich voice set her apart from her contemporaries, and she used it in ways that actually help tie together elements of popular blues music with the burgeoning rock and roll sound. Throughout her life, Etta was awarded 17 Blues Music Awards, to go along with six Grammy’s. She’s not only in the Blues Hall of Fame, she’s also in the Grammy Hall of Fame as well as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Througout her life, James struggled with a variety of serious health issues. Some were self-inflicted, such as a heroin addiction, while others were at the hands of others, such as lengthy physical abuse. James was married to Artis Mills from 1961 until their divorce in 1978. The couple had two children together. James passed away on January 20, 2012, at the age of 73, after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and leukemia.
Peter Falk was born September 16, 1927, in New York City. He was the son of a Broadway producer and an actress. As a child, Falk loved to watch movies. He also developed a love for painting and drawing. After high school, Falk attended Syracuse University, where he studied acting. He later served in the Army during World War II. Falk made his movie debut in 1957 with “Murder, Inc.” He went on to star in a number of popular movies, including “The In-Laws,” “The Princess Bride,” and “Columbo.” Falk was known for his unique style of acting, which often involved improvising his lines on set. He was also known for his close relationships with his co-stars. Falk was married to Alyce Mayo from 1960 until her death in 2001. The couple had two children together. He passed away on June 23, 2011, at 83, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. She was the daughter of a carpenter and a schoolteacher. As a child, Parks loved to read and listen to stories. She also enjoyed singing and dancing. After high school, Parks attended the Alabama State Teachers College, where she studied mathematics and music. In 1933, she married Raymond Parks, a barber and civil rights activist. The couple had one child together.
Parks got involved in the civil rights movement in the 1940s. She worked as an organizer for the Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped to found the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development. In 1955, Parks was arrested when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white person. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This boycott lasted more than a year, and was the catalyst for all the public transport in Montgomery becoming desegregated.
Parks remained an active participant in the civil rights movement throughout her life. She spent time on the road, speaking, and raising awareness about the need for racial equality. In 1988, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Parks passed away on October 24, 2005, at age of 92, from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease.
Now it’s time to hear from. Did you know these celebrities passed away from Alzheimer’s? Have you lost any loved ones to this disease? Let us know in the comments below!