Alan Alda: ‘I Have Parkinson’s’

TV icon Alan Alda, best known as Capt. Hawkeye Pierce on M#A*S*H (1972-1983), announced he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease — but wants people to know it's not "sad."

On Twitter, the 82-year-old Hollywood veteran posted a GIF of himself juggling nimbly, writing:

I decided to let people know I have Parkinson's to encourage others to take action.  I was Diagnosed 3 and a half years ago, but my life is full.  I act, I give talks, I do my podcast, which I love. If you get a diagnosis, keep moving!

He went on to describe proactive measures he's taking, writing:

I take boxing lessons 3 days a week, play singles tennis twice a week, and take a mild pill — all Dr. recommended. I even juggle a lttle. And I'm not entering dementia. I'm no more demented than I was before. Maybe I should rephrase that. Really, I'm good.

In a CBS interview, Alda said he took a test for the disease when he was asymptomatic, and was shocked by the news that he tested positive, saying:

In the very beginning to be immobilized by fear and to think the worst thing has happened to you, it hasn’t happened to you. You still have things you can do.

He also stressed that the disease can be deceptive:

Mostly everybody is different and each day is different from the next. One day you wake up and think, oh, it’s over, it’s gone, the next day it’s back and a little worse.

Alda decided to make the announcement now after noticing he was twitching on recent TV appearances. He wanted to control the story so that it wasn't reported negatively.

Check out Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda here.

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