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M*A*S*H star and six-time Emmy Award winner Alan Alda reveals Parkinson’s diagnosis

Alan Alda (Getty Images)
Alan Alda (Getty Images)

AMERICAN actor and director Alan Alda, who played Hawkeye Pierce in long-running war TV series M*A*S*H, has revealed he has Parkinson’s disease.

The six-time Emmy Award winner said he was diagnosed three-and-a-half years ago.

Alda, 82, told CBS News: “I’ve had a full life since then. I’ve acted, I’ve given talks, I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook.

“I started this new podcast. And I noticed that – 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 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.”

Dundee University Honoray Graduand Alan Alda (Kim Cessford / DC Thomson)

Alda starred in hit films The Aviator and Bridge of Spies, as well making TV appearances in the likes of ER, The West Wing, 30 Rock and The Blacklist.

Last year, he received an honorary degree from the University of Dundee for his work promoting the importance of good communication in science.

Fellow actor Michael J. Fox was forced into semi-retirement from acting after his Parkinson’s diagnosis, and Scots comic Billy Connolly is also living with the condition.

It sees parts of the brain become progressively more damaged over many years, with symptoms including a tremor, slow movement and stiff, inflexible muscles.

 

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