Famous People With Alzheimer's Disease and Other Types of Dementia

Alzheimer's disease doesn't just target one group of people. Rich or poor, famous or unknown—dementia can strike. Here's a list of just a few of the more well-known people with Alzheimer's or another kind of dementia.

A photo of Robin Williams
Getty Images Europe/ Getty Images

Actors, Actresses, and Film

  • Mabel Albertson, actor
  • Dana Andrews, actor
  • Charles Bronson, actor, film director
  • James Doohan, actor
  • Arlene Francis, actor
  • Mike Frankovich, film producer
  • Rita Hayworth, actress
  • Charlton Heston actor and political activist
  • Mervyn Leroy, director
  • Jack Lord, actor
  • Burgess Meredith, actor
  • Edmond O’Brien, actor
  • Arthur O’Connell, actor
  • Molly Picon, actor
  • Otto Preminger, director
  • Harry Ritz, performer
  • Simon Scott, actor
  • Irving Shulman, screenwriter
  • Robin Williams, actor


  • Joe Adcock, baseball player
  • Tom Fears, professional football player and coach
  • Gordie Howe, hockey player
  • Marv Owen, baseball player
  • Bill Quackenbush, professional hockey player
  • Sugar Ray Robinson, boxer
  • Betty Schwartz, Olympic gold medal winner in track events
  • Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee Volunteers basketball coach


  • Rudolph Bing, opera impresario
  • Glen Campbell, Country Music Star
  • Perry Como, Singer entertainer
  • Aaron Copland, composer
  • Thomas Dorsey, singer
  • John Mann, songwriter
  • Kay Swift, composer
  • Malcolm Young, AC/DC musician

Artists and Chefs

  • James Brooks, artist
  • Joyce Chen, chef
  • Willem DeKooning, artist
  • Louis Feraud, fashion designer
  • Norman Rockwell, artist

Politicians and Activists

  • Carroll Campbell, Former Republican Senator
  • Barry Goldwater, Senator of Arizona
  • Raul Silva Henriquez, Roman Catholic cardinal, human rights advocate
  • Rosa Parks, activist for equal rights
  • Ronald Reagan, 40th President of USA
  • Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of the United Kingdom
  • Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister


  • Abe Burrows, author
  • Ross MacDonald, author
  • Iris Murdoch, author
  • Pauline Phillips, Dear Abby advice columnist
  • Alfred Van Vogt, science fiction writer
  • E.B. White, author


  • John Douglas French, physician


As you can see, dementia strikes across the spectrum of society. While some decrease in the speed of your memory often occurs as you age, difficulty with normal functioning, such as your activities of daily living, is not normal.

If you're concerned about yourself or a loved one, review these 10 warning signs of dementia. You can also take an at-home dementia screening test called the SAGE which can give help you discern if there are just expected changes in aging or a concern that should be evaluated by a physician.

By Christine Kennard
 Christine Kennard is a psychiatric nurse practicing in the United Kingdom and co-author of "Alzheimer's Disease: An A-Z For New Caregivers."