Famous people with epilepsy
A list of notable people who have, or had, epilepsy. Taken from the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_with_epilepsy
Lionel Blue is a British Reform rabbi, journalist and broadcaster. He was the first British rabbi publicly to declare his homosexuality. He is best known for his longstanding and respected work with the media, most notably his wry and gentle sense of humour on "Thought for the Day" on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He is also widely respected in the UK as a journalist, cook and author. His epilepsy was diagnosed when he was aged 57 and is successfully controlled with medication.
Laurie Lee was an English poet, novelist, and screenwriter. His most famous work was an autobiographical trilogy which consisted of Cider with Rosie (1959), As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991). His epilepsy probably developed after he was knocked down by a bicycle at the age of 10. He kept it secret and it only surfaced when his papers were read by biographers after his death.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky was a Russian novelist, essayist and philosopher. His major works include Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov. His epilepsy was probably inherited (both his father and his son had seizures). He incorporated his experiences into his novels – creating four different characters with epilepsy. Dostoyevsky's epilepsy was unusual in that he claimed to experience an ecstatic aura prior to a seizure, whereas most people experience unpleasant feelings.
Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator, author and poet, and is known now mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose and especially his limericks, a form he popularised. His epilepsy, which he developed as a child, may have been inherited (his elder sister Jane had frequent seizures and died young). Lear was ashamed of his epilepsy and kept it a secret. He did, however, record each seizure in his diary.
Dai Greene is a Welsh hurdler who specialises in the 400 metres hurdles event and competes internationally for both Wales and Great Britain. He is the second fastest British man over the 400 m hurdles, behind the British record holder, Kriss Akabusi. Greene is the current Commonwealth and World Champion. Aged 17, he was diagnosed with epilepsy, and continues to manage the condition today by avoiding late nights and alcohol, the main diagnosed triggers of his seizures.
Florence Griffith Joyner (also known as Flo-Jo) was an American track and field athlete. She is considered the "fastest woman of all time" based on the fact that the world records she set in 1988 for both the 100 metres and 200 metres still stand and have yet to be seriously challenged. She died in her sleep as the result of an seizure in 1998 at the age of 38.
Tony Greig was an England Test cricket captain turned commentator. He was a tall batting all-rounder who bowled both medium pace and off spin. Greig was captain of England from 1975 to 1977, and also captained Sussex. He had his first seizure, aged 14, during a tennis game but has successfully controlled his epilepsy with medication.
Susan Boyle is a Scottish singer who came to international public attention when she appeared as a contestant on the TV programme Britain's Got Talent on 11 April 2009, singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables. Her first album was released in November 2009 and debuted as the number one best-selling album on charts around the globe. She had epilepsy as a child.
Ian Curtis was an English musician, singer and songwriter. He is best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division. Joy Division released their debut album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979 and recorded their follow-up, Closer, in 1980. The cover of Unknown Pleasures resembles an EEG tracing, but is actually the tracings of the radio emissions of a pulsar. The condition was a primary cause of his suicide in 1980.
Lindsey Buckingham is an American guitarist, singer, composer and producer. He is best known as the guitarist and male lead singer of the musical group Fleetwood Mac from 1975 to 1987, and 1997 to present day. He was The guitarist and singer in the music group Fleetwood Mac. He was taken to hospital after a seizure while on tour, aged 29. His epilepsy was successfully controlled by anticonvulsant drugs.
Lil Wayne is an American rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana. His debut studio album, Tha Block Is Hot (1999), was certified platinum. His next albums, Lights Out (2000) and 500 Degreez (2002), were certified gold. He revealed in March 2013 that he has had epilepsy since childhood and admits that he rarely remembers his seizures.
Neil Young is a Canadian singer-songwriter. He co-founded the band Buffalo Springfield along with Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, later joining Crosby, Stills & Nash as a fourth member in 1969. He disliked the effects of his medication; seeking personal stability as an alternative means of control.
Rik Mayall is an English comedian, writer and actor. Mayall is best known for his comedy partnership with Adrian Edmondson, his over-the-top, energetic portrayal of characters, and as a pioneer of alternative comedy in the early 1980s. He was seriously injured and put in a coma for five days after a quad bike accident in 1998. Initially prescribed phenytoin prophylactically, he has since had two seizures, possibly due to not taking his medication.
Martin Kemp is an English actor, musician, and occasional television presenter, best known as the bassist in the New Wave band Spandau Ballet, as well as for his portrayal as Steve Owen from the BBC soap opera EastEnders. He is the brother of Gary Kemp, who was also a member of Spandau Ballet and has also had an acting career. He also finished third in the summer series of Celebrity Big Brother 2012. He has had epilepsy since having two brain tumours in the 1990s.
Danny Glover is an American actor, film director and political activist. Glover is well known for his roles as Mr. Albert Johnson in The Color Purple, as Michael Harrigan in Predator 2, as corrupt cop James McFee in Witness, as Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film franchise as Detective David Tapp in Saw, and as George Knox in Angels in the Outfield. Danny had epilepsy from age 15 to age 35.