Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. These seizures are signs and/or symptoms of abnormal or excessive activity in the brain. About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, with almost 90% of these people being in developing countries. Epilepsy is more likely to occur in young children, or people over the age of 65 years; however, it can occur at any time. It does not discriminate on the people who it afflicts. Here are five famous celebrities who currently suffer from this disorder.
Prince (Born 1958)
This American singer/songwriter revealed in 2009 that he has suffered from epilepsy. “I’ve never spoken about this before but I was born epileptic,” the reclusive singer told PBS’s Tavis Smiley in an interview. He has cited divine intervention in overcoming his struggles with epilepsy, claiming an angel appeared before him and told him he would get better. Whether an angel intervened or not, Prince stopped having seizures as he entered adulthood. This happens in about a third of all people suffering from childhood epilepsy (according to the group Epilepsy Action). Prince is currently a 2004 inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Neil Young (Born 1945)
This Canadian-born singer is known for his meaningful lyrics and for being a spokesman for environmental issues. Neil Percival Young has been labeled one of the greatest guitarists of his time. When he was young his parents divorced and Neil was confronted with many diseases simultaneously. The obstacles in which he faced included epilepsy, polio and diabetes which he did eventually all overcome. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: first as a solo artist in 1995, and secondly as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.
Lindsay Buckingham (Born 1949)
Buckingham is an American guitarist, singer, composer and producer, most notable for being the guitarist and male lead singer of the musical group Fleetwood Mac. Aside from his tenure with Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham has also released five solo albums and a live album. As a member of Fleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Danny Glover (Born 1947)
Probably best known for his character of Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon series with Mel Gibson, Danny Glover was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 15. According to his own account, he “developed a way of concentrating so that seizures wouldn’t happen.” Using this technique, which he describes as “a type of self-hypnosis“, Glover says he has not suffered a seizure since age 35. Today, besides acting, he has dedicated his life to being a political activist. He has been outspoken against George W. Bush, racism, and the Iraq/Afghanistan wars.
Hugo Weaving (Born 1960)
Hugo Wallace Weaving is a film and stage actor, as well as a voice actor. You probably know him best as Elrond from the Lord of the Rings series, V from V is for Vendetta, Megatron from the Transformers movies, or Agent Smith from the Matrix. Face it, this guy knows how to pick some really good roles! Born in Nigeria, he spent most of his early life traveling all over the world. Weaving later graduated from Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1981. When he was 13 years old, Weaving was diagnosed with epilepsy. Due to the prospect of seizures, Weaving does not drive cars. He has never married and lives with his partner Katrina Greenwood. The couple have two children.