Recently Esquire.com shared an interview with Morgan Freeman entitled “This Earth that Holds Me Fast Will Find Me Breath.” In this interview (on the second page), Morgan Freeman talks about having Fibromyalgia and the excruciating pain he has in his arm. For Mr. Freeman, this started after a car accident about four years ago. Despite the pain, he makes the best of the situation and even plays golf with one hand
Personally, I was touched to hear of such a well-known actor having the courage to come forward and talk about his experience with Fibromyalgia and impressed that he has been able to keep Fibromyalgia from taking over his life.
After reading this article, I started thinking. Why haven’t I ever heard of any other famous people with Fibromyalgia? I kind of remember someone telling me an actress named Janeane Garofalo has Fibromyalgia, but I’m not even sure if this is true. But I vow I will find out, before I’m done writing this post!
I suspect that the reason we aren’t hearing about it is because it’s not a “cool” illness to have. When I say “cool illness to have,” I mean one that everyone recognizes as being a devastating disease that doesn’t have so much controversy surrounding it. We are still dealing with people in the medical profession who don’t believe it really exists, much less having all of society with a strong understanding and level of compassion for people with Fibromyalgia.
My other thought, in terms of why so few famous celebrity people have talked about having Fibromyalgia, is simply that they are like so many of us with Fibromyalgia. We put on a happy face and keep trying and don’t let people know how much pain we are really in. I went through years of not sharing how bad it really was, hiding at home when the pain was visible through my face or the way I was walking. This theory of course is based on a presumption that famous people are *choke, gasp* real people, you know like actually part of the human race.
As a result of learning about Morgan Freeman and realizing I haven’t heard of many people with Fibromyalgia, finding more famous people with Fibromyalgia has become my current obsession.
I’ve started scouring the internet for famous people with Fibromyalgia and I’m surprised at what I’ve found. Despite the fact that Fibromyalgia affects millions of people throughout the world, there are only a handful of famous celebrity people who have shared that they are actually diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and some of them I would never have guessed that they have it. Fibro is truly an “invisible disease” in so many ways. We could really use a truly famous spokesperson (like Morgan Freeman-HINT HINT).
Here’s my list of Famous People with Fibromyalgia
Faces of Famous People with Fibromyalgia
Morgan Freeman – American Actor from many movies including Shawshank Redemption.
Sinead O’Conner – Irish Singer and activist, most famous for her song “Nothing Compares 2 U”
Susan Flannery – American actress on a soap opera called “Bold and the Beautiful.”
Francis Winfield Bremer –American Author and wife of an Ambassador
Michael James Hastings – American actor, best known for playing ‘Captain Mike’ on West Wing
Jo Guest – Former English Model, media figure, and advice columnist.
Rosie Hamlin – Lead singer for the band “Rosie and the Originals” in the 1960’s
And last but certainly not least, American comedienne and actress, Janeane Garofalo, best known for West Wing and Saturday Night Live (SNL), has Fibromyalgia too.
Here are some that I’m not entirely sure I believe or even if it can be proven, but thought I’d add them here as well. I wouldn’t want to leave anyone out!
Might Have Had Fibromyalgia-But How Can We Know For Sure?
Job (as in Job from the Book of Job in the Bible)
Florence Nightingale (famous English nurse in the 1800’s)
Frida Kahlo (Mexican painter who died in the 1950’s)
Rumored to Have Fibromyalgia, But No Proof to be Found
Oh and, here are two other famous people who are rumored to have Fibromyalgia, but I was unable to find any confirmation of it, so I just don’t know for sure. I find it interesting that both of them have had careers in dance.
Why do you think there are so few famous people who have talked about having Fibromyalgia?
Do you know of any other famous people that I should be adding to this list?
These references include links to pages that state somewhere in them that the people in the lists I’ve compiled above have actually confirmed that they have Fibromyalgia. The pages are in alphabetical order based on the Company Name or Website Name.
All pictures have come from Wiki Commons or other commons areas. In other words, I did not take the pictures of the celebrities and I do not have a copyright on them. If I have accidently used a picture that was not intended to be in the creative commons, please let me know and I will either put credit on it or remove it, your choice if you own the picture!
Esquire.com, “This Earth that Holds Me Fast Will Find Me Breath.” http://www.esquire.com/features/morgan-freeman-interview-0812-2
Fibromyalgia-information-relief.com, “Famous Fibromyalgia People: from Job to the Bold and the Beautiful.” http://www.fibromyalgia-information-relief.com/fibromyalgia-people.html
Healthline, “Famous Faces of Fibromyalgia.” http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/celebrities-fibromyalgia#1
Life with FMS, “Celebrities with Fibromyalgia” http://www.livinglifewithfms.com/2012/04/celebrities-with-fibromyalgia.html
National Fibromyalgia Association “The Broken Column.” http://www.fmaware.org/News29c4a.html?page=NewsArticle&id=7289
New York Post (found on YouTube) “Janeane Garofalo Dishes on Drugs.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qna1Derz-nY
Smashing Interviews Magazine “Mary McDonough Interview: ‘The Waltons’ Star Pens memoire: ‘Lessons From the Mountain’.” http://smashinginterviews.com/interviews/authors/mary-mcdonough-interview-the-waltons-star-pens-memoir-lessons-from-the-mountain
Third Age.com, “5 Celebrities with Fibromyalgia.” http://www.thirdage.com/fibromyalgia/celebrities-with-fibromyalgia