52 Famous People with Epilepsy People

52 Famous People with Epilepsy

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List Criteria: Notable epileptic celebrities

List of famous people with epilepsy, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Epilepsy is a common set of neurological disorders that are characterized by seizures. About 50 million people in the world have epilepsy, including a number of musicians, athletes, and Hollywood stars. There currently is no cure for epilepsy and medication can be used to treat the symptoms, but in severe cases even treatment can not stop the seizures.

Who are the most famous epileptics? Elton John tops our list. The “Your Song” musician began to suffer from severe epileptic fits in the 1980s, thought to be induced by his years of drug use. The seizures have reduced drastically in the '90s and beyond because John stopped abusing drugs and alcohol. Other celebrity musicians who have epilepsy include Lil Wayne, Prince, and Neil Young.

Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover first started having seizures at age 15, but he wasn't diagnosed with epilepsy until much later. Glover even experienced six seizures in one night. Later in life, Glover's seizure stopped for seemingly no reason. Other famous people with epilepsy include Truman Capote, Tiki Barber, and Vincent Van Gogh.

Do you think that doctors and scientists will ever find a cure to epilepsy? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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  1. Pop icon Prince struggled with epilepsy in his childhood.
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    • Age: age 57
    • Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, Film Producer, + more
    • Credits: Batman, Purple Rain, Girl 6, Under the Cherry Moon, Prêt-à-Porter, + more
  2. Lil Wayne recently revealed that he has epilepsy.  He says that he doesn't know what it feels like to have a seizure because he blacks out every time it happens.
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    • Age: age 33
    • Birthplace: Hollygrove, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Businessperson, Songwriter, Rapper, Entrepreneur, + more
    • Credits: The Smurfs 2, Hurricane Season, Who's Your Caddy?, Freaknik: The Musical, Baller Blockin', + more
  3. Elton John has struggled with epilepsy for years.  It is thought that the epilepsy was induced by the star's years of drug use.
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    • Age: age 68
    • Profession: Record producer, Pianist, Television producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, + more
    • Credits: Dog Day Afternoon, Brüno, Lethal Weapon 3, The Road to El Dorado, Tommy, + more
  4. Danny Glover has epilepsy and regularly suffered from seizures for a 20 year period of his life.
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    • Age: age 69
    • Birthplace: USA, California, San Francisco
    • Profession: Activist, Television producer, Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting, + more
    • Credits: Saw, Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple, The Prince of Egypt, The Royal Tenenbaums, + more
  5. Alexander the Great had epilepsy although at the time is was diagnosed as the "sacred disease."
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    • Age: Died at 33 (355 BC-322 BC)
    • Birthplace: Pella, Greece
  6. Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz has epilepsy and even experienced a grand mal seizure.
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    • Age: age 49
    • Birthplace: New York City, Manhattan, USA, New York
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Guitarist, Songwriter, Rapper, + more
    • Credits: Krush Groove, A Kiss Before Dying, Fight for Your Right Revisited, Roadside Prophets, Lost Angels, + more
  7. The "Matrix" star Hugo Weaving was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 13.  He doesn't drive a car because of his high risk of seizure.
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    • Age: age 55
    • Birthplace: Ibadan, Nigeria
    • Profession: Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, + more
  8. Musician Neil Young was diagnosed with epilepsy in his childhood.
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    • Age: age 70
    • Birthplace: Canada, Ontario, Toronto, Americas
    • Profession: Activist, Film Score Composer, Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, + more
    • Credits: Dead Man, Where the Buffalo Roam, Wing Commander, The Strawberry Statement, Neil Young: Heart of Gold, + more
  9. Evanescence singer Amy Lee has epilepsy and she regularly advocates for awareness of the disorder.
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    • Age: age 34
    • Birthplace: Riverside, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Songwriter, Pianist, Musician, Singer, + more
    • Credits: Dancing with the Stars, I Love the New Millennium, The Best of Deathmatch Wrestling: Vol. 4: Queens of the Deathmatch, Evanescence: Broken, Evanescence's 'What You Want', + more
  10. 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt struggled with epilepsy.
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    • Age: Died at 61 (1858-1919)
    • Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
    • Profession: Statesman, Politician, Police officer, Historian, Conservationist, + more
    • Credits: Womanhood, the Glory of the Nation, President McKinley Inauguration
  11. Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham was diagnosed with a mild form of epilepsy.
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    • Age: age 66
    • Birthplace: San Francisco Peninsula, Santa Clara County, Northern California, California, Palo Alto, + more
    • Profession: Record producer, Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician, Singer-songwriter, + more
    • Credits: Soundstage: Lindsey Buckingham with Special Guest Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham: Live at the Bass Performance Hall
  12. Many books suggest that Napoleon Bonaparte suffered from epilepsy throughout his life.
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    • Age: Died at 52 (1769-1821)
    • Birthplace: Ajaccio, France
    • Profession: Politician, Military Officer
    • Credits: Le mémorial de Sainte-Hélène
  13. Writer Lewis Carroll used his epilepsy to inspire several of the effects that Alice felt in his classic book "Alice in Wonderland."
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    • Age: Died at 66 (1832-1898)
    • Birthplace: Cheshire, Borough of Halton, Eurasia, North West England, United Kingdom, + more
    • Profession: Mathematician, Novelist, Author, Writer, Cleric, + more
    • Credits: Alice in Wonderland, Alice in Wonderland, The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland, Jabberwocky, Alice, + more
  14. Edgar Allan Poe suffered from seizures and historians differ their opinions on whether the seizures were caused by epilepsy or by alcohol withdrawal.
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    • Age: Died at 40 (1809-1849)
    • Birthplace: Boston, United States of America, Massachusetts
    • Profession: Magazine editor, Poet, Literary critic, Novelist, Author, + more
    • Credits: Tales of Terror, Witchfinder General, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death, The Raven, + more
  15. It is thought that Julius Caesar had epilepsy because he experienced seizures on at least four occasions.
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    • Age: Died at 56 (99 BC-43 BC)
    • Birthplace: Rome, Italy
    • Profession: Politician, Author
    • Credits: Caesar the Conqueror
  16. Harriet Tubman suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy as a result of an injury.
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    • Birthplace: Maryland, United States of America
    • Profession: Activist, Writer
  17. Olympian Florence Griffith-Joyner died in her sleep as the result of an epileptic seizure.
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    • Age: Died at 39 (1959-1998)
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Actor, Track and field athlete
  18. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" writer Truman Capote had epilepsy that was believed to be induced by drug and alcohol use.
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    • Age: Died at 60 (1924-1984)
    • Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
    • Profession: Novelist, Screenwriter, Actor, Writer, Playwright
    • Credits: Annie Hall, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Murder by Death, The Innocents, In Cold Blood, + more
  19. According to historians, Caligula suffered from epilepsy since childhood.
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    • Age: Died at 29 (12-41)
    • Birthplace: Anzio, Italy
    • Profession: Roman emperor
  20. Singing sensation Susan Boyle says that she had a rough childhood because epilepsy caused her to faint frequently.
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    • Age: age 54
    • Birthplace: Blackburn, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Musician, Actor, Singer, Artist
    • Credits: I Dreamed a Dream: The Susan Boyle Story, The Christmas Candle

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