Celebrities Famous Schizophrenics  

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List of famous people with schizophrenia, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that is diagnosed based on observed behaviors. Symptoms of the illness include delusions, visual and auditory hallucinations, and lack of emotional intelligence. Genetics and environmental factors can be causes of schizophrenia.

Who is the most famous person with schizophrenia? Brian Wilson tops our list. The Beach Boys mastermind has hallucinations in which he hears voices. The “God Only Knows” singer says that he began experiencing the hallucinations when he started taking psychedelic drugs in the 60s. Other famous musicians with schizophrenia include Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett, Derek and the Dominos drummer Jim Gordon, and singer-songwriter Roky Erickson.

Some famous women also suffer from schizophrenia. Silent film actress Clara Bow was diagnosed with schizophrenia and underwent over 25 shock therapy treatments. Her hallucinations presented themselves as severe abdominal pains that actually didn't exist. Bow also tried to commit suicide in 1944, claiming that she preferred death to a public life. She retired from acting in 1933. Other famous women with schizophrenia include Veronica Lake, Gene Tierney, and Zelda Fitzgerald.

How do you think these famous people cope with schizophrenia? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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Jack Kerouac is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Schizophrenics
Photo: Freebase/Fair use

On the Road author Jack Kerouac's military records revealed that he was diagnosed with dementia praecox, today known as schizophrenia.


Age: Died at 47 (1922-1969)

Birthplace: Lowell, Massachusetts, United States of America

Profession: Painter, Poet, Novelist, Screenwriter

Died: 1969

Cause Of Death: Cirrhosis

Credits: On the Road, Big Sur, Pull My Daisy, Kerouac, the Movie

Also Ranked

#83 on The Best Novelists of All Time

#78 on The Greatest American Writers of All Time

#70 on The Best American Poets

#9 on The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History

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Vincent van Gogh is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Schizophrenics
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Although he was never diagnosed, many historians believe that Vincent van Gogh suffered from schizophrenia.


Age: Died at 37 (1853-1890)

Birthplace: Zundert, Kingdom of the Netherlands

Profession: Painter, Artist

Died: 1890

Cause Of Death: Ballistic trauma, Suicide

Also Ranked

#43 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#71 on The Greatest Minds of All Time

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Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Schizophrenics
Photo: Freebase

Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett was thought to have had schizophrenia by medical experts and people close to him. Pink Floyd member Roger Waters wrote "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" as a tribute to Barrett.


Age: Died at 60 (1946-2006)

Birthplace: Cambridge, United Kingdom

Profession: Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Singer

Died: 2006

Cause Of Death: Cancer, Pancreatic cancer

Medical Conditions: Bipolar disorder, Asperger syndrome

Credits: Mysterious Skin, Something in the Air, Off the Black, Tonite Let's All Make Love in London

Also Ranked

#90 on The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

#30 on The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

#2 on The Most Psychedelic People Ever

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Zelda Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Schizophrenics
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Novelist and wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1930.


Age: Died at 48 (1900-1948)

Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States of America

Profession: Novelist, Writer

Died: 1948

Cause Of Death: Fire

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