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Oscar stars who've had strokes
February 11th, 2011
12:30 PM ET

Oscar stars who've had strokes

Hollywood stars, they’re just like us – in that they're vulnerable to common ailments that plague the rest of Americans.

Researchers at the UCLA Stroke Center analyzed the frequency and impact of stroke among Best Actor and Best Actress Oscar nominees from 1927 through 2009.

Of the 409 actors and actresses, 7.3% suffered strokes and 9.5% had heart attacks. To little surprise, the health events affected the thespians’ appearances on TVs and movies for about a three-year period after the stroke.Heart attacks are the most common cause of death (616,000 deaths) and strokes are the third most common (136,000), according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

The average age of nominees at their first stroke was 67.

Here are some of the names in the findings presented at the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference.

Notable Oscar nominees and winners who suffered strokes include:

  • Mary Pickford (winner, 1929)
  • Bette Davis (nominee, 1934; winner, 1935)
  • James Cagney (nominee, 1938; winner 1942)
  • Cary Grant (nominee, 1942)
  • Kirk Douglas (nominee, 1950)
  • Richard Burton (nominee, 1954)
  • Grace Kelly (winner, 1954)
  • Elizabeth Taylor (nominee, 1957, winner 1960)
  • Patricia Neal (winner, 1963)
  • Dudley Moore (nominee, 1982)
  • James Garner (nominee, 1985)
  • Sharon Stone (nominee, 1995)

Strokes are highly preventable with a healthy diet, controlled blood pressure and cholesterol.


soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. iBod

    CNN: I'm only here to benefit you...Good article- would be better if you give the ages of the included survivors-it just seems more professional, especially more informative...That's all.

    February 11, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. katie

    How about Non Oscar winners who've had strokes... Stupid, sooooo stupid...

    February 11, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edward Stack Sr

      Katie..............now THAT was a stroke of genius!

      February 12, 2011 at 21:01 | Report abuse |
  3. Nostradufus

    How about people who don't give a sh!t who got an Oscar?

    February 11, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • humanzee

      Those people are not very nice.

      They should probably be tortured to death - at which point they'll immediately begin scorching in Hell for all eternity . . . and beyond!!

      Have a blessed day.
      And now, lettuce prey.

      February 11, 2011 at 21:23 | Report abuse |
    • Edward Stack Sr

      Nostradufus..................you are a big pile of what you said................nice vocabulary.........must have been born under a rock!

      February 12, 2011 at 21:04 | Report abuse |
  4. Thomas

    Bette Davis won twice and was nominated 10 times.

    February 11, 2011 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jesus

    Maybe being nominated for an Oscar is symptomatic of an impending stroke.

    February 11, 2011 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edward Stack Sr

      Nice.........now you know why we have crucifiction...............

      February 12, 2011 at 21:05 | Report abuse |
  6. sam

    i thought actors were immune like bill, francis, zoey, and louis. ceda is not going to be pleased with this new information.

    February 11, 2011 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ceegee

    I didn't know that Sharon Stone had a stroke.......wow. She's a great actress. Does anyone know when she had it?

    February 11, 2011 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • thinquer

      When she got the oscar she was so shocked, she had a stroke. Become a farmer.

      February 12, 2011 at 20:26 | Report abuse |
    • Edward Stack Sr

      Ceegee.....Yes....Sharon Stone had her stroke from dragging a big bag of money to the bank on payday.......fortunately the studio had group insurance and she did not have to pay for it............

      February 12, 2011 at 21:10 | Report abuse |
  8. carolinus

    Incomplete article. Did they work after strokes or die from them? Did they have strokes before their Oscar nominated performances or after?

    February 11, 2011 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Brenda Reed

    This article means nothing. For instance, at what age did each person experience a stroke? How did the stroke affect him/her? How well did each person recover? Answer all those questions, and there just might be a good story there!

    February 12, 2011 at 03:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edward Stack Sr

      Brenda.....that was a meaningless statement.........bet you are a cold fish in bed!

      February 12, 2011 at 21:07 | Report abuse |
  10. TheMovieFan

    Oh...that kind of stroke.

    February 12, 2011 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Leonard

    .....and that is why I always take my name off the ballet.

    February 12, 2011 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sheishere

      LOL...well, prevention IS the best medicine:)

      February 13, 2011 at 09:42 | Report abuse |
  12. StoneFan

    I was surprised to find Sharon Stone's name on the list. Haven't heard or seen much of her lately, maybe that's why. She has such an intellect, most don't realize. She has a very high IQ, beauty, and talent.

    February 13, 2011 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Sugarland

    I'm not quite sure why I care which actor/actress had a stroke. Just information I guess. I certainly feel badly that anyone
    has had a stroke. Sometimes it seems that we forget that "regular people" have devastating events in their life. I was hospitalized at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and saw many patients suffering from the devastating effects of cancer. I was there as a patient and sometimes felt like crying at what I saw. M. D. Anderson admits over fifty thousand new cancer patients a year. Maybe a little off subject but take it for the information.

    February 13, 2011 at 04:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sheishere

      it's nice to know that someone out there has empathy for others. Life isn't easy and we shouldn't be so quick to believe that we are suffering alone, or more than others are.

      Hope your prognosis is positive and that you still love life.

      February 13, 2011 at 09:49 | Report abuse |
  14. Merchant

    what about oscar winners that have died? oh...

    February 13, 2011 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Name*chad

    I stroke it to the east. I stroke it to the west. I stroke it to the one I love best. I be stroking. Lol sorry couldn't resist...

    February 13, 2011 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. deportliberals

    If they have a stroke, do they still get to keep their Oscar statue?

    February 13, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. yao yao

    Obviously some of you idiots have not had or known anyone who has had a stroke. FYI...you're not immune from having a stroke just because your IQ number is low!

    February 14, 2011 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. yao yao

    Obviously some of you idiots have not had or known anyone who has had a stroke. FYI...you're not immune from having a stroke just because you have a low IQ number!

    February 14, 2011 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Katie

    Strokes can happen for other reasons – complications of surgery, childbirth, head injury (or other trauma), hormone supplements, smoking, etc... some of those strokes are not "highly preventable." Being on cholesterol medication does NOT prevent strokes.

    The important thing – not really mentioned in this article – is getting medical attention asap. Know the signs of strokes and don't wait – get to the ER and DEMAND attention. Brain damage from a stroke can be "highly preventable" if you know what to look for and what to do.

    February 14, 2011 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Neopets

    I take pleasure in, result in I found just what I used to be having a look for. You've ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

    January 18, 2013 at 03:15 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.