NEW YORK (CBS News) – Alan Alda has revealed that he has Parkinson’s disease. In a “CBS This Morning” appearance on Tuesday, the 82-year-old actor said that he was diagnosed with the disease three and a half years ago.
“I’ve had a full life since then,” Alda said. “I’ve acted, I’ve given talks, I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook. I started this new podcast. And I noticed that — I had been on television a lot in the last couple of weeks talking about the new podcast — and I could see my thumb twitch in some shots and I thought, it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but that’s not where I am.”
Alda is best known for his relatable portrayal of Army Capt. ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce in “M*A*S*H,” which connected viewers to life on the front lines of war. The Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner has worked in all genres, from dramatic films like “The Aviator” to comedic turns like “Tower Heist” and his politically charged role as a senator on “The West Wing.”
The actor has also hosted “Scientific American Frontiers” on PBS for 13 years, and teaches acting techniques to scientists and entrepreneurs to help them connect better with their audiences. The ability to engage with people clearly, Alda said, is the key to greater understanding for everyone.