Famous People w/Mental Illness

Famous People with Bipolar and Unipolar Depression

 Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)

 These individuals have publicly stated that they have experienced manic depression in their lives.

  • Buzz Aldrin, astronaut

  • Shelley Beattie, athlete (bodybuilding, sailing), artist

  • Ned Beatty, actor

  • Maurice Benard, actor

  • Robert Boorstin, writer, special assistant to Pres. Clinton, State Department

  • Art Buchwald, writer, humorist

  • Alohe Jean Burke (Ghafoor), musician, vocalist

  • Tim Burton, artist, movie director

  • Robert Campeau, financier (Canada)

  • Lisa Nicole Carson, actor

  • Dick Cavett, writer, media personality

  • C.E. Chaffin, writer, poet

  • Rosemary Clooney, singer

  • Garnet Coleman, legislator (Texas)

  • Francis Ford Coppola, director

  • Patricia Cornwell, writer

  • John Daly, athlete (golf)

  • Ray Davies, musician

  • Lenny Dee, musician

  • Eric Douglas, actor

  • Robert Downey, Jr., actor

  • Kitty Dukakis, former First Lady of Massachusetts

  • Patty Duke (Anna Duke Pearce), actor, writer

  • Thomas Eagleton, lawyer, former U.S. Senator

  • Margot Early, writer

  • Robert Evans, film producer

  • Carrie Fisher, writer, actor

  • Larry Flynt, magazine publisher

  • Connie Francis, actor, musician

  • Kaye Gibbons, writer

  • Kit Gingrich, Newt’s Mom

  • Shecky Greene, comedian, actor

  • Linda Hamilton, actor

  • Kristin Hersh, musician

  • Jack Irons, musician

  • Kay Redfield Jamison, psychologist, writer

  • Daniel Johnston, musician

  • Margot Kidder, actor

  • Peter Nolan Lawrence, writer (England)

  • Rika Lesser, writer, translator

  • Bill Lichtenstein, producer (TV & radio)

  • Jay Marvin, radio personality, writer

  • Kevin McDonald, comedian, actor

  • Kristy McNichol, actor

  • Dimitri Mihalas, scientist

  • Kate Millett, writer, artist

  • Spike Milligan, comic actor, writer

  • John Mulheren, financier (U.S.)

  • Robert Munsch, writer

  • Ilie Nastase, athlete (tennis), politician

  • Margo Orum, writer

  • Nicola Pagett, actor

  • Susan Panico (Susan DimeMeenan),business executive

  • Jimmie Piersall, athlete (baseball), sports announcer

  • Charley Pride, musician

  • Mac Rebennack (Dr. John), musician

  • Jeannie C. Riley, musician

  • Lynn Rivers, U.S. Congress

  • Alys Robi, vocalist (Canada)

  • Axl Rose, musician

  • Francesco Scavullo, artist, photographer

  • Lori Schiller, writer, educator

  • Frances Sherwood, writer

  • Scott Simmie, writer, journalist

  • Earl Simmons (DMX), musician, actor

  • Alonzo Spellman, athlete (football)

  • Muffin SpencerDevlin, athlete (pro golf)

  • Darryl Strawberry, athlete (baseball)

  • Gordon Sumner (Sting), musician, composer

  • Lili Taylor, actor

  • JeanClaude Van Damme, athlete (martial arts), actor

  • Mark Vonnegut, doctor, writer

  • Sol Wachtler, judge, writer

  • Tom Waits, musician, composer

  • Brian Wilson, musician, composer, arranger

  • Jonathan Winters, comedian, actor, writer, artist

  • Luther Wright, athlete (basketball)


These individuals have publicly stated that they have experienced depression in their lives.

 Depression (or Unipolar)

  • Marvin Lee Aday (Meat Loaf), musician, actor

  • Louie Anderson, comedian, actor

  • Fiona Apple, musician

  • Oksana Baiul, athlete (skating)

  • Rona Barrett, entertainment reporter, author

  • Kjell Magne Bondevik, Prime Minister, Norway

  • Marlon Brando, actor

  • Willie Burton, athlete (basketball)

  • Delta Burke, actor

  • Barbara Bush, former First Lady (U.S.)

  • Helen Caldicott, activist, writer

  • Drew Carey, actor, comedian

  • Jim Carrey, actor, comedian

  • Melanie Chisholm, singer

  • Margaret Cho, actor, comedian

  • Sandra Cisneros, writer

  • Dick Clark, television personality (American Bandstand)

  • John Cleese, comedian, actor, writer

  • Leonard Cohen, musician, writer

  • Paula Cole, actor

  • Judy Collins, musician, writer

  • Shawn Colvin, musician

  • Jeff Conaway, actor

  • Pat Conroy, writer

  • Billy Corgan, musician

  • Kathy Cronkite, writer

  • Sheryl Crow, musician

  • Bill Dana, comedian

  • Rodney Dangerfield, comedian, actor

  • Jonathan Davis, musician, composer

  • Sandra Dee, actor

  • Ellen DeGeneres, comedienne, actor

  • Paolo DiCanio, athlete (soccer)

  • Scott Donie, Olympic athlete (diving)

  • Tony Dow, actor, producer, director

  • Queen Elizabeth

  • Jules Feiffer, playwright, screenwriter, cartoonist

  • Tim Finn, musician, composer

  • Eddie Fisher, singer

  • Harrison Ford, actor

  • Albert French, writer

  • John Kenneth Galbraith, economist, educator, author

  • James Garner, actor

  • Paul Gascoigne, athlete (soccer)

  • Kendall Gill, athlete (basketball)

  • Dwight Gooden, athlete (baseball)

  • Tipper Gore, activist

  • Pete Harnisch, athlete (baseball)

  • Mariette Hartley, actor

  • Juliana Hatfield, musician

  • Anthony Hopkins, actor

  • Janet Jackson, musician

  • Billy Joel, musician, composer

  • Elton John, musician, composer

  • Daniel Johns, musician

  • Ashley Judd, actor

  • Gelsey Kirkland, dancer

  • Joey Kramer, musician

  • Julie Krone, athlete (horse racing)

  • Pat LaFontaine, athlete (hockey)

  • Jessica Lange, actor

  • Jacob Lawrence, artist

  • Allie Light, director

  • Rick London, cartoonist

  • Greg Louganis, Olympic athlete (diving)

  • Courtney Love, musician, actor

  • Camryn Manheim, actor

  • Martha Manning, psychologist, writer

  • Dave Matthews, musician, composer

  • Gary McDonald, actor (Australia)

  • A.J. McLean, musician

  • Robert McFarlane, former National Security Advisor (U.S.)

  • Rod McKuen, writer, poet, producer

  • Paul Merton, comedian (U.K.)

  • Alanis Morissette, musician, composer

  • S.P. Morrissey, musician

  • Les Murray, poet (Australia)

  • Deborah Norville, television journalist

  • Sinead O’Connor, musician

  • Rosie O’Donnell, actor, talk show host

  • Ozzy Osbourne, musician

  • Donny Osmond, musician

  • Marie Osmond, musician

  • Dolly Parton, musician, arranger, writer

  • Charley Pell, former coach, Univ of Florida

  • Teddy Pendergrass, musician

  • Alma Powell, wife of Gen. Colin Powell

  • Susan Powter, motivational speaker

  • Freddie Prinze, Jr., actor

  • Bonnie Raitt, musician

  • Lou Reed, musician

  • Trent Reznor, musician

  • Joan Rivers, (RIP) comedienne, talk show host

  • Roseanne, actor, writer, comedienne

  • Martin Rossiter, musician

  • Winona Ryder, actor

  • Yves Saint Laurent, fashion designer

  • Monica Seles, athlete (tennis)

  • Linda Sexton, writer

  • Neil Simon, writer, playwright

  • Paul Simon, composer, musician

  • Lauren Slater, writer

  • Jose Solano, actor

  • Phil Spector, producer (music)

  • Rick Springfield, musician, actor

  • Rod Steiger, actor

  • George Stephanopoulos, political advisor, educator

  • Teresa Stratas, musician (opera)

  • Darryl Strawberry, athlete (baseball)

  • William Styron, writer

  • James Taylor, musician

  • Kate Taylor, musician

  • Livingston Taylor, musician

  • Tracy Thompson, writer, reporter

  • Hunter Tylo, actor

  • Kurt Vonnegut, writer

  • Mike Wallace, journalist, TV news (CBS)

  • Damon Wayans, comedian, actor, writer, director, producer

  • Dar Williams, musician

  • Tom Wolfe, writer

  • Elizabeth Wurtzel, writer

  • Boris Yeltsin, former President, Russia

25 thoughts on “Famous People w/Mental Illness

  1. Kathy Linder

    This is an impressive list!
    especially important for youth to see that there IS HOPE.
    The path to recovery happens in baby steps


    1. cherished79

      I know, this list is a real eye-opener. Some of these people I would never have guessed, but then again, do I look or act like I have mental illness?



  2. It’s kind of a relief seeing a long list of celebrities who also share the same condition as “regular” people do. It’s kind of surprising knowing Jim Carey, funny guy and all, suffered from depression when he seems like a funny individual. Just goes to show that depressed people can’t be stereotyped or generalized. They all don’t seem sad or depressed all the time.


    1. Good those with . mental deffects seem to have more of a sense of humor they know the right things to say and when the mind is clicking tick tock tick tock the mouse run out of the clock tick tock tick!!!!!


  3. A LiNk To InSaNiTy

    Nice list of famous people. I would say in general most people battle some type of mental illness at some point of time in there lives.



    Stephen Fry! His documentary about his experience of Bi-Polar came out just after my disgnosis of the same, and it really helped me 🙂


  5. spinstermyass

    Thank you for compiling this list. It shows that extraordinary, talented people suffer from mental illness just like the rest of us. I’m going to link to it from my blog. Sincerely, J


  6. Wow, what a list – thanks for this! Some of these names are totally surprising, but that just goes to show: you never know what private burdens people are struggling with.
    All best, Eva


      1. Sami

        Also with what Eva was saying- there was a really successful tv presenter who recently(approx. a year ago) took her life here in Australia. She always had a bright smile when she presented the news, and her inclinations were hardly(apparently) noticable by her colleagues-which is such a shame. It really goes to show any one maybe suffering, no matter who they are or how they seem to be.

        Thanks for this.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. cherished79

          Thanks for the comment. We hide our feelings and loneliness so well. It’s hard to read people, and with the stigma of mental illness, people perceive us a certain way. We must go thru life most times with smiles on our faces throughout our professional lives, however, at times we retreat to our homes for too many moments of sadness; sometimes tears. Sorry about the tv presenter in Austrailia.


          1. sam

            She had only been on the air for a short time. I just read in a magazine of her passing, yet that was of her suicide a year ago. Very sad though.


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