Acting with Arthritis: Hollywood’s Leading Ladies
Whether you love a good romantic-comedy, prefer to take in a reality show from the comfort of your couch or just like to get your heart pumping with an old-fashion horror flick, movies and television shows give all of us a welcomed escape from the hurdles of everyday life. It’s hard to imagine that the actresses we see on the screen have the regular problems that most American’s face, but did you know that some of your favorite stars are counted among the millions of people living with arthritis. It’s true! Some of your most-loved actresses, dancers and producers have battled arthritis for years, yet they continue to deliver stellar performances and prove that arthritis can’t stop someone from pursing their passions in life.
Whether you love her from "Romancing the Stone," her hilarious stint as Sue Collini on Showtime’s "Californication," or for one of her dozens of other roles, two-time Golden Globe winner Kathleen Turner remains one of Hollywood’s most recognizable leading ladies. But did you know that while Turner was a hot commodity in the 80’s and early 90’s, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) almost derailed her career?
After several hit movies, Turner began battling severe pain and loss of movement, which made it difficult for her to work. She was finally diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1992.
"I remember vividly finding out that I had arthritis," says Turner. "I was on my way to my daughter's school for a meeting with her kindergarten teacher. All I could think about was how I would deal with it, how would I be a mother, how would I carry on?"
Turner tried one treatment after another with varying success, but after years of minimal results, new medications made their way to the market and that had a remarkable impact in Turner’s condition. Her RA went into remission and Turner returned to acting, much to the delight of her fans.
"It is important to me that people know they have options so they can get some relief from this debilitating disease," says Turner. "I think they'll find a cure in my lifetime. Remember: The earliest you can test for arthritis — do it. It's just a simple blood test."
The recent premiere of "Scream 4" has once again made 37-year-old actress Neve Campbell a Hollywood A-lister. The seasoned actress, who is well-known for her starring roles in the 90’s television drama "Party of Five" and the blockbuster "Scream" franchise, spends most her time out of the limelight, but she recently revealed that she has been living with arthritis.
Her aches and pains haven’t stopped her from working though. In fact, Campbell can be seen on the cover of the April issue of Health magazine.
Debbie Allen is an American icon known for her acting, singing and dancing ability. While Allen is a sought after choreographer, director and producer, she is best known for her roles in all three "Fame" movies as well as her appearance as a judge on the hit television show "So You think You Can Dance." Day in and day out, Allen has shown that you can do it all, even with arthritis.
Her secret – constant movement. Allen suffers from arthritis of the shoulder and leg, but says she has been able to dance through the pain. Today, Allen teaches dance nearly every single day and has proven that even arthritis can't stop someone from doing what they love.