The 82-year-old actor received his diagnosis three-and-a-half years ago, but said he is “not angry” about the potentially life-altering symptoms. He called the disease “a challenge,” and said that he decided to speak publicly about his diagnosis in order to encourage others and to quell some of his own anxieties.
“While I’m trying to say something else, I’m not going to be thinking, is my thumb on a life of its own?” Alda said. “That’s just one of the realities of my life. But I’ve acted in movies since – it’s three-and-a-half years since I had the diagnosis and it hasn’t stopped my life at all. I’ve had a richer life than I’ve had up until now.”
Along with acting, Alda has continued to give talks and help at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, while he also recently launched a podcast, “Clear + Vivid.” The actor said he’s also maintained a robust schedule of physical activity, which includes boxing, tennis and even marching to John Philip Sousa music, a rhythmic activity, which Alda said can be good for those with Parkinson’s.
“In the very beginning, to be immobilized by fear and think the worst thing has happened to you — it hasn’t happened to you,” Alda said. “You still have things you can do.”
M*A*S*H was included in Rolling Stone’s “Greatest TV Shows of All Time list,” ranked at Number 16.