Celebrity Parents with Disabilities

Celebrity Parents with Disabilities

We often think of celebrities as having it all. They’re impervious to the trials of everyday life, and live in an enchanted world where illness and disabilities don’t touch them. This is simply not true. Especially as we’ve seen in recent years with a heightened awareness of mental illness, there are a number of celebrities who live with disabilities, both visible and invisible, on a daily basis. Many are also parents.

Marlee Matlin

The Oscar winner lost all of the hearing in her right ear and 80% of the hearing in her left ear when she was just 18 months old. She has been married since 1993 and is a proud mother of four healthy, happy children –  Sarah, Brandon, Tyler and Isabelle. Despite her disability and celebrity, she leads a very normal life. She remains the only deaf Academy Awards recipient in any category.

Justin Timberlake

The former NSync band member, singer, songwriter, actor, and music producer lives with both attention deficit disorder (ADD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). “I have OCD mixed with ADD, you try living with that,” Timberlake said in a 2008 interview with Collider. Since acknowledging his illness publicly, he’s gone on to have a very successful career as an actor while furthering his career as a singer, songwriter and music producer. Justin is married to Jessica Biel and they have one child together.

Kristen Bell

Celebrity Parents with Disabilities

The Good Place star and Veronica Mars herself has lived with depression and anxiety since her college years. “When I was 18, my mom sat me down and said, ‘If there ever comes a time where you feel like a dark cloud is following you, you can get help.’” she said in a 2016 piece for Time Magazine. “When I was in college, that time did come,” she wrote. “I stopped feeling like myself.” Bell spent the first 15 years of her career silent about her mental health issues. But she remains silent no more. She and her husband, Dax Shepard (who celebrated 14 years of sobriety in 2018), are advocates for mental health and awareness regarding mental illness. They are the proud and loving parents of two little girls.

Michael J. Fox

The Back To The Future, The Frighteners, Family Ties, and Teen Wolf star was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at the age of 29. He made this diagnosis public knowledge in 1998, remaining largely private about his condition for a long time. He partially retired from acting in 2000 due to the worsening symptoms of his condition but went on to found the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000, and he received an honorary doctorate from the Karolinska Institutet for his contributions to Parkinson’s research in 2010. He married his wife, actress Tracy Pollan, in 1988, and the couple have four grown children together.

These are just some celebrities who live with disabilities. Some visible, others not, they all lead fully functional lives and have wonderful families. They’ve become parents despite the stigma that surrounds their conditions, and many of them are champions for others like them around the world.


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