Fame doesn't protect movie stars from stroke risk

Feb 10, 2011 By MARILYNN MARCHIONE , AP Medical Writer
In this 1992 publicity image originally released by TriStar Pictures, actress Sharon Stone portrays Catherine Tramell in a scene from "Basic Instinct." Several movie stars, including Stone, have suffered strokes, a reminder that money and fame can't insulate you from a health risk that much can be done to prevent, researchers reported at an international stroke conference in Feb. 2011. (AP Photo/TriStar Pictures, Ralph Nelson, file)

(AP) -- Hollywood trivia quiz: What do Sharon Stone, Dudley Moore, James Garner and Elizabeth Taylor have in common besides an Oscar nomination? All have suffered strokes, a reminder that money and fame can't insulate you from a health risk that much can be done to prevent, researchers said Thursday.

The International Conference is being held in Tinseltown for the first time, just three weeks before this year's Oscars are to be awarded. So researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles had the idea to check movie stars' rates of heart attacks and strokes.

"We see the diseases that ravage them just as they ravage the rest of the country and the world," said Dr. Jeffrey Saver, director of the stroke center at UCLA. He has treated several Hollywood glitterati who suffered strokes.

The movie industry did wrong for many years by glamorizing smoking, a big contributor to , he said. Paradoxically, it is now helping to make obesity unattractive, he said - celluloid is not kind to cellulite.

For their study, researchers searched the Internet and a database to compile a list of all best actor/actress nominees since the Oscars began in 1927 through 2009.

Of the 409 nominees, at least 29 have suffered strokes - 6 were fatal - and 39 have had heart attacks. Stroke sufferers were 35 on average when nominated and 67 when stricken.

It put a dent in their careers - film and TV appearances fell 73 percent in the three years after a stroke and 69 percent after a heart attack, said study coordinator Hannah Smith of UCLA.

And not all were old when stricken.

The sexy actress Sharon Stone, nominated for an Oscar in 1996 for "Casino" and known for her roles in "Total Recall," `'Basic Instinct" and "Catwoman," suffered a stroke in 2001 at age 43. Hers was a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of "bleeding stroke" that is less common than those caused by a blood clot.

A few years ago she appeared in a public service video to raise awareness of stroke symptoms (sudden numbness, weakness, vision or speech problems, confusion, sudden headache with no known cause).

"Stroke can affect anyone," said Dr. Ralph Sacco, American Heart Association president and a neurologist at the University of Miami. "When Hollywood stars have strokes, it brings it even more into the consciousness of the public."

This year's Oscars ceremony is Feb. 27.

Those who suffered strokes and their most recent best actor/actress nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are:

-Ruth Chatterton, 1930, "Sarah and Son"

-Mary Pickford, 1930, "Coquette"

-Bette Davis, 1963, "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"

-Claudette Colbert, 1945, "Since You Went Away"

-Merle Oberon, 1936, "The Dark Angel"

-Gladys George, 1937, "Valiant is the Word for Carrie"

-Robert Donat, 1940, "Goodbye, Mr. Chips"

-James Cagney, 1956, "Love Me or Leave Me"

-Greer Garson, 1961, "Sunrise at Campobello"

-Cary Grant, 1945, "None But the Lonely Heart"

-Walter Pidgeon, 1944, "Madame Curie"

-Jean Arthur, 1944, "The More the Merrier"

-Celia Johnson, 1947, "Brief Encounter"

-Gene Kelly, 1946, "Anchors Away"

-Anne Baxter, 1951, "All About Eve"

-Broderick Crawford, 1950, "All the King's Men"

-Kirk Douglas, 1957, "The Lust for Life"

-Julie Harris, 1953, "The Member of the Wedding"

-Burt Lancaster, 1982, "Atlantic City"

-Richard Burton, 1978, "Anne of the Thousand Days"

-Grace Kelly, 1955, "The Country Girl"

-Anthony Franciosa, 1958, "A Hatful of Rain"

-Elizabeth Taylor, 1967, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

-Patricia Neal, 1969, "The Subject Was Roses"

-Edith Evans, 1968, "The Whisperers"

-Dudley Moore, 1982, "Arthur"

-James Garner, 1986, "Murphy's Romance"

-Sharon Stone, 1996, "Casino"

-Samantha Morton, 2004, "In America"

Explore further: A new approach to cut death toll of young people in road accidents

More information:
Stroke meeting: http://www.strokeconference.org

Oscars: http://www.oscars.org

Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Children can have recurrent strokes

Feb 24, 2010

Children can have strokes, and the strokes can recur, usually within a month, according to pediatric researchers. Unfortunately, the strokes often go unrecognized the first time, and the child does not receive treatment before ...

1 in 8 strokes is preceded by 'warning stroke'

Sep 28, 2009

One out of every eight strokes is preceded by a "warning stroke," which is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mild stroke, according to research published in the September 29, 2009, print issue of Neurology.

Study: Secondary stroke prevention needs improvement

Feb 15, 2010

New research finds that one out of 12 people who have a stroke will likely soon have another stroke, and one out of four will likely die within one year. Researchers say the findings highlight the vital need for better secondary ...

Recommended for you

Sensors may keep hospitalized patients from falling

6 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—To keep hospitalized patients safer, University of Arizona researchers are working on new technology that involves a small, wearable sensor that measures a patient's activity, heart rate, ...

Rising role seen for health education specialists

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A health education specialist can help family practices implement quality improvement projects with limited additional financial resources, according to an article published in the March/April ...

FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes (Update)

9 hours ago

The U.S. government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Team reprograms blood cells into blood stem cells in mice

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have reprogrammed mature blood cells from mice into blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), using a cocktail of eight genetic switches called transcription factors. The reprogrammed ...

Engineered E. coli produces high levels of D-ribose

D-ribose is a commercially important sugar used as a sweetener, a nutritional supplement, and as a starting compound for synthesizing riboflavin and several antiviral drugs. Genetic engineering of Escherichia co ...