Hollywood Legends Who Conquered The Movies But Later Lost Everything To Dementia

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How many of you know Ronald Reagan, the actor turned US President, was suffering from dementia in his final days? There are several Hollywood legends we have lost to this merciless disease.

Ronald Reagan - Actor Turned US President
Ronald Reagan – Actor Turned US President

Dementia is not something to be taken lightly. These Hollywood legends conquered the movie industry But even their name and fame couldn’t stop this ugly demon from making a nest in their head.

Estelle Getty – The ’80s Firecracker

Golden Girls - Estelle Getty Dementia
Golden Girls – Estelle Getty

The name may not be as well-known to new age audiences. But she was a force of nature in the small screen entertainment world back then. Getty shot to fame for starring as quick witted senior citizen Sophia Petrillo in Golden Girls. In the era of the ’80s, onlya  chosen few came close to such grand success the way Estelle Getty usupred the throne.


Getty died in 2008 just three days away from her 85th birthday. Her relatives say Golden Girls Getty battled severe dementia in her golden days. She would have trouble recognizing where she was and even forget her own names at times.

Robin Williams – The Greatest Comedian Ever. Period!

Robin Williams Dementia
Robin Williams – Lewd Body Dementia

Williams started out as a stand up comic back in the ’70s. His range of humor was so vast and covered so many fronts that Hollywood was quick to hire him as an actor. Robin Williams is a star not many would ay they haven’t heard of. Sadly the Aladdin and Patch Adams actor commited suicide.

The autopsy report stated that Robin Williams suffered from Lewd Body Dementia. And it had taken a heavy toll on the actor. Winners of multiple international awards, including on oscar for Good Will Hunting, 6 Golden Globes and 5 Grammy Awards, was reduced to a shadow of his former self later in his life.


Rita Hayworth – Love Goddess Of Hollywood’s Golden Age

Rita Hayworth - Legendary Hollywood Actor
Rita Hayworth – Legendary Hollywood Actor

She was the go to actor for every major Hollywood studio back in the 1940’s. Tabloids back in the day called her the “Love Goddess.” She garnered such fame that even after more than half a century since her career was at its peak, we still know her name.

Rita Hayworth was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s back in 1980. She started losing her memories as a Hollywood legend. Hayworth passed away in 1987 but like the badass she was, even her death ended up creating a revolution. Hayworth’s passing helped generate awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as a serious medical condition for the elderly.

Charlton Heston – The Jack Of All Movie Trades

Charlton heston - Planet of the Apes
Charlton heston – Planet of the Apes

He was a legendary Hollywood actor who later became a political activist and campaigned for social causes. Over the course of around 60 years, Heston made appearances in more than 100 movies. Charlton Heston is best known for playing the role of Moses in the 1956 film The Ten Commandments.


You may know him from movies like Ben-Hur, Planet of the Apes, and Touch of Evil. He won his Best Actor Oscar for his role in the movie El Cid (1961). Heston announced he had early onset dementia in 2002 and retired from his NRA presidency. He passed away in 2008.

James Stewart – Movie Industry’s Everyman

James Stewart Dementia
James Stewart

He was a military officer before he took to a career in acting. Actors nowadays would wish they could live up to the legacy of folks like James Stewart. Stewart was known for his grounded approach to roles. His everyman acting style made audiences relate to him in movies and every persona he portrayed on the big screens became iconic.

The actor was known for his unique, distinctive drawl. Sadly, after 55 years in the film industry spanning 80 movies, Stewart breathed his last to Dementia. He died peacefully surrounded by friends and family on July 2, 1997.



Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

Articles Published: 1230

With a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Marketing and Operations, Bibhu found a love for writing, working for many different websites. He joined FandomWire in July 2020 and worked his way to his current position of Content Strategist. Bibhu has been involved in operating and managing FandomWire's team of writers, diversifying into varied, exotic fields of pop culture.