Famous People with Schizophrenia

John Nash is an American mathematician working in differential geometry, game theory and partial differential equations. A Hollywood movie has been made representing Nash, the movie itself name “A beautiful Mind” which was later nominated for 8 Oscars. The movie was based on his mathematical genius and his struggle with Schizophrenia.

Syd Barrett was an English artist, songwriter, guitarist and artist being in the renowned rock band of Pink Floyd. He left the band in 1968 among stories of mental illness during his drug abuse.

Jack Kerouac was an American novelist, poet, writer and artist responsible for very popular work that received little critical acclaim during his lifetime. He inspired many other novelist and artists such as The Beatles, Tom Robbins and Bob Dylan.

James Beck Gordon is a songwriter and Grammy Award winning musician. Being one of the most requested session drummers in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. James is now incarcerated in Atascadero State Hospital after killing his mother following a demand from one of the voices in his head. He was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison, and was diagnosed with Schizophrenia during the trial.
Lionel Aldridge played American football professionally as a defensive end on the historic Green Bay Packers teams of the sixties. After retiring, Aldridge worked as sports analyst in Milwaukee until manifesting a mental illness called paranoid schizophrenia during the early seventies. “There was extreme paranoia and irritability and it was difficult for me to get along with others. I was unable to work. It was a rough setting” Lionel explained. After 10 years of being untreated and several years of being homeless Lionel finally fought the illness when he finally accepted treatment with the help of some of his friends.

Mary Todd Lincoln was the wife of America’s 16th President Abraham Lincoln and was the first lady of the United States. Abraham Lincoln always pursued his increasingly successful career and Mary Todd Lincoln was well educated and she shared the same fierce ambitions. In February 1862 her son Willie died at the age of 11 years old. After his death Mary spent a considerable amount of money to pay for mediums and spiritualists to try and contact her dead son, spending a lot of money the family did not have. She was known to suffer from Schizophrenia.

Joe Meek was a pioneering English record producer and songwriter acknowledged as one of the world’s first and most imaginative independent producers. Meek was obsessed with the occult and the paranormal, especially the idea of the “other side”. He sometimes used to set up tape recorders at graveyards to try and hear the voices of the dead, at one point he claimed that a cat that was recorded was actually imitating a human’s voice calling for help.

Tom Harrell was a renowned American post bop jazz trumpeter and composer. He suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. It is reported that on stage he stands away from the microphone, off to the side, his head bowed and his hands clutching his trumpet. When called upon to play, he walks slowly to the microphone, head still lowered, raising it only to play. When finished, he bows his head and resumes his original place.

Alexander “Skip” Spence was a musician, singer and songwriter. Spence’s past was unhappy; he was diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia, was an alcoholic and lived as a derelict on the streets of Santa Cruz, although reports suggest that he had finally managed to stop drinking a few years before his death from cancer.

Meera Popkin – A star of Cats and Miss Saigon on Broadway and in London’s West End was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her life went from center stage and limos to waiting tables at Wendy’s, but she’s now back and is doing well. “I’ve had quite a year. I thought the highlight would be getting married. I thought the highlight would be having my baby girl. Now it looks like the highlight is being completely recovered from schizophrenia. Did I ever have it? Was I misdiagnosed? Am I the one in a thousand that recovers from this illness? These are the questions my doctor is asking.”

Bob Mosley – Singer/songwriter and bassist James Robert Mosley was born December 4, 1942,and developed his musical abilities to a professional level. In 1969 Mosley joined the U.S. Marines, making it through basic training, only to be diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. Bob Mosley descended into schizophrenia and was homeless in the mid-1990s. But he rejoined his band for its New York show in August 1997.

Roger Kynard – Roky Erickson (born Roger Kynard Erickson on July 15, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, harmonica player, and guitarist from Texas. In 1968, while doing a stint at Hemisfair, Erickson started speaking nonsense. He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and sent to a Houston psychiatric hospital, where he involuntarily received electroconvulsive therapy.

Rose Williams – Sister of Tennessee Williams. Tennessee was close to his sister Rose, a slim beauty whose sad life had perhaps the greatest influence on him. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age. As was common then, Rose was institutionalized and spent most of her adult life in mental hospitals. When therapies were unsuccessful, she showed more paranoid tendencies.