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10 Famous and Loved Actors Who Are Just Too Sick To Work in Films Anymore

By Andrew Alpin, 15 June 2017

2016 saw several celebrity deaths which shocked fans worldwide. There are many celebrities who have a steady fan following and it does pain us to see that quite a number of our beloved actors who enthralled us on the silver screen are too frail or sick to act anymore. Even though in their late seventies, some of them still take time to grace the screen with their indomitable presence for which we are thankful. Here are ten actors too sick to work anymore.

1 Michael J Fox

We will always remember Michael J Fox as Marty in back to the Future. Michael is just 56 but has been struggling with Parkinson's for a very long time. He was diagnosed with the disease in 1992 at the age of 29. Having undergone a thalamotomy (a procedure in which a surgical opening is created in the thalamus to improve brain function) It has been a long hard battle ever since. He semi-retired from acting in 2000 and mainly lent his voice for animated movies. Like Stuart little. The three-time Golden Globe winner devotes most of his time as an advocate for research to find a cure for Parkinson’s and stem cell studies. The nature of his disease is too severe to allow him to act in movies for long periods of time.

Michael J Fox

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2 David Prowse

Many of the first Star Wars generation will remember David Prowse as the famous Darth Vader. Now 81, Prowse isn’t in very god health and has suffered from various problems such as arthritis, prostate cancer, and dementia. His cancer was in remission in 2009. Although Prowse attributes his condition to old age and didn’t acknowledge his dementia, his condition is what prevents him from working in the film industry.

David Prowse

Image Source: .independent.co.uk

3 Ian McKellen

Dear old Gandalf and Magneto. Ian Mckellen although a Shakespearean actor has etched his presence in the hearts of millions as these two iconic characters. Ian Mckellen is one of the stalwarts of the film industry and at 77, he is still preparing for Hamlet revenant but the truth is it takes him almost six months to memorize a script and that’s quite a task. Although we would not like it but this may well seem his last role before retirement.

Ian McKellen

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4 Judi Dench

Like Ian Mckellen, Dame Judy Dench is 82 and struggling with memory problems. She also suffers from macular degeneration and is slowly losing her eyesight. Although she can still see, she has to have someone accompany her when traveling. Although she feels she’s not ready to retire, her present condition is diminishing her ability to take on new roles. We do hope she will continue acting though and wish her the best of health.

Judi Dench

Image Source: www.wsj.net


5 Shannen Doherty

Shannon Doherty 46 was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2015. She underwent a single mastectomy last year along with chemo and radiation. Doherty’s cancer is in remission and she could be returning to films although her health is of primary concern. Although she has a couple of small projects in hand, it’s unlikely that she will adopt a heavy workload anytime soon.

Shannen Doherty

Image Source: www.etonline.com


6 Charlie Sheen

People love him and people hate him but there’s no denying Charlie Sheen gave us some prime time comedy in “Anger Management” and “Two and a Half Men”. Sheen now 51, came out in the open declaring himself to be HIV-positive and has been on medication ever since. Although he has just completed shooting of 9/11 but now acting is a thing of the past for Sheen because of his deteriorating health. His condition has taken a toll on his attitude and demeanor and seems happy and positive trying to help others with HIV.

Charlie Sheen

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7 Angela Lansbury

After Angela Lansbury’s husband died in 2003, she declared she wouldn’t be acting in major roles. Mary Poppins returns are currently underway even as we speak and that could well be Lansbury’s last role as the balloon lady. Lansbury now 91 is a positive person who feels her health is good although she admits there are days when she doesn’t quite feel like herself. However, she has turned down all new jobs and spends her time relaxing with her family.

Angela Lansbury

Image Source: www.thirteen.org


8 Stan Lee

Stan is now 94 and though not a conventional actor, he does like appearing and doing cameos in his marvel movies. His health, of course, is deteriorating and has even canceled appearances at Comic-Con earlier this year. Lee has been advised by his doctor to take it easy and rest so it’s unlikely Stan will be filming again. The man is an icon who will always be remembered for giving us o9ur heroes of Marvel like Superman, Thor, Batman, Ironman, Thor, Spiderman, Captain America and Wolverine.

Stan Lee

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9 Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds is a legend with a number of remarkable movies to his credit such as Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, the Longest Yard and Hustle to name a few. AT 81, he seems to be wrapping thins up as he is now frail and overcome with health problems. He has had major back surgery and a heart bypass and old age is slowly creeping up on him. It’s most unlikely he will work in films again.

All of these actors too sick to work will never be forgotten for their greatest performances and roles in films that will be replayed even twenty years from now. We hope and pray that they have many more yes to go and as fans we thank them for the meaningful entertainment.

Burt Reynolds

Image Source: www.cmgdigital.com

10 Leah Bracknell

Leah Bracknell is a popular artist in the UK known for her role as Zoe Tate in the soap opera Emmerdale. She is one of the longest serving members of the show having done the role for 16 years. In October 2016, Bracknell declared that she had terminal lung cancer. Her fans responded to her help to raise funds for her treatment in Germany and the 50,000 pounds required for her treatment was raised in three days. One hopes that Bracknell is responding to treatment but we won’t ever see her on the screen again.

Leah Bracknell.

Image Source: www.unrealitytv.co.uk