Some of the men and women on this list of 50 famous people who have suffered from depression or mental illness may surprise you. There are many others who are not included, showing just how common of a problem it is. (List in alphabetical order.)
Buzz Aldrin, one of America’s most famous astronauts, flew to the moon in 1969, but later suffered from depression and alcoholism. He worked his way through, and even served as chairman of the National Mental Health Association.
Performer Adom Ant says he has had a "lifelong battle against manic depression." He has also been hospitalized for treatment of bipolar disorder.
Comedienne Roseanne Barr has used antidepressants and psychotherapy after being diagnosed with depression in 1994.
Ludwig van Beethoven experienced bipolar disorder, as documented in the book “The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life.”
Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw was diagnosed with clinical depression and began taking antidepressants in the late 90s.
Actor Marlon Brando experienced chronic depression throughout his life.
Designing Women actress Delta Burke called her struggle with depression "lifelong" and said even as a teen she had trouble.
Earl Campbell, former football pro and current business owner, documented his personal struggle in “The Earl Campbell Story: A Football Great’s Battle With Panic Disorder.”
Drew Carey said he suffered through a long depression, and at 18 and again in his 20s, attempted suicide with drug overdoses.
Jim Carrey openly discussed his history of depression and being on Prozac on “60 Minutes” in 2004.
Anthony Storr wrote about Winston Churchill’s bipolar disorder in “Churchill's Black Dog, Kafka's Mice, and Other Phenomena of the Human Mind.”
Dick Clark talked about his experience with depression in the book, “On the Edge of Darkness” by Kathy Cronkite.
Musician Kurt Cobain was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder at a young age and then later, with bipolar disorder.
Singer Judy Collins suffered with depression, bulimia and alcoholism, particularly after her son committed suicide.
SC author Pat Conroy battled depression his whole life and suffered a setback when his schizophrenic brother committed suicide.
Calvin Coolidge, thirtieth President of the United States, fell into a deep depression after the death of his son.
In the late 1980s, singer Sheryl Crow had a period of depression after touring with Michael Jackson. Her depression was helped by antidepressants and therapy.
Golfer John Daly admitted to depression and bouts of heavy drinking in interviews and the book "My Life In and Out of the Rough."
Diana, Princess of Wales lived with bulimia and experienced bouts of depression.
Charles Dickens depression was documented in the book "Key to Genius."
Academy Award-winning actress Patty Duke wrote about her bipolar disorder in two autobiographies.
Famous for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, Carrie Fisher has lived with Bipolar Disorder for two decades and is severely manic depressive.
Al Gore’s estranged wife, Tipper, experienced depression after her son’s near fatal car accident in 1989. She was officially diagnosed with clinical depression two years later and fully recovered with medication and therapy.
Terminator star Linda Hamilton has talked opening about a lifelong struggle with manic depression that went undiagnosed for most of her life.
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway's suicidal depression is examined in the book: “An Intimate Portrait of Ernest Hemingway by Those Who Knew Him” by Denis Brian
Singer Janet Jackson has chronically suffered from depression, especially for the two years preceding the release of “Velvet Rope.”
In the 1970s, singer Billy Joel experienced serious depression and admitted himself into a hospital for treatment after a suicide attempt.
Catherine Zeta Jones' rep said that the movie star checked into a facility for treatment of bipolar II disorder.
Actress Ashley Judd has revealed that she had suffered from depression and an eating disorder.
Margot Kidder who played Lois Lane in Superman says a combination of traditional and alternative medicine helped her overcome life-long depression.
Prior to his death, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Dark Prince” star Heath Ledger battled insomnia, drug abuse and depression.
“Gone with the Wind” star Vivien Leigh suffered from mental illness, as documented in “Vivien Leigh: A Biography” by Ann Edwards.
President Abraham Lincoln’s first major depression happened in his 20s and he struggled with it for the remainder of his life, in addition to anxiety attacks.
Olympic medal winning diver Greg Louganis first experienced depression when he was 12 and he later attempted suicide twice.
The mental illness of Michelangelo (di Lodovico Buonarroti Simon), one of the greatest artistic geniuses in history, is discussed in “The Dynamics of Creation” by Anthony Storr.
Scientist Isaac Newton’s mental illness is a subject in “The Dynamics of Creation” by Anthony Storr and “The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life” by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb.
Comedienne Rosie O’Donnell says her depression started to improve when she was 37 and began taking medication.
Marie Osmond described a bout with postpartum depression in her book, “Behind the Smile.”
Former host of the Today Show and Dateline NBC Jane Pauley has been outspoken about living with bipolar disorder and depression.
Depression hit author J.K. Rowling after her first marriage broke down after just two years. She credits writing her first Harry Potter novel with helping her overcome the depression.
Actress Winona Ryder says she had panic attacks starting at 12 and ended up in a psychiatric clinic at 19 for treatment of severe depression
Actress Brooke Shields suffered from post-partum depression after the birth of her son.
Darryl Strawberry, former baseball player for the New York Mets and the New York Yankees, reportedly has bipolar disorder.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Actress Emma Thompson said she battled clinical depression in the past, with her career saving her from “going under.”
Leo Tolstoy, author of “War and Peace,” started experiencing depression while writing “Anna Karenina.”
Martial arts actor John Claude Van Damme started experiencing depression as a teen, but was not diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder until the late 90s.
Vincent Van Gogh's bipolar disorder is also covered in "The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life."
60 Minutes legend Mike Wallace was diagnosed with clinical depression in 1984 (after being sued for libel). He experienced severe depressive episodes, but overcame them with therapy and antidepressant medication.
Heisman trophy winner Ricky Williams was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder.
Country Music Hall of Fame country singer Tammy Wynette received electro-convulsive therapy for her depression.