Famous People With Bipolar Disorder

Famous people with bipolar disorder exist in every facet of our society, and have made some of the greatest contributions to our culture.

The most recent list of contemporary Celebrities and famous people with Bipolar Disorder includes:

Demi Lovato

Sinead O'Connor

Jane Pauly

Mariette Hartley

Jean-Claude Van Damme

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Vivien Leigh

Russell Brand

Carrie Fisher

Amy Winehouse

Maurice Bernard

Linda Hamilton

Kurt Cobain

Winston Churchill


The following is a list of Famous People with Bipolar Disorder (in recent history).

This list is based on Joy Ikelmann's Bipolar Info page which is archived at atarchive.org.

The following are famous people with bipolar disorder who have spoken publicly about being bipolar:

Robert Boorstin, writer, special assistant to Pres. Clinton

Rosemary Clooney, singer

Dick Cavett, writer, media personality

Kitty Dukakis, former First Lady of Massachusetts

Patty Duke (Anna Pearce), actor, writer

Connie Francis, actor, musician

Peter Gabriel, musician

Shecky Greene, comedian

Kristin Hersh, musician (Throwing Muses)

Peter Nolan Lawrence, writer

Bill Lichtenstein, producer (TV & radio)

Kristy McNichols, actor

Kate Millett, writer

Spike Mulligan, comic actor and writer, Patron of the MFD

Murray Pezim

Charley Pride, musician

Axl Rose, musician

John Strugnell, Biblical scholar, Harvard

Ted Turner, entrepreneur, media giant (U.S.)

Jonathon Winters, comedian, actor, writer, artist



Kay Redfield Jamison, one of the leading researchers and writers on the subject of Bipolar Disorder (and Bipolar herself), has compiled an exhaustive list of famous people with bipolar disorder who have made major artistic contributions to the world.

The following lists are drawn from Kay Jamison's Touched With Fire; Manic-Depressive Ilness and the Artistic Temperament [Appendix B: Writers, Artists, and Composers with Probable Cyclothymia, Major Depression, or Manic-Depressive Illness]. "This is meant to be an illustrative rather than a comprehensive list; for systematic studies, see text. Most of the writers, composers, and artists are American, British, European, Irish, or Russian; all are deceased . . . Many if not most of these writers, artists, and composers had other major problems as well, such as medical illnesses, alcoholism or drug addiction, or exceptionally difficult life circumstances. They are listed here as having suffered from a mood disorder because their mood symptoms predated their other conditions, because the nature and course of their mood and behavior symptoms were consistent with a diagnosis of an independently existing affective illness, and/or because their family histories of depression, manic-depressive illness, and suicide--coupled with their own symptoms--were sufficiently strong to warrant their inclusion."

KEY: 
    H = Asylum or psychiatric hospital 
    S = Suicide 
    SA = Suicide attempt

Famous People with Bipolar Disorder: Writers

Hans Christian Andersen

Honore de Balzac

James Barrie

Arthur Benson (H)

E.F. Benson

James Boswell

William Faulkner (H)

F. Scott Fitzgerald (H)

Lewis Grassic Gibbon (SA)

Nikolai Gogl

Maxim Gorky (SA)

Kenneth Graham

Graham Greene

Ernest Hemingway (H, S)

Hermann Hesse (H, SA)

Henrik Ibsen

William Inge (H, S)

Henry James

William James

Charles Lamb (H)

Malcolm Lowry (H, S)

John Bunyan

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

Joseph Conrad (SA)

Charles Dickens

Isak Dinesen (SA)

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Herman Melville

Eugene O'Neill (H, SA)

Francis Parkman

John Ruskin (H)

Mary Shelley

Jean Stafford (H)

Robert Louis Stevenson

August Strindberg

Leo Tolstoy

Ivan Turgenev

Tennessee Williams (H)

Mary Wollstonecraft (SA)

Virginia Woolf (H, S)

Emile Zola

Modified August 6, 2004

Famous Musicians & Composers with Bipolar Disorder

Anton Arensky

Hector Berlioz (SA)

Anton Bruckner (H)

Jeremiah Clarke (S)

John Dowland

Edward Elgar

Carlo Gesualdo

Mikhail Glinka

George Frederic Handel

Gustav Holst

Charles Ives

Otto Klemperer (H)

Orlando de Lassus

Gustav Mahler

Modest Mussorgsky

Sergey Rachmaninoff

Giocchino Rossini

Robert Schumann (H, SA)

Alexander Scriagbin

Peter Tchaikovsky

Peter Warlock (S)

Hugo Wolf (H, SA)

Bernd Alois Zimmerman (S)

Nonclassical composers and musicians:

Irving Berlin (H)

Noel Coward

Stephen Foster

Charles Mingus (H)

Charles Parker (H, SA)

Cole Porter (H)

Bud Powell (H)

Kurt Cobain, musician (Nirvana) (S 1994)

Modified August 6, 2004

Famous Poets with Bipolar Disorder:

Antonin Artaud (H)

Konstantin Batyushkov (H, SA)

Charles Baudelaire (SA)

Thomas Lovell Beddoes (S)

John Berryman (H, S)

William Blake

Aleksandr Blok

Barcroft Boake (S)

Louis Bogan (H)

Rupert Brooke

Robert Burns

George Gordon, Lord Byron

Thomas Campbell

Paul Celan (S)

Thomas Chatterton (S)

John Clare (H)

Harley Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

William Collins (H)

William Cowper (H, SA)

Hart Crane (S)

George Darley

John Davidson (S)

Emily Dickinson - more

Ernest Dowson

T.S. Eliot (H)

Sergey Esenin (S)

Robert Fergusson (H)

Afanasy Fet (SA)

Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea

Edward FitzGerald

John Gould Fletcher (S)

Gustaf Froding (SA, H)

Oliver Goldsmith

Adam Lindsay Gordon (S)

Thomas Gray

Nikolai Gumilyov (SA)

Robert Stephen Hawker

Friedrich Holderlin (H)

Gerard Manley Hopkins - More

Victor Hugo

Randal Jarrell (H, S)

Samuel Johnson

John Keats - More

Henry Kendall (H)

Velimir Khlebnikov (H)

Heinrich Von Kleist (S)

Walter Savage Landor

Nikolaus Lenau (H)

J.M.R. Lenz (SA)

Mikhail Lermontov

Vachel Lindsay (S)

James Russell Lowell

Robert Lowell (H)

Hugh MacDiarmid (H)

Louis MacNeice

Osip Mandelstam (H, SA)

James Clarence Mangan

Vladimir Mayakovsky (S)

Edna St. Vincent Millay (H)

Alfred de Musset

Gerard de Nerval (H, S)

Boris Pasternak (H)

Cesare Pavese (S)

Sylvia Plath (H, S)

Edgar Allan Poe (SA)

Ezra Pound (H)

Alexander Pushkin

Laura Riding (SA)

Theodore Roethke (H)

Delmore Schwartz (H)

Anne Sexton (H, S)

Percy Bysshe Shelley - More (SA)

Christopher Smart (H)

Torquato Tasso (H)

Sara Teasdale (H, S)

Alfred, Lord tennyson

Dylan Thomas

Edward Thomas

Francis Thompson

George Trakl (H, S)

Marina Tsvetayeva (S)

Walt Whitman - More

Famous Artists with Bipolar Disorder:

Ralph Barton (S)

Francesco Bassano (S)

Ralph Blakelock (H)

Francesco Borromini (S)

John Sell Cotman

Richard Dadd (H)

Edward Dayes (S)

Thomas Eakins

Paul Gauguin (SA)

Theodore Gericault

Hugo van der Goes

Vincent van Gogh (H, S) 

Arshile Gorky (S)

Philip Guston (H)

Benjamin Haydon (S)

Carl Hill (H)

Ernst Josephson (H)

George Innes (SA)

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (H, S)

Edwin Landseer (H)

Edward Lear

Wilhelm Lehmbruck (S)

John Martin

Charles Meryon (H)

Michelangelo Buonarroti

Adolphe Monticelli

Edvard Munch (H)

Jules Pascin (S)

Georgia O'Keeffe (H)

Raphaelle Peal (H)

Jackson Pollock (H)

George Romney

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (SA)

Mark Rothko (S)

Nicolas de Stael (S)

Pietro Testa (S)

Henry Tilson (S)

George Frederic Watts

Sir David Wilkie

Anders Zorn

This amazing list of famous people with bipolar disorder should clearly illustrate that were it not for Bipolar Disorder, most of the great artistic contributions to our society would never have existed.

Learn more about Bipolar Symptoms

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