…with Mental Illness
Post- Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh is widely regarded as one of history’s greatest painters and an imprtant contributor to the foundations of modern art. His work had far-reaching influence on 20th century art for its vivid colors and emotional impact. Van Gogh did not begin painting until his late twenties, and most of his best-known works were produced during his final two years. Van Gogh experienced severe anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness throughout his life. Today many of his pieces-including his numerous self portraits, landscapes, portraits and sunflowers are among the worlds most recognizable and expensive works of art.
Howard Hughes was a noted filmmaker, rich aviator, industrialist and philanthropist. He was one of the most iconic figures in some of the most commercially successful films of that era such as Scareface, Two Arabian Nights and Hell’s Angels. Hughes was one of the wealthiest men in the world and his contributions to aviation is unparalleled. He had obsessive compulsive disorder.
Actor Maurice Benard was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 22. He has since become a spokesperson for treatment of bipolar disorder with Mental Health America
Composer Ludwig van Beethoven had bipolar disorder which some have said “gave him such creative power that his compositions broke the mold for classical music forever.” He was said to have written his most famous works during times of torment, loneliness and psychotic delusions.
R&B soul singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress Macy Gray was diagonosed with bipolar disorder as an adult. To date, Gray has released four studio albums, one compilation album and one live album along with her fourth album. She won a Grammy Award in 2007 and received five Grammy Award nominations. She has also appeared in a number of films including Training Day, Spider-Man, and Idlewild.
Actor Jim Carey is best known for his wacky comedies, which have made him one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. He has publically spoken about his struggles with depression. During an interview
with the news show 60 minutes Carrey stated “I was on Prozac for a long time. It may have helped me out of a jam for a little bit…There are peaks, there are valleys…” But acting is still the biggest part of his life-the thing that defines him. His talent and need to perform.
Spanish painter, draughtsman and sculptor Pablo Picasso reportedly had clinical depression. Picasso’s creativity manifested itself in numerous mediums, including painting, sculpture, drawing, and architecture. As one of the most recognized figures in 20th-century art, he is best known for co-founding the Cubist movement and for the wide variety of styles embodied in his work. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937), his portrayal of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortunes throughout his life.
Photographer Diane Arbus, was famous for her non-commercial work oriented towards the unfamous: a couple sitting on a bench, a young Republican, identicle twin girls and startling images of the downtrodden, marinalized subjects: dwarves, drag queens, circus performers. Arbus, who had depression, continues to fascinate, thirty years later, for her amazing photos that have become common property of advertisements and movies. Her work in the early 60′s included commercial portraits for magazines such as Esquire and Harper’s Bazzaar.
Painter Jackson Pollock was an influential, major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. During his lifetime, Pollock enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety. He was regarded as a mostly reclusive artist who reportedly experienced clinical depression.
American cartoonist Charles Schulz who was the mastermind behind Peanuts, reportedly was diagnosed with clinical depression.
Actor, film director, producer and screenwriter Mel Gibson is an Academy Award-winner who talked about his bipolar disorder in a 2002 documentary. Gibson stated, “I had really good highs but some very low lows. I found out recently I’m manic depressive.”After appearing in the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon series, Gibson went on to direct and star in the Academy Award-winning Braveheart. Gibson’s direction of Braveheart made him the sixth actor-turned-filmmaker to receive an Academy Award for Best Director. The movies he has acted in have grossed more than two billion dollars in the U.S. alone. Recently Mel Gibson has faced a fierce public “fall from grace” following various incidents involving public intoxication, DUIs and the release of audiotapes that featured drunken, violent, verbal assults on the mother of his child. This incident shed light his ongoing battle with alcohol addiction, bipolor disorder and issues with domestic violence.
Actress, fashion model, and beauty queen Halle Berry received an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG, and an NAACP Image award for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and won an Academy Award for Best Actress. She was also nominated for a BAFTA Award in 2001 for her performance in Monster’s Ball, becoming the first and only woman of African American descent to have won the award for Best Actress. She is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood and also a Revlon spokeswoman. In a 1997 interview with Ebony magazine, Halle Berry talked about her experience with depression, which at one point included thoughts of suicide. Halle emphasized the value of counseling: “People still associate therapy with being crazy. But I think you’re crazy if you won’t consider going to get help for yourself—to learn the tools to deal with the problems in your life. Once people see what it is and what it’s not, they race to go back. They get the benefit. But it’s hard to get people to the first session because of fear.”
Singer Rosemary Clooney Along with her notable recording success, Clooney created a living memorial to her sister Betty, who died in 1976 from a brain aneurysm: the Betty Clooney Center in Long Beach, California, a facility for brain-injured young adults. The first of its kind in the U.S., the center is supported by grants and donations. After receiving the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal in 1992 in recognition of her contribution to American music, Clooney told the Washington Post, “It’s for showing up day after day, for small increments of time and achievement.” Claiming that singing has become her salvation, Clooney added, “I’m the only instrument that’s got the words, so I’ve got to be able to get that across.” She had bipolar disorder and lived with the disorder most of her life. She was once
hospitalized after an onstage breakdown. As her top-selling jazz albums indicated, Clooney was still able to mesmerize audiences with her warmth, depth of feeling, honesty, and unsurpassed craft.