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13 Famous People With Tourette’s Syndrome

Famous people with Tourette’s Syndrome:


Tourette’s syndrome (TS) is a condition that causes an individual to make involuntary movements and sounds called tics.

This neurological disorder most commonly begins between the ages of 5 and 18 and lasts throughout life.

In 1885, this tic disorder was first described by Georges Gilles de la Tourette.

According to statistics, over 200,000 people in the United States have the most severe form of the syndrome, and about 100,000 individuals exhibit milder and less complex symptoms.

Boys are more likely to be affected than girls.


People with TS have a combination of vocal and physical tics, that may be simple or complex.

Examples of vocal tics:

  • swearing;
  • grunting;
  • repeating a word, sound, or phrase;
  • throat clearing;
  • saying random phrases or words;
  • whistling;
  • animal sounds;
  • tongue clicking;
  • coughing.

Examples of physical tics:

  • touching objects and other people;
  • blinking;
  • twirling;
  • eye rolling;
  • jumping;
  • grimacing;
  • jerking of the head;
  • shoulder shrugging.

In addition, people with TS may also have:

  • pain related to tics, particularly headaches;
  • anxiety;
  • anger-management problems;
  • depression;
  • sleep disorders;
  • learning disabilities;
  • autism spectrum disorder;
  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.


The syndrome has been linked to different parts of the brain, including an area called the basal ganglia (or basal nuclei), that helps control body movements.

Moreover, chemicals in the brain which transmit nerve impulses, including serotonin and dopamine, might play a role.

Also, research has shown that different environmental factors may contribute to the onset of the syndrome, including:

  • premature low birth weight in children;
  • severe nausea during the 1st trimester;
  • smoking tobacco or drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy;
  • trauma or emotional stress during pregnancy.

Note – TS is not contagious, and you can’t catch it from someone who has it.

List Of 13 Famous People With Tourette’s Syndrome:

1) Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes

© Getty Images

He was one of the wealthiest people of his time and used much of his wealth for philanthropy.

Hughes gained eminence in Hollywood in the late 1920s, making big-budget controversial films, like – Hell’s Angels, The Racket, The Outlaw, and Scarface.

Howard enjoyed building things as a young boy.

He was also a victim of TS.

2) Caspar LeeCaspar Lee

He is a YouTuber with over 6.6 million subscribers.

Lee started uploading to YouTube in 2011.

In a video, Casper speaks out about his battle with TS, which compelled him to make animal noises.

Casper Lee was 6 years old when he first discovered he had the syndrome.

3) David Beckham

David Beckham

© Getty Images

He is a former professional football player of English origin who played in the position of midfielder.

During his sporting career, he played for clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, Preston North End, Los Angeles Galaxy, AC Milan, and PSG.

Beckham married Spice Girl Victoria Beckham on July 4, 1999. 

In a television interview, David says he has tried to break his cycle of repetitive behavior, but cannot stop.

4) Samuel JohnsonSamuel Johnson

He was an English poet, moralist, author, and literary critic.

The mid-18th century in England is frequently called the “Age of Johnson.”

In 1735, Samuel married Elizabeth “Tetty” Jervis Porter.

Samuel Johnson showed all of the symptoms of TS, however, he was not diagnosed as the syndrome was not known in his lifetime.

5) Tim HowardTim Howard

He is an American professional soccer player who plays as a goalkeeper. 

Tim Howard has been the 1st choice for the US national team as a goalkeeper in the last decade.

Howard played for Manchester United from 2003 to 2007.

Tim was diagnosed with TS when he was in sixth grade.

6) Marc Elliott

He is an American inspirational speaker and author who has been diagnosed with TS at the age of nine.

Once he completed his graduation, he embarked on a nationwide speaking tour outlining his experiences on growing up with the syndrome and advocating tolerance.

7) Marc Summers

He is an American television personality who started his career as a radio disc jockey and stand-up comedian from the year 1972.

Marc Summers has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which is a form of TS.

8) André MalrauxAndré Malraux

André Malraux was a French art historian, novelist, and statesman who became an active supporter of General Charles de Gaulle (led the French Resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II).

Olivier Todd, a biographer who published a book on Malraux in 2005, suggests that André Malraux had TS.

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9) Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd

© Getty Images

He is a famous screenwriter and comedian of Canadian origin. Dan is better known for his act of caricature of numerous well-known persons as part of ”Saturday Night Live.”

Aykroyd was born with different webbed toes and colored eyes and planned on becoming a Catholic priest until he turned 18.

In 1984, he starred in the movie called ”Ghostbusters,” which spawned a sequel and eventually an entire media franchise.

In 1994, Dan Aykroyd received an honorary Doctorate from Carleton University. In addition, in 1998, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

He was also diagnosed with mild TS and Asperger’s at a young age.

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10) Mahmoud Abdul-RaufMahmoud Abdul-Rauf

He is a former American professional basketball player who played basketball for Gulfport High School and in the NBA for the Denver Nuggets.

He finished his 9-year NBA career with a 90.5% free-throw shooting percentage.

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf has a moderate form of TS.

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11) Jim EisenreichJim Eisenreich

He retired from baseball in 1998, capping an amazing career that spanned 15 major-league seasons and included 2 World Series appearances.

Jim Eisenreich has TS, and he runs the Jim Eisenreich Foundation for Children with Tourette’s.

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12) Wolfgang Amadeus MozartMozart

He is considered one of the best classical composers.

Mozart composed over 600 works, including some of the most loved and famous pieces of operatic, symphonic, and choral music. In addition, his pieces became known for their sensual violence and sophistication.

Historians believe that Mozart had TS.

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13) Dash MihokDash Mihok

Born on May 24, 1974, Dash is a popular actor who has acted in Too Late and Before I Wake.

In 1993, Mihok made his TV debut in the ABC children’s special CityKids, and in 1995, he landed his 1st prime-time role in a Law & Order episode. He is currently one of the stars of the drama ”Ray Donovan.”

Dash Mihok was diagnosed with TS when he was 6 years old.

In an interview, Dash Mihok said: ”My first tic was to shake my head violently. I was in karate class, and I was shaking violently.”

Here is a quick recap of the famous people with Tourette’s Syndrome:

  1. Howard Hughes
  2. Caspar Lee
  3. David Beckham
  4. Samuel Johnson
  5. Tim Howard
  6. Marc Elliott
  7. Marc Summers
  8. André Malraux
  9. Dan Aykroyd
  10. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
  11. Jim Eisenreich
  12. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  13. Dash Mihok

Featured image credit – Getty Images

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