Owen Wilson Brings Attention to Father's Battle with Alzheimer's

Caitlin Burm
By Caitlin BurmAugust 27, 2015

This week, actor Owen Wilson spoke candidly with Dallas Morning News about his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease for the first time.

See how Wilson brings attention to Alzheimer’s, and learn more about the effect that it has had on his family and the Alzheimer’s community.

Owen Wilson Brings Attention to Alzheimer’s

“It’s one of those things where if somebody had said 10 years ago, when my dad and I were joking around, having a putting match, that this is the position your dad’s going to be in, where he basically needs 24-hour care, you’d think, ‘Gosh, I won’t be able to handle that. That’s just not possible,’  Wilson tells Dallas Morning News.

“It is a rough thing,” Wilson says. “But it does happen. Such things just happen in life.”

Wilson’s father, 74-year-old Robert A. “Bob” Wilson, is married to photographer Laura Wilson and father to actors Andrew, Luke and Owen.

A successful Dallas executive who managed the city’s public television affiliate, KERA, Bob Wilson was behind the success of Jim Lehrer. He hired Lehrer to host the news program, “Newsroom,” the forerunner of the highly acclaimed, “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.”

Wilson says that for he and his brothers, “there just wasn’t a bigger influence on us,” and adds that their father is the one person that he and his brothers turn to for advice and comfort.

He says of the diagnosis:

“You just have to do your best to deal with it. You’ve got no choice but to accept it. Then, you sort of still look for the things to be grateful for.”

Speaking about an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Wilson isn’t the first actor to speak publicly about Alzheimer’s.

Last year, inspired by his mother-in-law’s battle with the disease, actor Seth Rogen spoke publicly about Alzheimer’s and addressed the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services about the disease. He and his wife, Lauren Miller, also created the Hilarity for Charity Fund — that is a part of the national Alzheimer’s Association — which helps families struggling to provide care  for the disease and makes additional Alzheimer’s support groups available.

Hopefully, the personal experiences shared by Wilson and Rogen will continue to inspire others to speak about the disease and raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research.

Have you joined the battle against Alzheimer’s? How do you bring attention to the disease? Share your stories with us in the comments below.

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Caitlin Burm

Caitlin Burm

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