Alan Alda Reveals Parkinson's Diagnosis

The actor, best known for his role on 'M*A*S*H,' spoke about living with the disease on Tuesday's 'CBS This Morning.'

Alan Alda has revealed that he has Parkinson's disease. Appearing on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, the M*A*S*H actor explained that he was diagnosed with the illness three and a half years ago.

"I've had a full life since then," he said. "I've acted, I've given talks, I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook. I started this new podcast. And I noticed that – I had been on television a lot in the last couple of weeks talking about the new podcast – and I could see my thumb twitch in some shots, and I thought, it's probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but that's not where I am."

Alda, 82, revealed that he asked for a scan after reading an article that acting out your dreams, something he was doing, could be a very early symptom of the disease. Months later, he noticed the twitch in his thumb.

"Not to shortchange people who are suffering with really severe symptoms," he said, "but in the very beginning to be immobilized by fear and think the worst thing has happened to you – it hasn't happened to you. There are still things you can do."

He added, "It's like a puzzle to be solved. What do I have to adapt to to carry on a normal life? … It's a challenge. People have all kinds of things."

Since playing Army Capt. "Hawkeye" Pierce on CBS' beloved military comedy M*A*S*H, which wrapped its 11-season run in 1983 with a finale that was watched by 106 million people, Alda has appeared on TV shows including ER, The West Wing, 30 Rock, The Big C, The Blacklist, Horace and Pete and The Good Fight and films like Manhattan Murder Mystery, Everyone Says I Love You, The Object of My Affection, The Aviator, Tower Heist and Bridge of Spies. He's won Emmys and Golden Globes and has been nominated for an Oscar.

On CBS This Morning, Alda stressed that he doesn't feel like he's been held back by the disease, explaining that since his diagnosis, in addition to acting, he's taken up boxing and tennis.

"It hasn't stopped my life at all," he said. "I've had a richer life than I've had up until now."

Watch Alda's full interview above.