Eddie Marsan
Source: Getty Images

Eddie Marsan's Character in 'Ray Donovan' Has Parkinson's Disease — Does He Have It in Real Life?


Jan. 13 2022, Published 5:04 p.m. ET

Fans of the hit 2013–2020 Showtime series Ray Donovan are likely very familiar with Eddie Marsan, who plays Terry Donovan, the Donovan family's eldest sibling and an ex-boxer. The character has Parkinson's disease, a central nervous system disorder that tends to impact one's freedom of movement and can induce tremors.

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Considering Eddie's phenomenal portrayal of Terry's character and his medical conditions on Ray Donovan, many fans have begun asking if Eddie has Parkinson's disease in real life. So, does the actor actually have the nervous system condition? Keep reading for a complete breakdown.

Eddie Marsan
Source: Getty Images
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Does Eddie Marsan actually have Parkinson's disease in real life?

Although Eddie does a phenomenal job portraying Terry and his condition, the actor actually does not have Parkinson's disease in real life. Eddie has spoken on numerous occasions about his work playing someone with such a serious illness, and he seems to have learned quite a bit from the experience overall.

"People have very stereotypical ideas about Parkinson’s sufferers, and it’s not all the same,” Eddie told Assignment X in a 2013 interview. “There are different forms of it. There are different ways of [portraying] it. There are different ways people overcome it."

The character Terry is a retired boxer who now owns a gym, and as time goes on and the show progresses, fans see his battle with Parkinson's disease progress as well.

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Eddie Marsan
Source: Getty Images

Eddie Marsan opened up about his close friend who had Parkinson's disease.

"My life was changed by a bookmaker [bookie] from the East End who suffered from Parkinson’s and died two years ago," the British actor said during the Assignment X interview, calling the man his best friend and noting that he worked for him as a youth. Young Eddie had aspirations of becoming an actor, and the man offered to pay for Eddie to attend acting school.

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He later added: "One day, he got robbed in his shop and somebody hit him over the head with a brick, and subsequently, sixteen years later, he developed Parkinson’s disease. We think it came from the hit on the head. He was 80 when he died, and it developed when he was about 68. He died two years ago."

He went on to later explain: "One of the things about [the Ray Donovan character] Terry is, when he was younger, he was the oldest brother, the toughest, the one who was more competent and felt responsible for the others, but now Ray is looking after him to a certain extent, which was what happened to my friend. He was the guy who was at the bar who got the drinks and looked after everybody, and then people had to look after him, which was the hardest thing for him to do — the psychological damage rather than the physical damage.”

The actor — who said that he has been close to several people in his life who have had Parkinson's — also noted that he studied many people who have the disease, including boxers who develop Parkinson's as a result of blows to the head.

Be sure to check out the new Ray Donovan movie, airing on Showtime on Jan. 14, 2022.

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