M.A.S.H star Alan Alda has spoken publicly about his battle with Parkinson's disease for the first time.
The 82-year-old actor appeared on CBS This Morning and revealed he was diagnosed with the disorder three and a half years ago.
Alda, best known for his leading role of Hawkeye Pierce on the iconic tv series, admitted that the neurodegenerative disease 'hasn't stopped him' from living his daily life.
'I've had a full life since [the diagnosis],' Alda revealed. 'I've acted. I've given talks. I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science...It hasn’t stopped my life at all. I’ve had a richer life than I’ve had up until now.'
The actor admitted he decided to speak out on the diagnosis because he began to realise his thumb was twitching in a recent television interview, and it was 'only a matter of time' before fans would begin to speculate.
Alda told CBS: 'I said, ‘I want to know if there’s anything I can do. I want to do it before things start to show up'.'
'You still have things you can do. I’m taking boxing lessons three times a week. I do singles tennis a couple of times a week.'
'What’s interesting is this is a disease that’s different for almost everyone who has it,' he pointed out, also noting that individually, 'each day is different from the next.'
Alda added, 'You don’t know what it’s going to be. But the main thing is there’s stuff you can do.'
When asked how he continues to maintain such positivity, the actor compared his diagnosis to a puzzle that needs to be solved.
'What do I have to adapt to carry on a normal life?' he said. 'I enjoy solving puzzles, it’s really fun. I’m not angry. It’s a challenge. You’ve got to cross the street, there are cars coming. How do you cross the street?…You find a way to do it.'
The Emmy, Oscar and Tony-nominated actor said he hopes anyone else suffering from the disease will remember 'that there are things you can do.'
'I think my saying something about it publicly today is going to make one thing a little easier: I’m not going to worry that while I’m trying to say something, I’m not going to be thinking, ‘Is my thumb on a life of its own?’ '
Alda will be discussing his diagnosis further on his newly launched podcast, Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda.