Home Leisure & Sports Wendy Williams’ brave revelation—living with ‘progressive aphasia’ and ‘frontotemporal dementia’

Wendy Williams’ brave revelation—living with ‘progressive aphasia’ and ‘frontotemporal dementia’

Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams’ team has confirmed that the former daytime talk show host has been diagnosed with primary ‘progressive aphasia’ and ‘frontotemporal dementia’ (FTD). In a press release, aides to Williams said her condition, including aphasia, has impacted her language and communication abilities, while FTD has impacted Williams’ behavior and cognitive functions. Last year, actor Bruce Willis also shared his battle with the same form of dementia.

Known for hosting The Wendy Williams Show from 2008 to 2021, Williams has faced a myriad of health challenges leading to her departure, including Graves’ disease and lymphedema. The show ultimately concluded in June 2022 after several guest hosts took over.

“Over the past few years, questions have been raised at times about Wendy’s ability to process information, and many have speculated about Wendy’s condition, particularly when she began to lose words, act erratically at times, and have difficulty understanding financial transactions,” her team said in the news release.

“The decision to share this news was difficult and made after careful consideration, not only to advocate for understanding and compassion for Wendy but to raise awareness about aphasia and frontotemporal dementia and support the thousands of others facing similar circumstances.”

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored Williams in 2019 with the 2,677th ‘star’ on the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, in the Category of Television. Born in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Williams counts as one of the world’s foremost media moguls, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, performers, and best-selling authors. She became a household name thanks to her nationally syndicated talk show, The Wendy Williams Show.

The show was a powerhouse on daytime television, earning multiple Daytime Emmy nominations and boasting memorabilia in the Smithsonian Museum. Broadcasting in over 50 countries, The Wendy Williams Show consistently drew more than 1.6 million viewers per episode.

At the show’s heart was a diverse mix of interviews with celebrity guests from television, film, music, and sports. Williams and the show have been recognized with Daytime Emmy nominations for ‘Best Talk Show Host’ and ‘Best Entertainment Talk Show.’

Before conquering daytime television, Williams spent 23 years building a devoted fan base on the radio with The Wendy Williams Experience, a top-rated daily radio show. Syndicated nationally, it aired on WBLS in New York, captivating an audience of more than 12 million people. In recognition of her contributions, Williams was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November 2009, a prestigious honor held by only a handful of women.

Her versatility as a performer extends beyond the airwaves, with TV, Broadway and film credits to her name. She has graced the screen in various roles, from playing herself on NBC’s 30 Rock to competing on season 12 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Her hosting stint on Game Show Network’s original series Love Triangle, along with featured guest appearances on ABC’s One Life to Live and Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva, showcased her diverse talent. Additionally, Williams took on significant roles in the major motion pictures Think Like a Man and Think Like A Man, Too, as well as a memorable turn as ‘Mama Morton’ in the Tony-winning revival of the musical Chicago.

In 2014 Harper Collins published Hold Me in Contempt, Williams’ seventh book and debut romance novel. The book skyrocketed to New York Times Best-Seller status on its first day of release, solidifying her influence across various forms of media.

Adding another feather to her cap, Williams ventured into the world of fashion design, achieving the status of a #1 selling brand with HSN through her Wendy Williams collection.

The announcement about her health arrives just days ahead of the premiere of the two-part documentary, Where Is Wendy Williams? airing on Lifetime on February 24 and 25. Williams herself produced the documentary, which candidly examines her experience with Graves’ disease and other topics. Contrary to the portrayal in the film, Wendy’s sister, Wanda Finnie, reassured the public that Williams is now in a much better place emotionally and is in greater shape.

“I spoke with her yesterday, and she is, from what I understand, in a wellness, healing environment,” Finnie said. “We cannot reach out to her, but she can reach out to us. And she is in a healing place emotionally. She’s not the person that you see in this film.”

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