Skip to content

Did David Niven Have MND?

In July 1983, at the age of 73, the acclaimed novelist and Academy Award-winning actor, David Niven, passed away due to motor neurone disease. Throughout his battle with the illness, he displayed a remarkable combination of stoic determination, bravery, and a constant sense of humor.

Even in his final moments, he defiantly offered a ‘thumbs up’ gesture, which then became a symbol adopted by the MND Association for fundraising purposes.

The disease had affected him severely, but he maintained a positive outlook despite these difficulties.

In a touching moment of camaraderie, written with assistance and sent to fellow actor Anthony Quayle only two weeks before his passing, Niven had said, after a reference to “hoping for the best”: “I can’t write, swallow well, walk properly, but apart from this I’m fine. Don’t, whatever you do, get motor neurone disease.”

Hazel Carter, care giver and author

Hazel Carter, care giver and author

Want to know more…?

For a real life example of how MND has affected a family, as well as access to one of the few books available looking at MND from a caregiver’s perspective, plus invaluable information for family care-givers, friends and health care professionals, click the button below.