Battling Same Condition as Late Muhammad Ali, Baywatch Star Credits His ‘Lifelong Passion’ to Stay Fit and Alive

Published 10/08/2023, 1:30 PM EDT

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1990s American television fans are well aware of the highly successful series on lifeguards, Baywatch. With a massive viewership, the series had an 11-season run. Masses still revere the actors of the popular show. Director Matt Felker is now set to bring Baywatch: The American Dream to screens as a documentary feature that will picture the cultural impact of the 1990s series. 

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The prominent actor from the series, Michael Newman, recently exclusively spoke to People about his life-threatening condition and how physical activity is helping him to sustain himself for a while. 

Michael Newman is battling Parkinson’s disease with physical activity

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Struggles with neurodegenerative disorders are not unknown. The world-famous boxer Mohammed Ali also suffered from Parkinson’s for thirty years. The disease is associated with tremors and mobility issues. Newman on the other hand, was diagnosed with the disorder 16 years ago. 

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Despite being reluctant to speak about his condition initially, the actor opened up about his journey after persuasion from the director Felker. After Newman’s wife observed a weird shake in the 50-year-old actor’s movement, the doctor diagnosed it as Parkinson’s. 

But Newman, who pursued physical activity as a ‘lifelong passion‘ sustained the disease for 16 years and hopes to continue the journey with the help of intense cardio. The actor called himself “lucky” for pursuing an active lifestyle and said, “I’ve been training for this.” “Somebody that was 65 and not very athletic, if they got the news that they got Parkinson’s, it wouldn’t turn out as well,” he added. Newman’s love for the ocean is a testimony to his intense physical activity. 

The director calls the 66-year-old a Superman

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The actor was first associated with the popular series as the real-life lifeguard. Newman was known to perform extraordinary stunts in the water during the shoot. He was later offered the role of Newmie Newman, which was well-connected with the Baywatch fans. 

Citing the unique bond, the 66-year-old has with water, Felker said, “In the water, he’s like Superman, and on land, he’s Clark Kent.” Substantiating his view, the young director added, “You see him on land and he’s stumbling, he’s tripping … but you put him in the water and the dude’s like Superman.

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Newman learned to overcome his disability with his love for fitness despite the disease affecting his mobility. He is truly an inspiration to many fitness enthusiasts. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by:

Etha Bindu Rani

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Etha Bindu Rani is a Bodybuilding writer at EssentiallySports. Being a fitness enthusiast, she considers Ronnie Coleman and Chris Bumstead as her inspirations. Apart from that, Etha is passionate about writing.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Manikandan

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