Pat Harrington Jr. Dies, Another Celebrity with Alzheimer’s

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Published: Jan 7th, 2016
Pat Harrington Jr. Dies, Another Celebrity with Alzheimer’s
Article Updated:January 2nd, 2020

The actor who played "The Super" on the hit TV comedy "One Day at a Time" passed away on January 6, 2016, at age 86. Daniel Patrick Harrington Jr. was best known for his role as cocky superintendent Dwayne Schneider. The CBS comedy "One Day at a Time," aired from December 1975 to May 1984, starred Bonnie Franklin as a divorced mom raising two teenage girls (Mackenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli) in an apartment in Indianapolis.

Harrington joins an ever-growing list of celebrities who have suffered or are now suffering from Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. Perhaps the most prominent celebrity with Alzheimer's is former President Ronald Reagan. 

Interesting enough, it was then-President Reagan who, in 1983, designated November as National Alzheimer's Awareness Month. Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1994. 

Celebrities Who Suffered from forms of Dementia

Other celebrities who have suffered from this disease include: 

  • AC/DC's Malcolm Young
  • Singer Glen Campbell
  • Legendary actor Charlton Heston
  • Legendary actress Rita Hayworth
  • University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team head coach Pat Summitt
  • Singer Perry Como
  • Star of "Death Wish," actor Charles Bronson
  • Painter Norman Rockwell
  • Professional boxer Sugar Ray Robinson
  • Composer Aaron Copeland
  • TV's "Penguin" actor Burgess Meredith
  • "Golden Girls" actress Estelle Getty
  • "Columbo" TV actor Peter Falk
  • Legendary actor James Stewart
  • Actor Eddie Albert
  • Actress Evelyn Keyes
  • Author and writer E.B. White
  • Mother of the "freedom movement" Rosa Parks
  • "Star Trek's Scotty" actor James Doohan 
  • Comedian Robin Williams
  • Radio personality and voice actor Casey Kasem 

As for Harrington, he won a Golden Globe in 1981 and an Emmy Award in 1984 for his work on the show. He died surrounded by his family, his daughters Tresa and Terry reported on Facebook. Their father had been suffering from Alzheimer's and had been hospitalized following a fall.

Alzheimer's is one of many issues that cause people to require help with activities of daily living or supervision due to memory issues. The need for long-term care services has increased over the years as more people live longer than ever before. The number of U.S. adults 65 and older — 49.2 million as of the 2016 census — is expected to nearly double to 77 million by 2030. 

DementiaCare Costly - Family Often Become Caregivers

According to a report published by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Magazine, the cost of this care is generally out-of-pocket unless a person has Long-Term Care Insurance. Health Insurance and Medicarepay little or nothing toward this type of care.

All too often, family members either become full-time or part-time caregivers. Being a caregiver places tremendous burdens on them physically, emotionally, and even financially. 

Paid care is costly and will drain even substantial estates. The LTC NEWS cost of care calculator shows a national average for a nursing home well over $100,000 a year. Most extended care is delivered at home or in adult day care centers or assisted living and memory care facilities. These costs are also expensive.

Harrington's Family Heartbroken

"My heart is broken to pieces, and I will cry and cry until I just won't."

"I weep, knowing that he is not long on this earthly plane, cussing at him today to get him to open his mouth to eat the pureed food, as his swallowing mechanism isn't functioning so well, but then alas, he opens his mouth for ice cream."

"I break down, laying my head on his chest, and the first sign of recognition, as he places his hand behind my head to comfort me. He wanted to ease my pain," she explained. "I pray that whatever happens, in the next days or weeks, that it is for the best."

Tresa Harrington, daughter

Harrington's Career

Harrington worked opposite James Garner in the 1963 films The Wheeler Dealers and Move Over, Darling and also showed up on the big screen in Easy Come, Easy Go (1967) with Elvis Presley, The President's Analyst (1967) with James Coburn, 2000 Years Later (1969) with Terry-Thomas and The Candidate (1972) with Robert Redford.

On television, Harrington appeared on many game shows and on such series as Alfred Hitchcock PresentsThe Beverly HillbilliesThe Flying NunF TroopThe MunstersThe RookiesMcMillan and WifeThe Wayans Bros., Murder, She Wrote and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

In 2012, Harrington made his final onscreen appearance, appearing as the manager of an apartment building on Bertinelli's Hot in Cleveland.

Editor's Note

Long-Term Care Insurance can be an effective way to address the financial costs and burdens of aging. However, since Long-Term Care Insurance is underwritten based on your health history you can’t wait until your health changes. The underwriting includes the medications you are taking and other factors. Every company has different rules. You will have to answer questions to get an accurate quote.

Find a specialist vetted by LTC News. This would be a licensed professional certified and approved by LTC News. This Long-Term Care Insurance Advisor will review your specific information and help you find the appropriate coverage that fits your needs, concerns, and budget. Just click here to find your specialist.

Long-Term Care Insurance is easy, affordable, and rate stable income and asset protection. Take action now to safeguard your savings and reduce the tremendous stress and pressure otherwise placed on family members. Make sure your family has peace-of-mind as you get older when you retire.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly
James Kelly

Contributor Since
January 1st, 1970

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

About the Author

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

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