In spite of enduring excruciating pain following a life-threatening car crash, Morgan Freeman, the Oscar-winning actor, demonstrates that his strength of character is as remarkable as his distinctive baritone voice.
Known for his soothing yet authoritative portrayal of God in films like Bruce Almighty (2003) and Evan Almighty (2007), Freeman, now 85 years old, continues to endure permanent physical damage from a single-vehicle crash near his Mississippi residence.
The incident occurred in 2008, the same year he starred as Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight, the second installment of the Batman series, The Dark Knight Trilogy. According to reports, emergency personnel employed the jaws of life to extricate him and his passenger from his severely wrecked Nissan Maxima, which had rolled over multiple times. Air-lifted to the hospital, Freeman underwent a four-hour surgery to mend a broken left shoulder, arm, and elbow. Although the procedure was expected to facilitate a complete recovery, the beloved actor was left with lasting impairments, as he revealed in a 2010 interview with People magazine.
Freeman disclosed, “I suffered nerve damage, and it hasn’t improved. I can’t move it,” referring to his left hand, which explains the compression glove he is often seen wearing. The glove helps maintain blood circulation and prevents swelling, as Freeman explained, “If you don’t move your hand, it will swell up. Do you know you move your hand about a million times a day?”
At the 2023 Oscars, Freeman appeared on stage wearing a black tuxedo accompanied by a matching elbow-length satin compression glove while presenting an award with Margot Robbie.
The compression glove has become a staple in his wardrobe, aiding in managing the pain associated with his condition. Freeman suffers from fibromyalgia, which the National Institute of Health describes as “chronic, widespread pain throughout the body or at multiple sites.” The condition is often characterized by aching, burning, or throbbing sensations, accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, numbness, headaches, and sleep disturbances. Previously considered psychosomatic, fibromyalgia is now recognized as a clinical diagnosis by the American Medical Association. While there is no known cure, it can be managed through a combination of exercise or movement therapies, psychological and behavioral therapy, and medication.
In a 2012 interview with Esquire, Freeman candidly shared his experiences with this chronic disorder. Tom Chiarella, the author of the article, observed Freeman’s occasional wincing and discomfort, stating, “Every so often, he grabs his left shoulder and winces. It hurts when he walks, when he sits still, when he rises from his couch, and when he missteps in a damp meadow. More than hurts. It seems a kind of agony, though he never mentions it.” Chiarella further describes the pain as a gripping clamp that affects Freeman’s relatively nonfunctional limb, often causing him to momentarily lose composure. Freeman acknowledged the debilitating effects of fibromyalgia, saying, “It’s the fibromyalgia. Up and down the arm. That’s where it gets so bad. Excruciating.”
Despite the challenges he faces, Freeman remains resolute and refuses to let his condition hinder his acting career. Since the accident, he has continued to take on roles in action-packed films such as Red (2010), Oblivion (2013), Now You See Me (2013), and The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021).
Freeman stands as an exceptionally versatile and highly esteemed actor, earning the utmost respect in the industry. His performances have left an indelible mark, garnering numerous accolades from the Academy. Notable works include Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), which earned him a Golden Globe, Shawshank Redemption (1994), Invictus (2009), and Million Dollar Baby (2004), for which he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He has also showcased his talent in films such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Unforgiven (1992), Amistad (1997), and Gone Baby Gone (2007).
Moreover, Freeman has lent his captivating voice to narrate documentaries such as Long Way Home (1997), March of the Penguins (2005), The Story of God with Morgan Freeman (2016-2019), and Our Universe (2022).
Continuing to thrive, Freeman has a slate of upcoming films, including Gunner, A Good Person, and The Ritual Killer. In the latter, his co-star Cole Hauser, known for his role in Yellowstone, commended Freeman, describing him as amazing and incredible. Hauser highlighted Freeman’s dual role as an actor and mentor on set, providing invaluable tips and guidance during their shared scenes.
However, Freeman is not the sole celebrity living with this invisible condition.
In 2017, the multi-talented Lady Gaga revealed that she, too, grapples with severe pain stemming from fibromyalgia. Expressing frustration towards those who question the legitimacy of the condition, Gaga emphasized the need for compassion, remarking, “Chronic pain is no joke. And it’s every day waking up not knowing how you’re going to feel.” Joining her in openly discussing their battles with fibromyalgia are actress and comedian Janeane Garofalo (Reality Bites, 1994, and Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, 1997), Irish songstress Sinéad O’Connor (“Nothing Compares 2 U,” 1990), actor Susan Flannery (The Bold and the Beautiful), and the late singer-songwriter Rosie Hamlin (“Angel Baby,” 1961).
It is challenging to envision a world without Freeman and his captivating voice, capable of transforming even the most mundane subjects into captivating narratives. Share your thoughts on Freeman and his resilience in the face of this invisible condition.
Let us extend healing thoughts to Freeman and all those who bravely confront the daily challenges of fibromyalgia.