Dear Mr. Ferrell,

I saw the news bulletin — as did everyone — that you intend to portray my father in the throes of Alzheimer’s for a comedy that you are also producing. Perhaps you have managed to retain some ignorance about Alzheimer’s and other versions of dementia. Perhaps if you knew more, you would not find the subject humorous.

Alzheimer’s doesn’t care if you are President of the United States or a dockworker. It steals what is most precious to a human being — memories, connections, the familiar landmarks of a lifetime that we all come to rely on to hold our place secure in this world and keep us linked to those we have come to know and love. I watched as fear invaded my father’s eyes — this man who was never afraid of anything. I heard his voice tremble as he stood in the living room and said, “I don’t know where I am.” I watched helplessly as he reached for memories, for words, that were suddenly out of reach and moving farther away. For ten long years he drifted — past the memories that marked his life, past all that was familiar…and mercifully, finally past the fear.

There was laughter in those years, but there was never humor.

Alzheimer’s is the ultimate pirate, pillaging a person’s life and leaving an empty landscape behind. It sweeps up entire families, forcing everyone to claw their way through overwhelming grief, confusion, helplessness, and anger. Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have — I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.

Twice a week I run a support group called Beyond Alzheimer’s for caregivers and family members of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. I look into haunted eyes that remind me of my own when my father was ill. I listen to stories of helplessness and loss and am continually moved by the bravery of those who wake up every morning not knowing who their loved one will be that day, or what will be lost. The only certainty with Alzheimer’s is that more will be lost and the disease will always win in the end.

Perhaps you would like to explain to them how this disease is suitable material for a comedy.




  1. Penni Barnett says:

    Thank you for setting it straight. I lost my beloved father to Alzhiemers also. And my mother to a stroke. It wasn’t funny and my heart is still broken.

    • Allen says:

      I lost my father to Alzheimers…. I lost my mother to cancer. Both forms of death are lingering. My mother was much more pragmatic than my father and probably would have been put off by any comedy regarding Alzheimers, my guess is that my father would not have been put off by the comedy. My father always said if you can’t laugh about it, you’ll cry about it.

    • Margaret says:

      Certainly gratified to know that this was cleared up in a hurry. I saw the item this morning the Mr. Farrell was making this movie and was deeply concerned because I could not remove the images that Mr. Farrell had left with me acting out his comedy. Would hate to see him in this film.

      • soozannah says:

        A film about Alzheimer’s set for comedy? The Monster takes everything, slowly, day by day you lose a little bit of the one you love until there is a mere shadow of the person you knew. In the final stages my mom forgot how to walk, eventually losing any concept of moving an arm, a leg, sitting up. Then she forgot how to swallow. When she was not able to drink water, she hung on for awhile until I let her know she could let go, that I would be OK. She died a few hours after that tearful,one-sided communication. Where is the humor in this Mr. Ferrell?

        • Susanne Thompson says:

          Feeling with you and everybody else whose loved ones suffer/ed from similar types of the disease. The worst part of our life – helplessness in both us and our once so strong parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends … also lost my parents and really ‘feel’ with all of you. Nobody should ever make a movie of the kind.

    • Lorraine Perez says:

      My grandmother Queenie had dementia for over 10 years. It is worse than death itself. Please reconsider making fun of any illness. There by the Grave of God go YOU!

    • Paula says:

      I too lost my father just this past February. Was hard as the date was 2/14/2016. Lost on Valentines Day. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and that is what took his life. It is not a funny thing as Patty says. My father was just like Presdent Reagan, scared at times along with the confusion of not knowing where or what to do along with other physical problems.

      • Peggy says:

        My mother passed away in 2012 from alzheimers. People think that they don’t know anything that is going on around them. Well I’m here to tell you they do. My mother couldn’t talk couldn’t walk or take care of herself. But if you looked deep into her eyes you could see she knew everything. My family helped me care for her right up to her death. The day of her death we brought hospice on board. My mother heard all of us talking about it. She sat up in the chair she had been slumped in and glared at all of us. She was telling us no hospice for her. She passed away that night. It was not a comedy no fun and games. It was heartache for us. Will Ferrell if you make this movie you are not only hurting President Regal and his family but also millions of other families who have suffered the loss of a loved one who suffered from alzheimers and lost their battle:(

    • Angela says:

      I couldn’t agree more with Patti’s commentary. Whoever thinks human suffering is comedic seems to have their own issues. To make a comedy of one our beloved President’s and his family’s suffering is beyond vicious. There are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people who have suffered from Alzheimer’s or from family who had this serious disease. This is box office poison and I hope it is never made.

    • Bev says:

      I lost my dad and my father in law to Alzheimer’s. They were both affected differently. One lost his memory including who was his wife and was o.k. in mobility, and the other could remember people but had some weird ideas of what was happening and lost his mobility.

    • Marilyn Yun says:

      I can’t believe ANYONE would be so insensitive; President Reagan was an admired, beloved President who shared his ongoing battle with Alzheimers and Will Farrell is going to make a movie about this and it is supposed to be funny … what’s next, a comedy about children with downs syndrome????

      • Cal says:

        Unfortunately yes… We live in a culture that has devalued life to the point that the elderly who suffer are thought to be better off dead and children with disabilities better off never to have been born. Making light of them in comedy is not the start. It is the symptom.

        • Sandy says:

          In these days of “political correctness” how can anyone who lives in the public eye like Mr. Farrell even consider something so heinous? Both my mother and my father suffer from dementia. And suffer is the correct word. If this project continues I would strongly suggest a boycott of not only the actor but the film studio.

        • Angela C. says:

          I agree. I understand laughter can be a natural defense and a coping mechanism. Thou, I don’t believe this is the answer to mock or place comedy with in light of something that effects many people and their loved ones… This is very sad and disrespectful.

    • Jack Canute says:

      One of the grandest things this very astute man did is go off to live his life with his family without making everything a cause. Nowadays we can’t get rid of ex presidents and their opinions. Such a graceful act of courage to just go home and deal with it. Ronald Reagan in a nutshell most thoughtful insightful president in my lifetime, his wife’s passing tragic as well but they are once again together. Two very grand people who were not full of themselves and we must all agree class act, world changing figures. Try looking at the Map before Reagan Respectfully Forever the cause of Freedom will be linked to his name!

    • Jason Jackson says:

      This is disgusting! Both of my grandma’s and aunt were diagnosed with Alzheimer. My grandma Beck suffered for 17 years,at times believing she was a child. My grandma Jackson forgot everyone she passed away in confusion. Aunt Christine still suffering. Will Ferrell should be ashamed of himself for not only making Alzheimer disease but one of the greatest presidents in history.

    • Francis says:

      When I first saw today’s post, I thought Will Farrell had decided to take on a very serious role.
      I should have known better…….

    • Walt says:


    • Claudette Saffaye says:

      Will Farrell is an absolute fool to be making this movie. Alzheimers takes away all memory and thoughts from the individual. President Regean did the best he could do given what was dealt him. This is an outrage to make a film like this.

    • Jeannie D. says:

      My father ended his life with Alzhiemers.I can remember the days when I would get upset because I had to repeat what I would say over and over. Now if I could
      go back in time,I would have been more understanding. I had never gone through this before. He was alone, as my Mother had died of cancer 14 years before his death. What I wouldn’t do to have my precious Father and Mother back. I love and miss you both.

    • Nora Klein says:

      We are a group of people who have lost our loved ones to dementia.This disease has stolen all of our hopes and dreams, drained our life savings and scarred us for life. There is no humor in seeing the misery of others.

    • Lance Olson says:

      In 30 days it will be one year since I lost my father to Parkinsons. Although it wasnt Alzhiemers,he suffered from terrible dimetia and hallucinations. For the most part he did remember everything and was aware as his body slowly died! I never thought much of this until it happened to our family. Mr Ferrell is a truly disgusting individual that needs a wake up! I would love to help him with a baseball bat!!

    • Mary Ross says:

      This is no laughing matter! My Mom died from this horrible disease! I’m in early on-set dementia my self. Thank God, we caught it early! It is a progressive illness, and will worsen as I get older, but, for right now, my most serious problem is behavioral. My memory losses are confined to some dates and places. So far, nothing really important. Barring a miracle drug, IT will happen sooner or later I’m 75, and feel blessed to have most of my faculties. My mom didn’t even know her children or the fact one of my younger siblings died before she did. This is nothing to make fun of! Shame on you!!!!

    • Lisa Carter says:

      Alzheimer’s is a disease straight from hell. It’s cruel and takes away your dignity. My grandmother had it and the things this disease made her do was in no way humorous. If Will Ferrell does this movie, i will lose any respect or love i had for him. Only a monster will see any humor with this disease.

    • Phil Millard says:

      I also lost my father to Alzheimer’s disease, it’s been 14 years ago now, and I still see my father laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, no recognition of the wife he loved for 58 years, no recognition of the 5 children he lovingly raised, no speech, no movement other than the shaking of his hands, having to be fed, having to be cleaned.

      No Mr. Farrell, this is not a disease to laugh about, I really thought you had more class than that.

    • jennifer says:

      I am in utter disbelief that anyone would want to make a comedy about the suffering those endure with Alzheimer’s. My brother in law is 54 and has early onset dementia and it is a horrifying disease that not only afflicts the patient but it spreads to the family members that love them so and feel utterly helpless because nothing can be done to stop what lies ahead. Either Will Ferrell is completely ignorant to this disease (and how fortunate for him then if he hasn’t witnessed a loved one suffering from it) or he is completely callus and heartless. To me, if he must stoop to this level to “get laughs”, he isn’t funny at all.

    • Brenda Gordon says:

      I remember the day my father looked at me and thought I was his sister, then, the haunting look of him not knowing me at all. I never saw any humor in his decline!

    • Julie says:

      We lost my beloved Grandmother to this dreadful disease. When she passed away, not much was known about it but to watch her not remember all those that she loved, raised and care for was heartbreaking. Yes, there were times when she would laugh with us, she would look at one of us and say, “I should know you, I’m sure you are “kin” to me”. But…that is the only laughter. When she passed, it was a blessing, because I know if she knew her condition, she would have not wanted to linger as long as she did. I pray that Mr. Ferrell never has to experience this, but if he does, he would definitely think twice about his actions. God bless all the families who have loved ones suffering and praying for a cure and soon.

    • Caregiver says:

      I love your quote in the letter about there was a lot of laughter but not humor. There is a big difference! Losing my sweet dear mother-in-law two months ago to Alzheimer’s who we cared for her the last three years is like an open wound that just won’t heal. We made sure to laugh with her often but the disease stole everything she held precious – her memory, dignity, sense of humor, and self-respect. It is a horrible disease and rather than a movie being made, a grandiose movement to end Alzheimer’s for good should be made!

      • Bob says:

        I can only hope that something positive comes from the ruins of this discussion. I was caregiver to my mom for many years, she had AD and was blind with a whole dictionary full of other diseases. She was a pretty nice lady with a good sense of humor who enjoyed singing in her chorus. We were deserted by all of society all those years, I did not even have any health care nor get social security credits as my own health failed and my teeth and my home crumbled, now years later still never found my own way back and am facing losing my home even and ending up as one of the poorest people on the planet. This is a cruel disease that so often destroys not only the life of the victim but the caregiver as well. There is nothing funny about it or the 500,000 to 700,000 lives that will be lost this year because of it and the many more lives that will be destroyed. It is also not funny that the epidemic has the potential to bring down the world economy because our leaders and system had chosen to ignore this global catastrophe, it is the invisible elephant in the room.

    • John Danforth says:

      Considering that I have 2 family members with this horrible disease let me be clear Mr. Ferrell. Because you considered making this sick film I will never consider another movie you ever make. Make it or not you are off my movie list.

      • Eileen says:

        My sentiments exactly, Mr. Danforth. The fact that he considered it tells me what kind of person he really is. Off my list as well. Thank you for your comment.

    • robin bank says:

      I lost my precious father to this horrific disease. It was a living hell for all of us, mostly for him. The worse was the fear and bewilderment I would see in his eyes, until blessedly, he moved further down this spiraling road to the eventual loss of himself. I will be haunted, by images of him at this time, until my own death. I am changed forever. When I think back, I cringe with a profound sense of sadness and pain!!!!!! Funny? Comedic? Not in the least. To think anything other than tragic, is an abomination.

    • Misty says:

      Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease — it strips a person of who they are, memory by memory.

      Glen Campbell’s song, “I won’t remember you” is a beautiful tribute.

    • Barbara Shetler says:

      My mother suffers from Alzheimer’s and although at this stage she is more loving, funnier, and sweeter than ever, I know the “lost look” in her eyes and the sadness of her silence on the phone when she is confused and most likely afraid. This experience has been anything but amusing. I expect someone will eventually make this “comedy,” since the almighty dollar usually wins overall, but I sincerely thank Mr. Ferrell for bowing out of this project. I respect him for listening, and I pray that he never has to suffer being a victim or witness to this tragic disease.

    • Kathleen Healey says:

      I lost my dad, a brilliant engineer, to this disease last year. You watch them die twice–as their memories are slowly murdered by the disease and then the second death as it eats away at their body just as agonizingly slow as it did the soul. How can anyone think that is funny?

    • Gail says:

      I lost my dad at the end of 2014 to this terrible disease . He passed away in my home that I had set up as a hospice for him with me by his side and his aid by his side and my little granddaughter loving him all the way to heaven . My dad was the most generous funny musical talented brilliant man ever and this world lost a true spirit on that day … But it’s been years since I saw that bright light that was my dad and every day he would forget something someone a word a memory and it broke my heart . By the end of his life the only actual things that he remembered was that I was his daughter and he had a son and he had a granddaughter and he had a grandson and a great granddaughter and we were the lucky ones because he thought he’d before he forgot us . My dad is missed by so many people every single day because of the joy he brought to every occasion and Patty thank you for telling in such an eloquent way to Will Farrell that he should learn about this disease before he ignorantly writes and plays the role depicting your father at the worst time of his life . God bless you and I am so sorry for what your family went through and I do know firsthand how hard it is to know that although your loved ones body is there that the man strong wonderful man that you knew was not there anymore

    • Agnes Welling says:

      My Mom and my Dad died from Alzheimers and it is not the least bit funny! I watched them die slowly, one day at a time. I shed many tears. along the way. It was the hardest thing I have ever Been tbrough, watching my strong, loving parents reduced to people dependent on others for everything. Don’t torcher me by making this movie, please. 🙁

    • Wayne says:

      Only in democrat political un-think would a comedic move about anyone, any human, regardless of his registration could be made fun of. Just a continuation of their efforts to make Reagan look stupid and inept.

  2. Tim Daughtry says:

    Patti, very well said by the spokesperson most qualified to speak on this topic- certainly not Will Ferrell. You, being the penultimate writing goddess of our time, said it much more eloquently than I could ever have. And you were much nicer than I would have been.- Tim, Colorado

    • Mac Feradaig says:

      Who is the ultimate writing goddess of our time, and what makes her better than Patti Davis?

      • Christa says:

        He is saying that Patti Davis is the penultimate writing goddess… not someone else.

        • Katie says:

          Gentle note to Christa: Mac only means that the word penultimate means second best. Many people use the word penultimate to be fancy, thinking it means the vert best. Ultimate is ultimate, just as the word “unique” shouldn’t be prefaced by “very,”
          Forgive me, I’m the widow of a college English prof. and just wanted to mention this.
          As to Ms. Davis’ thoughts, I’m very sorry if anyone sees humor in medical conditions of any kind. As for any president’s foibles preceding illness, I’m afraid that part of their history is open to commentary, but not making fun of anyone’s suffering.
          Best wishes to all here.

          • Eileem says:

            Yes,history is open to commentary.
            However, as Mr. Reagan’s daughter, it must have been so very hard to hear a high profile Hollywood actor, acpeer of Mr. Reagan’s, no less, was to portray him in such a disrespectful way.
            My heart goes out to his family. I hope Mr Ferrel rethinks his position.

  3. Laura says:

    Thank you. Both my father-in-law & mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s. I was my MIL’s caregiver for the last several years of her life. Yes, there were some funny moments & times we laughed instead of crying. Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease that I don’t think people understand unless they have lived with it. Yes there are funny moments but it is most surely not a funny topic

  4. Debra Weierman says:

    Patti, When I read the news article regarding Will Ferrell’s film project depicting a comedic portrayal of President Reagan’s, your father’s, struggle with Alzheimer’s, I was physically and emotionally sickened..
    Has Mr. Ferrell’s need for money and cheap laughs clouded his judgment and blackened his heart to the confusion, terror, sadness and torture that millions of people suffering from the ravages of this unspeakable disease experience EVERY DAY?Is he blind to the searing heartbreak that family members and friends of dementia sufferers must grapple with EVERY DAY? Not to mention the economic challenges and family strife caregivers must endure in caring for their loved ones.

    My beloved mother suffers from dementia. Much of her memory of her 92 years has been erased. She cries every day for her long deceased parents, siblings, and husband. Often from a child’s perspective. Oh, she still plays rummy and checkers. And usually wins. But I live in fear of the day she forgets how to play those games or forgets me, her Baby. (I’m 62.)

    Mr. Ferrell, please rethink this film project. Go to a nursing home and tell your jokes to the residents there. They would be the best audience you ever met. And you would be enlightened and changed forever.

  5. David Marks says:

    If this otherwise idiotic comedian cannot find other venues through and by which to offend others, perhaps Will Ferrell needs to make that ever-so-tough decision to end his career now. I never thought anything he did or said to be funny, not remotely, and Patti, I, too, take offense at his plans, which make a mockery of a devastating disease, but which bring horror to your family, and others, who have experienced the trauma of this kind of terminal disease; one which has no equal. I’d say it’s time to join hands and combat ignorance in the face of intolerance: say no to Ferrell. Let’s do it. Just for you, let me say that I’m saddened that you must go through this, Patti. I think by now, you know how sincere my heart is, and this goes beyond sick, and way beyond inappropriate.

  6. Beautifully put, Patti! Your writing style is eloquent and impacting. With me, it was my mother who suffered a series of small strokes. Physically, she was fine but her short-term memory was almost erased. The dementia and Alzheimer’s settled in slowly but obviously. I love your letter. I doubt if it will change Mr. Farrell’s mind…but you never know. All of us who have been down this road should be touched and impassioned by your writing. Please keep sharing!

  7. Leslie Smouha says:

    This brings me to tears. How heartless and inhumane can someone be. My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s for 14 years. My husband, myself and my children could never have slept a wink if we placed her in a home. When I look back I don’t know how I survived. Perhaps Will Ferrell should count his blessings and recall the saying “there but for the grace of God go I.”

  8. Elizabeth Saenz says:

    I am so sorry that others find humor in a family’s great sorrow and pain. I hope a whisper comes into Mr. Ferrell’s ears from your lips and right thinking prevails.

  9. Brad Berger says:

    Patti as usual some people just don’t get it. You have stated your point with calm clarity. If Hollywood is not smart enough to come up with real humor rather than making fun of people with Alzheimer’s then something is wrong with Hollywood. Keep up the good fight.

  10. This is disgraceful — I had not heard such a project was in production. You are honoring your father and mother by speaking out against it. I hope you will place it as an op-ed so everyone will be aware. Beautifully written and well put.

  11. John Schatzel says:

    With so much available comedic material to pull from, I am baffled that Alzheimer’s would even be considered. Will Farrell is a brillant comedian. But this? This is beneath him. Not just as a comedian, but as a human being. There is no humor to be found in people suffering from and destroyed by Alzheimer’s. None.

  12. Amy Barlow says:

    Patti, when I read about Farrell playing your dad, I assumed he was finally taking on a dramatic role. A career-changing role. It is a comedy? How low can he sink? So sorry you even HAD to write this post, but good on you for doing it. Peace, Amy Barlow

  13. Karen thomson says:

    Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia is no laughing matter, shame on you mr Ferrell in trying to get cheap laughs from an illness that’s heartbreaking for people to watch their love ones go through, must be awful for you to see your father being mocked in this way patti, can only imagine how you must feel.

  14. Patti, thank you for writing this heartfelt, thoughtful, and kind open letter to Mr. Farrell. Your generosity of spirit and gracious nature clearly shine through. I had always been a fan of his work, but now, not so much.

    How tragic it is that so many performers choose allegiance to a specific political ideology, and base all of their subsequent projects on the promulgation of those beliefs (sometimes in cleverly veiled ways) to all. This fact, in my estimation, gives the performer (who rose to fame based on talent) his or her own “bully pulpit”.

    Ultimately, our first allegiance, compassion, and empathy should be granted to fellow members of our human family, and not to our specific political ideology and beliefs.

    Thank you, again, for sharing this open letter with us.

    Jeffrey M. Jancarek
    Mountain Lakes, NJ

  15. Edward Jenny says:

    we moved back to Westlake/Thousand Oaks fro 5.5 years in Honolulu, to spend two years taking care of my mother in law after she had a stroke and Alzheimers set in. We rented a large house on Jenny Dr. and moved her from Brentwood to the new place, it was an intense time for all. We too had some laughter but mostly it was sadness and fear, Sabra and our daughters did an amazing job of taking care of Louise, but it eventually became more than the four of us could manage with school and fulltime gigs, day and nighttime shifts to make sure everyone was safe.

    I was not happy to even consider what WF can possibly do to make this a true loving learning experience for apparently several generations who will be facing it in their twilight years, some alone, some with help and family.
    I just don’t see the humor …. you Patty have, as always, expressed the spectrum ever so brilliantly. Thanks for bringing it up.
    Be well, Peace.


  16. […] In an open letter to the comedian, Davis wrote: “Perhaps you have managed to retain some ignorance about Alzheimer’s and other versions of dementia. Perhaps if you knew more, you would not find the subject humorous.” […]

  17. […] Ronald Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis penned an eloquent letter to Will Ferrell. […]

    • M. Michael spencer says:

      The complete lack of taste involved in this proposal is exceeded only by the insult to the family and friends of the victim of a debilitating disease that affects millions of people around the world.
      I’m not an etiquette professional or a purveyor of moral correctness, but I have the right to an opinion and to me it seems that Ferrell is exhibiting all of the signs of ignorance and arrogance that only the really disgusting humans among us do. This is totally reprehensible.

  18. […] Patti Davis, published an open letter on her website criticizing Ferrell for making enjoyable of the […]

  19. Kimothy Cruse says:

    The idea that Will Ferrell or anyone would even consider portraying Ronald Reagan or any person afflicted with Alzheimers Dementia in a comedy film is beyond offensive, cruel and completely ignorant. It is shameful that other creative artists, writers, producers and actors would agree to be a part of such a misguided and horrendous film. This should be stopped NOW!

  20. […] daughter, Patti Davis, took to her blog today to pen an open letter to the […]

  21. Laree says:

    I am sorry you and your family have to go through this. It shows an incredible lack of human decency to make fun of anyone suffering from a debilitating mental disease. I am also sorry for the recent loss of your mother who no doubt would have put Ferrell in his place and in a hurry. My condolences.


  22. […] Patti Davis, published an open letter on her website criticizing Ferrell for making fun of the […]

  23. Lynn Mawhinney says:

    I have to say…I couldn’t possibly agree with you more. There is absolutely nothing funny or humorous about dementia/alzheimer’s. It robs everyone and is absolutely heartbreaking to watch, especially if the afflicted realize as it’s happening that something is wrong and “self diagnose” before official testing and definite answer is found.

  24. hank says:

    hey douche bag, let me know when your Robin Williams comedy on depression comes out.

  25. Cherie Word says:

    Thank you so much. I couldn’t agree more. It was not my parents, but my Grandfather as I was a child and the changes were so hard to watch. 30 years later, it is still something I will never forget.

  26. Twila Ramsey says:

    That is so cruel.

    How can anyone find humor in Alzheimer’s. I’ve had several family members including my father, two aunts and an uncle stricken with Alzheimer’s. We watched them fade away, and I cannot remember one instance that was funny; tragic, heartbreaking, yes, comical. NO!

    They are gone and I’m in my seventies and wonder if I will go down the same path one.

    How can anyone be so insensitive, so callous, so oblivious to the reality of this disease affecting millions?

  27. Dale Cantrell says:

    Mr Ferrell will,most likely live to regret this, my own father is in the final stages of alzheimers, all of his memories are fine now there is no recognition in his eyes for anyone, like all of you I find no humor in any of it, although I’m sure he won’t change his mind regardless of what anyone says, I only hope that God will deal with him and soften his heart and show him this is not a subject to I see in a skit or show

  28. Ramona Wood says:

    After watching my father-in-law suffer and die from Alzheimer’s. I too find no humor in the disease. It is a horrible,hurtful,and heart-breaking illness. Some people just don’t seem to understand that just because you disagree with someone politically it does not give you the right to use their physical ailments to insult them, under the guise of satire or parody. I’ve never found Will Farrell to be particularly funny, and this just solidifies my opinion that he is not an honorable person. Thank you, Patti, for standing up for the families and victims of this dreaded disease. And shame on you, Will Farrell.

  29. Ben Horowitz says:

    Thank you so much for putting into words the pain and suffering we all are forced to endure once this horrible disease knocks on your door. I know what my mom endured with dementia and it is now rearing it’s ugly head with my mother-in-law. I only hope Mr. Ferrell never has to go through the pain, anger and frustration of this menace.

  30. Norma Jane Henry says:

    I was stunned hearing the announcement of this upcoming “comedy” portrayal. That was before being sickened. I am so happy that Ms Davis had the fortitude to confront Mr. Ferrell. I only hope he has the fortitude to confront his own bad taste and reverse decision on this terrible, terrible idea!

  31. JOHN FAGAN says:

    Dear Patti –
    There is no humor. There is nothing but tears. There is nothing in a man or woman who decides that there is comedy in a disease. There is nothing but sadness to be created. There is no joy. There is only the smile you can offer; the mental and emotional strength one gives to the Alzheimer or dementia individual. I took care of my mom’s companion for 3 years after her death (a short term of time versus what you and your family went through. And in that time I found the need to give more compassion, understanding, more of a way to help my mom’s companion to “relax,” to feel comfortable and at ease. The disease, as you know, makes one feel lost and losing. How scary that is. And for one to think there is humor in that is simply shameful. Perhaps Ferrell should look to his own father and ask if doing this makes his dad proud.

    • Patti Singleton says:

      I am so sick and tired of comedians claiming that people shouldn’t be upset by their jokes. Their jokes are just funny and the rest of us should just understand humor. I was so shocked to hear about a movie, a comedy that was going to be about President Reagan and his life with Alzheimer’s disease. Yes, I know that Will Ferrell has decided not to make the movie. It is possible that another of his cronies will continue with this heinous project.

      A Story About Alzheimer’s:

      There is nothing remotely humorous about this disease. It is so heartbreaking to see your loved ones mourning the loss of their independence. My Mother’s memory is failing her. She gets so upset when she can’t remember things. She fears that she is losing her mind. Most days she doesn’t remember who I am. She asks my name and I tell her my name. I also tell her that I am her daughter. She looks at me suspiciously. She has hallucinations. She has people here everyday. Often she asks me, if I’ve seen these people leave. I reply that I hadn’t seen them. Sometimes she gets angry with me for not seeing them. She is very depressed that she is alive. She is 90 years old. All of her siblings have passed on, and she feels that she should have been gone already. I never know what to expect every morning. Alzheimer’s has taken my mother from me, and it has taken her life from her. The only thing that makes her smile are my grandchildren. When we have her favorite meals, she thinks they taste horrible and states that they were never her favorite. I have to roll with the punches, and try to determine how I should adapt to the new behavior. There’s not one funny thing about Alzheimer’s. It’s difficult to watch your loved one slip away. It is more heartbreaking to watch your loved one try to understand why they are slipping away, and realize that they are losing their independence.
      Anyone who finds humor in this disease is a sick, uncaring individual.
      If someone does make a comedy about Alzheimer’s, I pray that the caring people out there ignore the movie. I ask you to please not help sick individuals fill their pockets with money, on the backs of people suffering with this horrendous disease.
      Than you,
      Patti Singleton

  32. Wayne says:

    I was 11 when my great grandmother died after years of watching her slowly forget who we all were, where she was and eventually how to speak

  33. Donna says:

    Thank you for saying this-my mom suffers from dementia and while sometimes you have to laugh (or you’ll just cry) it is in no way humorous.

    • Susan says:

      I’m so disappointed that he would even consider this. I lost my father 15 months ago to complications from dementia. I can tell you first hand, there’s no comedy in this horrible disease. I watched a very accomplished man suddenly forget how to do the things he enjoyed. In his moments of lucidity he would ask “what is happening to me”?. It is called the “long goodbye” and that’s what it is. Everyday my heart broke as I said goodbye a little more to a man that was my hero even when he didn’t remember me. So, it just baffles me how Alzheimers and the word “comedy” could even be in the same sentence.

  34. […] Patti Davis, published an open letter on her website criticizing Ferrell for making fun of the […]

  35. jim rafalin says:

    Ms. Reagan thank you for trying to enlighten the hollywood unenlightenable. I saw this article this morning and was immediately incensed by it and posted some not so nice things about mr. farrell and the hollywood left. Thank you for doing what I couldnt do with class and elegance. I was incensed because for me (58 yrs old) your father was the best President this country has had in my lifetime. For someone to make sport of him and to make sport of such a horrible illness is infuriating. I wonder if a right leaning comedian would do a routine based on the last few days of Rock Hudson’s life dying of AIDS if that would be received with all the anticipation from the entertainment zombies. God Bless you and your family and God Bless your mother and father. They made differences unlike the people that always poke fun at them.

  36. Robert says:

    My grandmother went through this and it was very hard to see a woman look at you like a houseplant. Not a comedy moment and worse than anything I’ve ever encountered. Its the real walking dead with flashes of life In between. I’d hope that will Ferrell is smart enough not to alienate people based on his(others actually) beliefs. Good luck Will in making the movie.

  37. P Voss says:

    My father also had dementia and it was horrible to watch a brilliant man lose his ability to think and speak. This Will Farrell role is not funny and crosses a line. I hope that the public will speak out with their wallets and NOT go to see it or support it in any way. Ronald Reagan was a great man—-so was my father,

  38. Scott Moore says:

    Well said Patti, we all watched what this terrible disease has done to your father as well as so many others. As a paramedic, I have witnessed first hand, the affects in the patient as well as the heartache and devistation that their loved ones go through. Now my 94 yo mother in law is having mental status changes that I believe are attributed to Alzheimer’s (she will not submit to Dr’s tests). When I heard of the plans for this movie, I was sickened. I am now less of a Will Ferrell fan than I ever was. (Can’t stand him) Please carry on with your work against this awful disease and I will repost your letter and ask that others do as well. With any luck he and the movie company will change their minds.
    Scott Moore

  39. Karl Anderson says:

    Patti thank you. I took care of my mom for 3 years with Dementia. At times it was pure hell. She never wanted to die in a rest home. I’m proud to say she didn’t. My wife and I are still recovering from the experience but I would do it again if I had to.

  40. Beth says:

    Dear Patti, thank you for speaking up. In mocking your father, Will Ferrell mocks every one who has suffered from this awful disease. Thank you for speaking up

  41. April says:

    I am so glad that you wrote this. Your dad was a GREAT man. He doesn’t deserve to be the subject of anybody’s “parody”.
    I don’t watch anything Will Ferrel does because frankly, I don’t think he’s funny even when NOT making fun of your dad.
    A lot of people are offended that Will Ferrell would even consider something as crass and tasteless as a project like this!
    BRAVO, Patti for putting this letter out there for him to see!

  42. […] Davis, daughter of President Reagan and Nancy Reagan wrote an open-letter to actor Will […]

    • Tom L says:

      I agree completely.

      Dementia / Alzheimers steals the heart of its victims. It is not funny and should not be the subject of a comedy. It is no laughing matter. I lost my father to dementia, and nothing about what he went through was funny.

      Those who suffer from it are fearful and are aware that something is wrong, something they can’t explain.

      It’s extremely difficult for the family and caretakers who struggle with the progression of the disease and feel very helpless.

      No one should have their dignity taken from them in this way, and certinly there is no basis in comedy. It seems in bad taste to consider anything about it a comedy.

  43. […] ‘I watched helplessly as he reached for memories, for words, that were suddenly out of reach and moving farther away,’ wrote Patti in her letter.  […]

  44. Sarah Chastain says:

    My mother had dementia and there is nothing funny about any disease that robs a family of what should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment. I hope that nobody supports Will Ferrell’s attempt to find humor in this terrible disease. I’ve enjoyed some of his comedic ventures but he’s on my “no laugh” list permanently if he goes forward with this project.

  45. James Dunham says:

    My father too was a victim of Alzheimer’s. His was the long version of over 10 years. I can think of few things less funny than a “comedian” using the subject of Alzheimer’s as a platform for humor. While there were funny moments of him thinking he was 28 when he was 78 those moments were far outweighed by the nights of no sleep for weeks because sleep aids we no longer effective for him and the family having to take turns sleeping in shifts. I have seen several movies with this “comedian” and have yet to see anything funny he has done that made me laugh. His humor is sophomoric and

  46. Annie says:

    I have never had any respect for Will Farrell and refuse to see any of his films. This is the icing on the Cake. Alzheimers is a horrible disease and NOTHING to be made fun of. Your father was very well respected and this would be a HUGE injustice. Thank you

  47. I think any actor that would portray someone with Alzheimer’s or other such disease as a comedy is perhaps making a desperate attempt to boost a failing career. It is pathetic and hurtful.


  48. Charlotte Gibson says:

    My mother had dementia and it was horrid. How anyone could plan a comedy routine about that insidious disease is beyond me. Perhaps if WF had been through losing a parent to this he would not be doing it. My mother forgot everything. She forgot that she loved my father & only remembered her first husband. She told me things no child (even though I was in my 50s) should ever hear from a parent. I’m still working through them although I know it wasn’t her but the sickness speaking. Shame on you Will Farell. Perhaps your next routine can depict MLK’s shooting. How would that be as a comedy act?

  49. Donna Peternell says:

    I lost my husband to Alzheimer’s last October and had him home with me until the end and to me it is worse thing that anybody can go through. To laugh at it, comes from a very sick person. Thanks for your letter Patti Davis


  50. Twila says:

    I watched my grandmother suffer for years with this awful disease. The fear in her eyes when she could not figure out who I was. There is nothing funny about experiencing your loved one go through such a struggle.

  51. Nancy Breshears says:

    My dad died in 2012 from Alzheimer’s. It was horrible to have your dad shake your hand and tell you…”nice to meet you.” A rehearsed line they taught him in the institution. I made him a coconut pie for Thanksgiving, his favorite pie and he told me…”what do I want that for?” That was not my dad. The disease robbed him of who he was. This disease is not humorous at all. It’s a club that nobody wants to be in.

    God bless you Patti.

  52. Sharon Frazier says:

    Will Ferrell ceased being funny a L-O-N-G time ago. He appears to be pathetic and grasping for material to even think of portraying Alzheimer’s as “comedy.” Shame on you, Will Ferrell. Not only have you disrespected millions of victims of the disease…along with their families, but you have also managed to disrespect yourself in the long run. You, sir, are the one to be pitied in the end. SIT. DOWN. SHUT. UP. SHOW. SOME. RESPECT.

  53. clark neff says:

    bless you, your family, and the memory of your great father

  54. […] daughter Patti has weighed in today with a scathing “open letter” to […]

  55. Andrew Carter says:

    Thank you for speaking out, Patti. Some will say we who have lost loved ones to these devastating diseases are too sensitive, but they have most likely never experienced the pain of having the person who gave you life and raised you, look at you and see only a stranger.
    My mother was imprisoned by a combination of dementia and Parkinson’s disease for about 10 years before she passed away. My father was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but cancer took his life before the Alzheimer’s could do its full work.

  56. Danell Palladine says:

    Thank you so much for your open letter to Will Ferrell. I have always enjoyed your writing and this one touches home for me as well. I pray that your works will have some impact and convince this actor to seek out other material. I applaud your letter, your bravery and your cause helping those who have been touched by this terrible disease.


  57. Suzanne Maley says:

    As a daughter of a brilliant man who suffered from this tragic disease, I am totally offended and will never ever watch another Will Ferrell movie again – this coming from a person who sees every movie to hit the theater!!!! Nothing funny about Alzheimers!!!

  58. Al Winkler says:

    I watched as my Mom went from doing small things like confusing salt for sugar, to getting upset for not being able to say what she wanted to, to not knowing her family, to finally passing away. It was the most painful experience I have ever lived through. My father died from lung cancer and even though it was a slow death as well, it was different. There is nothing about watching someone slowly forget everything that was their life and become a shell. Mr. Ferrell, you are one of my favorite comdeians and actors but I implore you to please reconsider portraying President Reagan during this phase of his life. I’ve always thought of you being better than that.

  59. Lynnette Moya says:

    Ms. Davis,
    Thank you so much for posting this. You have put into words what I have felt in my heart. My step dad was a victim of this horrible disease and passed away a few years ago. To watch my family as he went through it was a nightmare. My children are still trying to figure out where to place their emotions. They watch as my mom is still figuring out life without him. Thank you for speaking so openly about this and for helping those who are in the midst of it.

  60. Cindy says:

    Thank You, Ms. Davis. Will Farrell is a waste of space on this Earth if he thinks such a terrible disease is funny. Your Dad, my President Reagan is a million times the person that pathetic waste of skin will ever be. Your Wonderful Parents are very much MISSED.

  61. Gina says:

    My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2005. There is nothing funny about watching my mother losing herself. She barely remembers my father who died 15 years ago. When I am around she tells people she was never married and has no children. When I am with her she still recognizes me and knows my name. But one day she will forget me too. How anyone can find humor in that is beyond me!

  62. Michael says:

    My great grandfather succumbed to dementia at the end after grandma passed. He would call me by my uncle’s name, and became forgetful. He was more of a father to me than my real father. He taught me the values that I stick to to this day, he taught me how to be a man. The mere thought that this sort of film could be made for entertainment is disgusting. It is an insult to not only those who have had to deal with a loved one suffering from this terrible disease, but to anyone with a conscience.

  63. Kathy Phillips says:

    How incredibly insensitive and cruel of Mr. Farrell to even float such an idea, let alone go forward with such a plan to find humor and “comedy” in Alzheimer’s/Dementia. This is as low as one can go for financial gain and notoriety. I am sickened as I read about this thoughtless and selfish venture.

  64. patricia whitney says:

    Mr Farrall; I wouldn’t wish Alzeimers on my worst enemy. What would make you consider taking this role and subject. I took care of my Mother for many years with Alzheimer’s.

    I am sincerely disappointed in you Mr. Farrell.

  65. nita resner says:

    This person Will Ferrell is getting his 15 minutes of fame in the most pathetic act that nature has allowed his demented mind. Should he have parents or other loved ones whom have evade the grasps of this horrible destructive disease, may they continue to be spared. For how could anyone indulge in slow torture of devastation of a human being and receive any degree of humor from it. May all the care givers and lovers of human life be blessed.

  66. Jeff Nistler says:

    Very well said Patti. I hope he gets your message. Your family is so special to this country but people forget that you were human like us all. My Father suffers from Parkinson’s and lewy body dementia. Why someone feels like this is humorous is beyond me. Walking with you at this time.

  67. john mcdonald says:

    Very well said!!!!There is nothing humorous about Alzheimer’s/Dementia for either the person suffering or the people caring for them. If I thought for a moment that Will Ferrell’s project would bring discussion to the forefront, I’d be behind it but I doubt that very much. This disease is a ticking time bomb in our society. I’ve had/have a grandmother, uncle and 3 aunts as well as my mother who have suffered from this disease. I have been caring for my mother for the past 10 years. I find no humor in the sleepless nights nor the frustration of not being able to fully help her, as she can no longer speak and tell me what’s wrong.

  68. Daniel says:

    What does Will Ferrell know about being funny/humorous anyway? The few roles I have wasted my time watching him in were mostly stupid, worthless attempts at humor which failed miserably. What more does one expect from him?

  69. Imma says:

    Patti, my heart goes out to you and your family during the many years of your father’s illness. I was so touched to hear that you have a support group for family members whose loved ones have been ravaged by this disease. No one in my family has Alzheimer’s disease and for that we thank God and are very grateful.

    I do have friends who have dementia and also short-term memory loss and it is heartbreaking to watch them to struggle with their memory.

    I do hope your heartfelt message opens the eyes of Mr. Ferrell to stop this thoughtless project.

  70. Beverly Blair says:

    Patti I can’t tell you how sorry I am this this person would consider doing this to this wonderful person. You would think since they were both in Hollywood once he would have respect for Ronald Reagan. There is a difference in the two, Ronald Reagan was respected for the person, for the wonderful President for his career as a true actor. Not like the jerk Will Ferrell. I know you and your mother must have suffered as well watching your father and the one your mother loved so much, watch him go through this horrible time. I get all choked up when I read your letter to this terrible person. I wouldn’t wish this disease on anyone, but Ferrell deserves to see it for himself and maybe he would understand. I really doubt that he has any feelings for anyone but himself and his family. Life is short and there is time for him to know!!!! God Bless you Patti and I loved your parents, they were a wonderful couple and I know they are together now and he no longer has Alzheimer’s/Dementia and they are both happy. With Love, thank you!!!

  71. Rebecca Magee says:

    Both my parents and one of my grandmothers died from this awful disease. For anyone to mock any person’s descent into Alzheimer’s and do it in the name of “comedy” is inhumane and incomprehensible. Will Ferrell evidently has no soul or moral compass. This is truly disgusting.

  72. Mark S. says:

    Cannot imagine any studio in the world associating themselves with this shameful project. It is over the top in its offensiveness to the Reagan family as well as every person who has in any way been impacted by the cruelty of Alzheimer’s or dementia of a loved one.

    Will Farrell you are not funny. You are despicable.

  73. Bill Donofrio says:

    I think your father was one of our greatest presidents. My wife and I watched in tears when his funeral was televised. Will Farrel is either an idiot or so desperately in need of work that he would stoop so low. He’s a loser. A total loser. Keep fighting!

  74. Roxana says:

    Dear Patti:

    I did not want to even finish reading your letter because I knew it would make me cry. I have lived with fear about this disease for many years, avoiding any book on the topic like the plague, only to figure out that sometimes, everyone in a family that lives long enough will have it. My mother’s aunt had it, my mother’s brother and two sisters died with it and now my mom is living with it. We are her caretakers and that is why your letter made me cry.

    I do thank you for writing it because I cannot believe Will Ferrell or anyone else, thinks this is funny. I actually left him a message on his page, although I know he will never see it, asking him to visit us for a week and take care of my mom during the entire week. Let him have a week of bathing, helping feed, exercising and then deal with sun downers as the day draws to a close. Then, he can sit in the living room with a baby monitor attached to him not getting much sleep hoping that she does not wake in the night and falls. I am new to this game, almost seven months, but I cannot imagine what you guys went through. Thank you again for giving all of us, non celebrities, a voice.

  75. Tony Dennis says:

    I do not have a family member with this illness so cannot comment with the anguish and experience of others who have posted here. But I am equally outraged by the news that this “comedy” may be made and that Will Ferrell is apparently considering playing the lead part. How horrible.

    Mr. Ferrell, you are one of the most talented comedians alive today. I admire your work and your versatility and genius as a comedian. Please don’t play this part. Reject this script. You will have really hit bottom as a human being if you don’t do everything in your power to Deep Six this movie idea and distance yourself right away from the script. Please listen to the public, those of us who are Left, Center and Right on the political spectrum and those of us who have this experience with this disease and those of us who do not. Don’t make this into a free speech, artistic freedom type of political issue because it’s not. It’s about how low you are willing to go as an individual to make a movie that I believe won’t be commercially successful and won’t be admired or praised by movie critics and you will have permanently damaged your personal brand and reputation as well! Don’t do this movie. Look, Patti Davis is a Leftie. Ron Jr. sounds Left-Center to me. I grew up and became a registered Republican because of President Reagan. He was and always will be my president. But what should strike you the most is how citizens across the political spectrum and regardless o whether they have seen Alzheimers up close or not are ALL objecting to you making and starring in such a movie. Where do you draw the line? Why not make a “comedy” about a child molester with you starring in the lead role as the child molester? How about that? That is what you are doing here – making fun of people disabled by Alzheimers. Or how about making a comedy about a serial rapist with you in the lead part as the rapist? Do you think that would be funny? How low can you go? I believe you are a better person than that. Please prove to all your fans that we are right about you. You are a decent human being. Or are you? Thanks and I hope you or your agent or publicist take the time to read all these posted comments.

  76. Jan Aandewiel says:

    It’s so sick to make a comedy about Alzheimer

  77. Chris says:

    And this is why will Ferrell is a douchebag I don’t think ANY of his movies or standup is funny and will not be watching this or anything else he ever does this really pisses me off Ronald Regan was a great man

  78. Stephanie Knight says:

    Thank you Patti for writing this letter. When I heard about this I wanted to just scream. Alzheimer’s is a disease I would not give to my worst enemy.

    My Mother has this and as she forgets more and more you just want to wrap,the, up in cotton and protect them for all the hurts. As they progress through the stages and become weaker and weaker, they hurt and can’t tell you where. They start to lose weight and there taste buds change so it’s hard to get them to eat. They start to sleep more and more as they go though a transition back to childhood. Because as they progress they do have to be helped like a young child but you are unable to carry the. And lift them like a baby.

    If Ferrell is determined to make this movie he needs to spend at least 2 months with a family going through this and see how awful this disease is. Hopefully he will reconsider making this movie for all,of the patients and families of Alzheimer’s.

  79. Gerald Vimont says:

    I read this on Twitter yesterday (Variety Magazine). I could not believe what I was reading. “Hollywood” has done some disgusting things but this “takes the cake”. There were “commenters”, who couldn’t believe what they were reading in the article, commenting that perhaps Will Ferrell was doing a drama. Hopefully, Will Ferrell and his people will read your open letter and other statements about the subject, think twice about this, drop the idea of producing it, and throw the script in a fireplace.

  80. ken says:

    Shame on YOU Ferrell!! Try going through this with your mother suffering from this cruel disease.

  81. William Houston says:

    Great letter. I worked as a janitor and maintenance guy in a an adult facility and most of the residents had Alzheimer’s. I’ve seen how wicked of a desiese it is. How anyone would want to make a comedy movie about your Father and what your family went through is sick and disgusting!
    I have taught my kids about what a great American your dad was.
    Blessings to you and your family

  82. Brad says:

    My family has recently experienced the long goodby that is Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a terrible thing to have to watch and suffer thru. Please consider a different type of film project. Do your research and donate to the Alzheimer’s groups.

  83. Floretta Guanciale says:

    Dear Patti: Thank you for your open letter to Will Ferrell. I am not and have never been a fan of his and would not even bother to see anything he is in.
    My husband had Alzheimer’s for 10 years and I was his care giver. I lived with a very combative man who would have been appalled at his behavior. Not through any fault of his but because of a disease that is devasting. A man that raised a beautiful family and was very involved in the community who ended out not knowing anyone. If Mr Ferrell thinks making fun of anyone with Alzheimer’s is a laughing matter he should spend a day with a family who is dealing with the disease. Let us prayer he never has to personally deal with Alzheimer’s.

  84. Jean Aschman says:

    Patti thank you for writing about this. My mother died from Alzheimer’s and we, my sister and I were here caregivers, for over 7 years. There is nothing remotely funny or humorous watching the person you love and have known forever, lose who they are and were. They know something is wrong but they just can’t figure it out. It is so heartbreaking because you lose them twice – once to the disease and once when they die.

    I find it amazing and totally insensitive that Mr. Ferrell would embrace the disease of Alzheimers as a comedic tool to further his career. I realize Hollywood has no morals or compassion but this tops it.

  85. Harry Bond says:

    I cannot honesty believe that Will Ferrell intends to use his position as a celebrity to demean the single most influential and beloved leader of my lifetime in a comedic rendering . Protected by the left, the dishonest press and Hollywood, he seeks to exploit the humanity that was Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s vision and leadership changed our nation and motivated not only Americans, but the world .

    Its undeniable that he suffered from Alzheimers in his later years, but to characterize his presidency and more importantly the man in this light is reprehensible. In an election year when the left and Mr. Ferrell are trying to portray conservatives in an unfavorable light, the legacy of Ronald Reagan transcends his physical failures.

    I’d prefer President Reagan at his worst than ANYONE else at their best. God Bless the United States of America.

  86. What a horrible thing to even imagine, but proceed to do a comedy skit. Is Will Farrell that hard-up for ideas God forbid if he or someone he loves is struck down by Alzheimer’s Disease. As Patti Davis says it can happen to anyone. Even you Will Farrell.

    • CAROL CARDELLA says:

      Sooo true. I never really saw Ronald Reagan in the final throes of his disease, but can only imagine this “once fearless man” completely dibilitated by it. BUT i DO remember the sadness of seeing Glen Campbell’s performance where he sang a song he’d written to his wife, saying, “i know i needed to hurry up and compose it BEFORE all the memories were GONE… Almost nothing sadder. And Patti Davis has ALWAYS been one of my heroes, always, since wayyyyy back when i saw her guest starring on Phil Donahue… Your open letter to Will Farrell was perfect, i just couldn’t imagine someone with humanity reading it and saying, “nah, i’m gonna do it ANYWAY”…

  87. Peggy quinn says:

    Shame on you Will Ferrell

  88. Johnny D says:

    I have enjoyed many of Will’s movies over the last several years. I understand he is a comedian and they often look for the humor in dark places. This being said, my mother unexpectedly passed away in November of 2015 because she was so confused in her rapidly on-setting dementia that she locked herself out of her house and expired in cold temperatures on her front porch. The front door had a large window in it and there was a toolbox with a hammer in it sitting beside the door. Her dementia, that we obviously didn’t realize had progressed so quickly, caused her to not be rational enough to make her reach for the hammer. As an only child raised by a single, extremely independent mother, I find absolutely no humor in this real disease that is breaking so many hearts across the world. I hope that Will can find the grace and understanding to realize that sometimes certain things in life should not be turned in to comedy.

  89. Judi Cuervo says:

    As one who’s started to watch her mother begin on this horrible path, I’m revolted and I see it as further proof that Hollywood has absolutely no conscience. If he sees it as a political statement, he’s terribly wrong. Disease has no party affiliation-the project will do nothing but offend anyone who’s been touched by the disease or has even the slightest compassion for those who have.

  90. Phil Paonessa says:

    Patti…..I loved and admired your father and he fought a brave fight to the very last day. Will Ferrell is obviously so hard up and desperate to do anything that he would stoop to doing such a desperate movie to make a few bucks. Obviously neither he nor the producers, writers, etc. have the slightest idea as to the pain and anguish families of victims go through. My mother is slowly withering away from this disease…there is NOTHING funny about it Will, no matter how you look at it. If you have the slightest respect for yourself and for the families caring for Alzheimer victims, you would bow out of doing this. Next, would you like to make fun of the handicapped in a movie?

  91. Gary says:

    Dear Patti, thank you for bringing this to our attention. Trying to make comedy from such an horrible affliction that ultimately ends in death is about as sick as you can become. To use the great man that your dad was in such a way is beyond my imagination.

  92. Charlotte Jackson says:

    I am living living this journey with my hubby and the loss is anything but funny. He needs to consider what he is doing. He might not be touched by alzheimers right now but he will be.

  93. Sandra says:

    His movie should get ZERO views. He should give regrets for being stupid and donate 100,000 to this dreaded disease. He can afford it.

  94. Barbara Roberts says:

    My family is living through this dreadful disease for the 3rd time. The first two times were with my parents, and now it is my mother- in -law. For anyone who has ever been down this dark path there is no need to explain how it feels to watch the one you love lose who they are and what they were, as their brain unravels and their dignity is diminished. There is no need to describe the weariness in your bones and brain at the end of the day after caring for a person afflicted with Alzheimers. There is no need to explain that you are not stealing their personal objects or why they can’t drive the car. There is no need to feel guilty that there are days when you just want it all to end and pray that death comes quickly and painlessly. The range of emotions are exhausting. Will Farrell needs to rethink what is comedy and what is tragedy. The whole movie deal needs to go in the trash.
    Patti, your father was an amazing man and his accomplishments will forever be remembered for all the good he did for America and for the world, and not for the disease that took his life. You have every reason to hold your head up proudly. Thank you for your dedication to help others and to show compassion for those who suffer.

  95. Stevie10703 says:

    While none of my immediate family members has suffered through this disease, when I was younger my best friends grandmother had Alzheimer’s and I vividly remember calling my friend one afternoon to see if he wanted to go out. Well, he wasn’t home but his grandmother answered the phone and I asked if my friend was home. This poor woman started to talk to me as if I was her best friend from her childhood and it was sad. These were the days before cell phones, so I didn’t know what to do and I quietly hung up and waited outside my home until my friend returned with his parents so that they would check to see if their phone was not off the hook and I told them what had happened. This is one of the worst diseases ever because its one that makes you feel as helpless as can be and to even think about a comedy about our President in this light with this disease is sickening and I can’t help but think would he have done this if it was say President Carter who had this?

  96. Dan Black says:

    I am not a religious man but Luke 23:34 applies.

  97. Reine says:

    This is the sickest idea for a movie ever! I loved and took care of my husband for over 14 years and lost him in January to this horrid disease. I can this of very little worse plots to make a movie about.

    It sickens me to know that people like you, the rest of the cast and crew would sink so low as to make fun of anyone with Alzheimer’s, let alone a great former President.

    I’ve seen only 2 movies with you starring in them. I will NEVER again watch anything with you in it again. You obviously have zero experience with this, never gone totally broke and had to get assistance because if this, dealt with someone you love become someone else before your eyes, or have seen the vacant, scared look in someone’s eye that you love.

    You’re scraping the bottom of the barrel if this is the only thing you can work on. And to whoever wrote this, SHAME ON YOU!

  98. Edward DeBolt says:

    Dewar Patti,
    My mother suffered from dementia, an it is not humorous! It’s a horrible thing.
    Your father was the greatest President in US history!
    Your mother was such a wonderful and graceful lady!

    I hope Mr Ferrel listens to you and does not do this project.

    God Bless Patti, my best wishes to you,
    Edward DeBolt

  99. Jeff Welborn says:

    I like Will Ferrell, and enjoy most of what he does, but comedians go too far and the fence needs to spark when they touch it. Thank you Patti for sparking publicly. My family and I lived through years of this disease with my father and there is nothing remotely humorous about it. It’s a painful, low point in human existence that not even humor can salve. Those of us who have been there have you, your father and your family to thank for publicising the pain, and helping to educating those whom fortune has spared.

  100. Cheryl says:

    Thank you for speaking up for the victims of Alzheimers. I read in horror and cried this morning about the impending film Mr. Farrell plans on producing and starring in. I voiced my feelings about it on Facebook, which is my only means to vent my emotions. My mom is suffering with Alzheimers, and I find nothing at all comical about the situation. It is no wonder our country is in the shape it’s in Ms. Davis. There is no respect for anyone or anything anymore. There is no person, place, thing or disease that’s safe from being the butt of someone’s jokes. Mr. Ferrell has sunk to an all time low and for what? Is it to further his political agenda by demeaning the victims of this horrible disease? Would he make a comedy about Jimmy Carter’s Cancer or Bill Clinton’s Heart Disease? I think we all know what he’s trying to accomplish by this, and it makes me sick to my stomach. I’m afraid he has scripted himself into the wrong movie. He should be doing a revision of Despicable Me!

  101. Lisa L says:

    Thank you Patti. When your loved one passes away, you have lost them twice and the pain never ceases.

  102. Gail Horner says:

    Mr. Ferrell, I think it is reprehensible that you are involved in a film making fun of a President who suffered with Alzheimer’s disease. I cannot believe you need money so bad that you are willing to participate in such a project. If this is a political movement to degrade an American President, it only demonstrates the disintegration of decorum and the willingness to degrade anyone / everyone for the sake of the “Cause”. I really wonder what your parents/ grandparents would think of you. It is just despicable.

  103. Julie Tucci says:

    I was a caregiver for my dearly loved grandmother for 5 years while she lived in an assisted living facility. Each week I started taking her grocery shopping until that task became too confusing for her. Each night when I left my home to help her get ready for bed and be sure she took her meds I never knew if she would recognize me or look at me with fear from eyes that I previously had only seen love from. In her last days she didn’t speak, could not remember how to eat or toilet herself. To read that someone wants to make a comedy about one if the most difficult diseases is appalling to me. I echo meant comments before me..Will Ferrell don’t make this movie out of respect nit only to Ronald Regan and his family but to the hundreds of thousands of us who have lived the nightmare called Alzheimer’s Disease. Believe there is nothing to make fun of.

  104. Tim says:

    As a Paramedic, I see this disease quite frequently and can see the toll it takes on the families. Sad that someone would try to profit from this. But, unfortunately there are segments of our society who have no shame. Will Farrel will never be half the man your Father was.

  105. alex says:

    will: you will not make any money making fun of Alzheimers. My dad had it before he died, it’s not funny. Will, karma will come to you too.

  106. Becki says:

    I say Die. My beloved Dad died two years ago from Dementia. Missing him horribly as I sit and wait for the NFL draft to begin – which was a “holiday” for Dad – a crazy NFL/College Football fan who played FB himself in college. He became educated and spent 37 years in the Orange County Coroner’s office – finally as the CHIEF Deputy Sheriff-Coroner. Dementia isn’t funny. It isn’t funny when in a moment of clarity, your beloved Daddy just looks at you and you know that though he loves and trusts God, he just wonders why and what is happening to him. This subject? Really can’t be made fun of. I don’t care what your politics are. The lack of respect? Is abominable. Have always liked you and enjoyed much of your work. But if you do this? You become tainted. Please don’t.

  107. Tom Donnelly says:

    I stand with Patti. Mr. Ferrell please reconsider.

  108. Barbkurdz says:

    Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease. Bad taste is the comedy of today but I’m hoping Ferrell would reconsider. My dad had that look of fear when he’d lost his way- heartbreaking to see your strong dad look helpless. Don’t be a schmuck, Mr. Ferrell. What’s next- a comedy about childhood brain cancer? That’ll be a hoot!

  109. JC Miller says:

    Dear Patty,

    My mother had this difficult,long goodbye as well with me.
    Sadly, humorists who portray unkind gestures and callous presentations of our beloved leaders, don’t even have a clue of what is to be a true blue American, as you and your dear father have always been.

    Let’s all pledge to lift up the finest entertainers we have in our midst and send out the clarion call that wrong…is still wrong.

    Blessings for you,


  110. Elizabeth Rogers says:

    I lost my dad to dementia. 10 long years of heartbreak. There is nothing funny about this disease, and for someone to think it is, that person is one sick human being. Obviously Mr. Ferrell has been fortunate that it hasn’t touched his life. Shame on him.

  111. Dale Tousley says:

    Oh wow, I hadn’t heard that, that is awful, totally not funny, desperate on Will Farrell’s part, just like the SNL skit a couple of week ago that had people reaching for Heroin AM, some people say comedy is off limits for criticism but I don’t think so….next they will be making fun of Michael J. Fox and his fight with Parkinson’s…..Alzheimer’s is a dreadful disease….for all involved, to find any kind of humor in it is just beyond atrocious….I hope Will Ferrell gets the message and Patti Davis I am so sorry you have to deal with even the possibility of this. I am glad your Mom does not have to see this.

  112. Tammy Summers says:

    Going through this with my mom. Can’t believe how low some people are, but I shouldn’t be surprised at anything anymore.

  113. Dorothy Goldsmith says:

    My brilliant father suffered thru Alzheimer’s for 7 years. It was the hardest ordeal me and my mother went thru. There was little support back in the early 90’s and many of my parents turned away. For Mr. Ferrell to think there is anything funny about this, he obviously has not walked the walk. I have lost all respect for him.

  114. Marjie Grischow says:

    My heart has been broken by my mothers long and difficult battle with Alzheimers and the numerous ways it has affected our family, even after we said our final goodbyes. I cannot even begin to imagine why Will Farrell would think that this is a topic that anyone would find remotely humorous! I can only hope that he spends time with some families in order to do research and realizes that this is not a topic to do a comedy about!

  115. Russell says:

    Will Ferrill needs to rethink this movie, period…

    Thank you Patti for sharing this insight of your dad, it’s heart wrenching to learn how such a great man, a great thinker could end up so lost. Alzheimer’s disease Is a very scary disease. A friend of mine went out that way and the best thing he ever said to me while in the throes of it was, how will I know what I’ve forgotten if I’ve already forgot. Try to explain that to what was once a very intelligent person.

  116. Mike Salsgiver says:

    Thank you for your post. I am (generally) a Will Farrell fan, but this would be inexcusable. Please know how much support and love there is out here for your parents and for your family.

  117. Donna says:

    We lost my mom last year to Alzheimer’s and my sister was diagnosed at 47 with dementia. She is 53 now and is unable to walk, talk, or feed herself. Before that she was an executive for a large local hospital. Ask her 13 yr old if its funny.

  118. Jim Cowles says:

    It’s beyond belief that anyone would make fun of alzheimer’s. It’s like making fun of a terminal cancer patient. Will Farrell is definitely different, but I just can’t believe he’s do this.

  119. Dave Pottinger says:

    My mother had dementia, all of my (5) aunts had Alzheimer’s Disease, I am maybe starting to show the early signs, the one thing all of my aunts and mother lost pretty much first was a sense of humor and I hope I do not loose mine BUT IT IS MY SENSE OF HUMOR not some comedic’s idea of what is funny, come tell me jokes see if I can still laugh 10-20 years, just don’t make me the fodder for your jokes, I don’t mean, use me or some other dementia or Alzheimer sufferer as your sounding board, I mean come make US laugh. My mom used to say, “I have not seen many of my old friends, but that is ok I have met a lot of new ones, who seem to know me,” yes, mom was joking a little she knew how she was doing. At the end I was the only one she still knew, thank God. When I think about myself getting worse I just hope I can laugh with friends and family at what a great life I have had. Namaste

  120. Richard Kops MD says:

    Shame on you Will Ferrell. How about showing respect for the thousands of people and their families who deal with this disease 24/7. This is one movie I will not see. In fact, it should be boycotted.

  121. Steve Madison says:

    I have to say that I am very disappointed in Mr. Ferrell. I have been a fan of his ever since he first came on Saturday Night Live. I know my opinion means nothing, but I had to get it off my chest. I am a public school teacher and coach and I am all for doing what it takes to be successful. There is a point however where you have to draw the line. We spend our lives trying to set examples for those who are following behind us and I always thought that the comedy of Will Ferrell was something that could be shared with our kids. I’m afraid that if he does this film I won’t be able to feel that way anymore. I am sorry and disappointed that he feels that this is in any way proper. Surely he has had success beyond what the vast majority of us could ever imagine. I hate to think he feels like he needs to stoop to this level.

  122. William Gerrity says:

    My grandmother had Alzheimers when she died, I never got to ask her about my father whom was adopted post ww2 from Germany, I can never get her back and will never get answers. The fact that you would find humor in anything dealing with this disease is appalling. You so should be drug out back and beat with a hose.

  123. JJ says:

    Having lost both of my parents within 10 months of each other – both to this horrific disease, I can assure you there is absolutely nothing funny about it. The fact that anyone would want to make a comedy about it, makes me sick to my stomach.

  124. Mr. Ferrell: Maybe someday you will have Alzheimer’s and they will make a movie about you. Then we can all go and laugh at you since you think this disease is so funny. What a tribute that would be to you because you’re a comedian. I’m not, by any means, wishing this on you. Just giving you something to think about. Alzheimer’s can happen to anyone.

  125. Ellen says:

    You want to see Alzheimer’s in action Will, get in touch with me. My mother is suffering with it and by no means is it funny! She has no clue of family, she tries to say things when people talk to her and can’t get the words out. We don’t have the $$$$ that the Reagans have but you know what….. Alzheimer’s doesn’t care. My Mom went from being my mother and best friend to being my “lost” mother and best friend! If I’m not mistaken, PRESIDENT Reagan developed it when he was a little older- we noticed it with my mother when she was in her late 60’s – she’s now 79. So please Mr. Ferrell, contact me and let’s talk and take a tour of Alzheimer’s patients and we’ll see how hard you laugh then!

  126. Scat says:

    Patti, bless you for taking the high road. Classy, poignant, and smart, just like your parents. As for Will Ferrell, there’s no way to shame the shameless. What a disgrace. He dwells in darkness.

  127. Wm Bright says:

    Ms. Davis

    When I heard that a comedy was being made about your Dad’s battle with AD my stomach turned. 7 years ago AD finally took my Dad, anyone who has lived with AD would never, never consider a movie like the one described. You live in a different world but you also took on AD so I know what you know. It seems the entertainment world has no line or decency and this movie is evidence that Hollywood is a soulless place. Mr. Ferrell is not funny, he has never been funny and even if he were funny that he is willing to use your dad and AD as a tool for his own selfish purpose is all the proof we need to show just how decent Big Entetrainment is. Just like Big Oil, Big Industry or any other heartless industry we get to see how profit is just as important to Hollywood as it is to Wall St. We all always knew this but the left coasters still roll their eyes as if they are so much smarter, better then the rest of we great unwashed, something I believe your dad would never be like. The arrogance becomes cruelty all with the excuse of Art. As long as it’s art it gets to be with no repercussions. I would not wish AD on anyone and judgement is not for me to say but Mr. Ferrell should pray his memory stays with him. If Mr. Ferrell understands AD from a personal experience and still decided to do this then shame on him he is worse then I thought.

  128. As a caregiver to two family members with special needs, I so appreciate your position here. You share a great truth when you write, “There was laughter in those years, but there was never humor.”

    Thank you for turning your own family’s suffering into service to other families facing Alzheimer’s. And thank you for being their advocate in this current situation.

  129. I lost my mom to Alzheimer’s. So pitiful, so sad, so debilitating. For we caregivers it is a nightmare that never ends, even after they are safely in the arms of Jesus. It robs the entire family of precious memories to share. Then a spark of light, a day they remember some little thing and you think, oh, there is hope, the new medications, etc. must be working…smiles. Then fifteen minutes later, back to that dark cavity, where there is this hollow shell of your loved one that once was. I will never forget those 6-7 years of heartache and helplessness. It robs the patient and the family of all that was…forever! Thank you for bringing this to light and shame shame shame on Will Ferrell, I pray for him that God will protect him and his family from this horrid disease.

  130. Michael "Papa Bear" Greer says:

    Having lived through the Alzheimer’s-driven end of life of my ex-wife’s father, and now watching the effects of Vascular Dementia taking its toll on my father-in-law – and all concerned – I find it absolutely unfathomable that someone could find it “comical” to put this subject matter in a movie. A “comedy” movie. Regardless of who the main character is, producing a movie which is intended to ridicule this incurable medical condition is inexcusable!
    Please friends, put the word out via any form of media you have access to – THIS PROJECT MUST NOT GET OFF THE GROUND!

  131. Tim Moran says:

    Agreed…There is nothing remotely funny about Alzheimer’s! I have been appalled for some time knowing Will Farrell earns millions of dollars for acting like a buffoon. I sometimes act like a buffoon and get nothing. I have boycotted his movies since ‘Talladega Nights’. If I could make a fraction of what he made for this movie, I would run around the infield in by undershorts too. He’s not funny and he’s an insult to people’s intelligence.

  132. Debby Arend says:

    I lost my 68 year old husband to Lewys Body Dementia..there is NOTHING humorous about Alzheimers or other forms of is a heartbreaking disease that shatters families and robs you of the person you love one day at a time. Will Ferrell should be ashamed and any company that produces this travesty should be black balled !!

  133. Anita says:

    Imagine what it must be like to look in a mirror, and not know who’s looking back at you. If you don’t find this possibility terrifying, there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. If this film is released, I’ll actively boycott in front of any theater having the temerity to show it.

  134. Bravo! Our family has been touched by this illness three times — my grandfather and his two brothers (all are now deceased). It is painful for the families and the victims, and I hope that Will Farrell reconsiders his themes.

  135. val loewenstein says:

    thank you for your letter it was well written i hope that the people involved in making this will re consider i can’t believe anyone would think alzeimers is funny will farrell should be ashamed

  136. Cindy borowsky says:

    Thank you for sharing your painful experience, How sad is it that our society and celebrities have lost common sense which is what drives civility and kindness! I hope Ferrill reconsiders the subject. Why do some people think they have the right to make fun of people with disabilities? I was taught by my mom “there but by the Grace of God go I”

  137. Mary Salter says:

    Being the mother that is going to loose two of my three children to Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Watching them go through extensive and painful research testing for the last six years. Hoping beyond hope that the trial drug that they have injected into their abdomen every month to help doctors and scientist unlock the combination that can stop this MONSTER disease. Knowing that their time here with me is limited at the ripe not so old ages of 34 and 36, because our family’s rare genetic mutation begins it destruction in the mid thirties and ravishes their body in a matter of 6 years. Having lost six family member so far ranging from the ages of 37 to 44. One of those lost was my husband and knowing that my three grandchildren have a 50/50 chance of inheriting Early Onset Alzheimer’s on top of knowing they will watch their mother perish to this MONSTER. Will Ferrell I find NOTHING funny about what this disease does to it’s victims and their family’s. I see NOTHING funny in degrading and making fun of a President or anyone having to travel the journey of Alzheimer’s. You Will Ferrell have no clue about humor and integrity. You Will Ferrell are a blithe to humanity.Thank you Patti for standing strong for your father and for all who travel the devastating journey of Alzheimer’s

  138. I fell in love with my husband on our first date. He was my best friend, partner, lover, and the wind beneath my wings.We were married for 45 years. For 12 agonizing years,we battled the one disease for which there is no effective treatment and no cure. Alzheimer’s Disease is 100% fatal. I watched it destroy my husband’s personality,cognition, mobility,reasoning, judgement, and memories. It has been almost 11 months since I sat by his bed in Hospice House,as he took his last breath.Do I sound like I am laughing? Will Ferrell needs to spend a month working 40 hours a week in an Alzheimer facility, and see if he comes out laughing.

  139. Thomas D. Casey says:

    Mr. Ferrell,

    You have driven a committed Goldwater-Reagan conservative to agree with Patti Davis Reagan. Your idea is sick. My own mother had dementia. Patti is correct. This is not a disease that is funny. Do not make this film, please.

  140. Betty Dunphy says:

    Perhaps Seth Rogen can talk some sense into Will. Seth’s mother-in-law has Alzheimer’s and Seth has been a big advocate for raising money for Alz research. Or perhaps Will could visit with the caregivers of these poor people who are suffering with this horrid disease? Not only do the patients suffer; the family has to watch as their
    loved one disappears before their eyes. Would Will make a comedy about people suffering the ravages of cancer? Is nothing sacred?

  141. Nelita Cash says:

    I buried my father 5 years ago today after he lost what seemed to us, a short battle with Alzheimer’s. He had only been diagnosed for 5 years when he passed. I’ve also lost six of his siblings and 2 are living with the disease now. Granted, there are moments you have to laugh instead of cry when dealing with Alzheimer’s, but that privilege is reserved for those of us that fight it day-in day-out and know what it’s like. This is a slap in the face to all of us who have lost someone, to those who are fighting it now, those who are caring for loved ones with the disease and those of us scared to death that it’s coming after us. I hope that if there is any shred of humanity in Will Ferrell, he will reconsider this travesty, drop it and walk away. I would love nothing more than to see a public apology come from him for even entertaining the thought of taking part in such a disgusting insult. But I’d settle to see it on The cutting room floor. I can guarantee if it hits the theaters I will do all I can with everything in me and everyone I know to see his career come to a screeching halt. Bless you Patty, and bless everyone that has commented above dealing with or touched by this awful disease.

  142. Colleen McCann says:

    Patti you have so eloquently worded my thoughts and the thoughts of so many caregivers of dementia patients. What Will Farrell is proposing is cold, insensitive and cruel. I agree with you that he should visit Alzheimer facilities. He should sit in on caregiver support meetings and educate himself. Dementia is a stealthy thief. It steals memories, hopes and dreams. It leaves behind a shell instead of a vibrant confident person. Please know there are many standing in support with you. Colleen

  143. Jose says:

    Patti. Thanks for making the effort on behalf of all of us who cherish the man who your father was, and for the endless stories, yet untold of the multitude of victims of this disease, I guarantee you that Will Farrell will most likely be Harmonized in a most terrible way, He will live to regret making fun not only of your father, but of all of the past and present sufferers of this dreadful most inhuman of diseases.

  144. Tracy says:

    Thank you Pattie! Thousands of people have dealt with this horrible, horrible disease and thousands of people loved your father..including me. If Mr. Farrell continues on this path he will destroy himself and his career. The Lord does very well at dishing out Karma, whether it be on earth or after death….sadly Will Farrell with find this out the hard way. I enjoyed watching only one Will Farrell movie, Elf…the rest of his material is trash.

  145. Nyna Miley says:

    I lost my mother to dementia. It is a insidious disease that can affect anyone. It broke my heart to watch my Mom drift away from me. I miss her still. Her wit, her love of life and family were all taken.

  146. Carol says:

    I lost my mother to Alzheimer’s & there is nothing funny about it. It’s the worse disease one can have. It does tell one thing, who really were my mother’s friends & which of her many older nieces went to visit. Two would always visit, but my mother passed away @84 six years ago & those two cousins were nine years younger than my mother & had physical problems of their own.

    My mother, Thank God, passed away when she still knew both me & my older brother. The loss of mobility was the result of a fall & broken hip. I went with her via ambulance to the hospital, but they wouldn’t let me in X-Ray room. I had the papers in my hand & she complained of left hip pain but the hospital didn’t do hip x-Ray. It took me having a temper tantrum at the nursing home before one was done- 3 1/2 weeks later.
    I filed complaint against hospital but nothing happened. She had UTI & very high fever.
    I filed complaint against Dr at nursing home with Medical Board for not following up. Board told me that they rarely do anything unless it’s in their jurisdiction & fault will be found. Dr was investigated for over a year. I rescued my mother from there.

    Will is a jerk. I never thought anything he has done was funny.

    You never know what’s going to happen to anyone. Will could have the disease himself one day.

  147. Tom L says:

    I agree completely.

    Dementia / Alzheimers steals the heart of its victims. It is not funny and should not be the subject of a comedy. It is no laughing matter. I lost my father to dementia, and nothing about what he went through was funny.

    Those who suffer from it are fearful and are aware that something is wrong, something they can’t explain.
    It’s extremely difficult for the family and caretakers who struggle with the progression of the disease and feel very helpless.

    No one should have their dignity taken from them in this way, and certinly there is no basis in comedy. It seems in bad taste to consider anything about it a comedy.

  148. Vera Stano says:

    Please reconsider the horrid idea of mocking Alzheimer’s victims. It is a living nightmare for family and friends. I can’t even imagine the frustrations and fears the victim experiences. My father passed away a year ago at the age of 90. He suffered and we, his family, did as well for over 10 years. To watch a man you loved, respected and held on a pedistal be reduced to an out of control, temper tantrum 2 year old is indescribable,

    To watch your mom, his spouse of 70 years cry uncontrollably almost every waking hour is heart breaking. To see your beloved younger brother suffer a heart attack while showering your uncooperative father is an imagine you cannot forget. To have your dad not know you, your siblings, his grandchildren is no laughing matter. If there is hell on earth, it goes by the name of Alzheimer’s disease.

    If you have ever loved someone and watched them become the living dead, you would find nothing comical about the disease. Rather than use your talents to mock the pain and dignity of the victims and their families, please put your talents to a positive method of funding research to end this horrid curse.

  149. John Summers says:

    Patti, perhaps Will Ferrell will have to dill with dementia either personally or in the life of a parent. I was a 24/7/365 care giver for both of my parents from 1993 to the end of 1996. My wife and I felt that we owed it to them. They weren’t overly expressive parents and my wife lost both her parents by the time she was 18 and prayed for “a family”. My parents treated her like a daughter. Mother had “dementia” which had been coming on from 1990. My father, of “The Greatest Generation” suffered from kidney failure and congestive heart failure. I took him to the emergency room (as documented by hospital records) 150 times that first year. Dialysis was three times a week early in the morning. Mother survived two broken hips and near the end we were feeding her baby food. Chapter two came in 2000 when my wife became totally disabled with arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and major depression. In 2008 we brought my spinster aunt from a small town in Ohio to our 1,100sq/ft house in north Florida. That old monster dementia had captured another good person. Honor your mother and father and take care of widows and orphans fit my aunt who never married. I could send pictures but she went downhill for five years until the end. There are questions I wish I had asked before these relatives lost their ability to remember but who ever thinks such things could happen to survivors of the Great Depression and World War Two. We took these responsibilities on voluntarily but the damage on our family are still unfolding on me at 67. my wife at 65 our two”adult” sons of 38 and 36. We DID THE RIGHT THING but we have paid a price. Seeing dear family members slip away slowly tears your heart out. From age 10 to age 43 I became an accomplished musician. At the end of 1996 I had no music left in my heart and had lost all my contacts. Who wants to hang out with someone who has to change dirty diapers on their mother. I worked as radio and tv producer for our church; a church which required you to prove yourself in certain ways before you would even be considered for an “inside position”. Christmas service 1993 was the last contact I had with them. Nobody called, nobody came by and only two men came by to build a wheelchair ramp. That was it. I wouldn’t wish any of that on anyone, not even Will Ferrell but with age comes wisdom and he will suffer through his own trials except he will have the advantage of money. We were driving our 1998 Maxima, until I was involved in a minor fender bender. It cost more than twice to repair than it’s value and yet again we are in shock and driving a rental car for two months. We just tried to do what we, in our hearts was right.

  150. MARY E MCENROE says:

    Thank you Patti for sharing what Alzheimer’s disease does to a person and families. I loved your father and mother, they were the epitome of classiness and a loving couple. If Will Farrell actually goes through with this film, I pray no one is stupid enough to go and see it. God bless you Patti and may your Mom & Dad rest in peace.

  151. Jason Rogers says:

    I have created a petition on asking Will Ferrel not to participate in the making of this film. Please sign it and share it:

  152. Warren Goldstone says:

    I have this great script on leprosy. What can be funnier than limbs and noses falling off on your way to your last day? If that won’t work, how about one on childhood cancer? There a good laugh!

    Just because you don’t like Ronald Regan is no reason to exploit his last years—-or my Mom’s! This is one movie I will protest. I certainly don’t plan to further patronize the studios or theater chains that enable such cruelty. What about Schindler’s List, you may ask? That was no comedy.

  153. Billy Valentine says:


    Having spent two decades as a comedywriter and working professional stand-up comedian… I was constantly reminded that the 1st Rule of Comedy is that there is no out of bounds… and nothing/nobody is off limits.

    Today, the woman who raised me after I was removed from my home after having Last Rights issued twice before my 11th birthday…spends some of her day in the present, some of the same day literally reliving events that took place 70 years ago as though they were happening today, and some of her days wondering who I am.

    While some of the things that she says often make us both laugh…Seeing the frustration turn to anger when searching for a word, phrase or memory becomes that daily exercise in futility, well… There’s not a fan thing funny about that. Not now. Not ever.

    On behalf of comedians and comedywriters everywhere, please accept my humble and sincere apology for the disgusting and inhumane conduct of a person whose never-ending quest for relevance commands his every waking moment. Like every other one trick pony, Ferrell has begun his slow March to his own insignificance… Being absolutely unable to stop himself from taking even the most desperate of measures that only ever serve to cause the public to conclude that his body of work would need to advance three levels…just to suck.

    EVERY Rule DOES have it’s exceptions, and THIS RULE was made to be broken.

    Thank you for taking this stand, raising these issues, and defending not only the defenseless, but those who will love them for all eternity.

    You are not alone.

    Remember the amazing memories… And, smile!

    Billy Valentine

  154. George Roush says:

    I hope some good comes out of all of this. Will, please do a drama and focus on the disease. My father has Alzheimer disease. His body is here but the smartest man I ever knew is long gone. There is a good movie here, please have the courage to make it.

  155. David Deutsch says:

    I’ve spent my entire career in the major studios of Hollywood as a writer and development person. I am appalled that any studio would consider producing a movie as insensitive, hurtful, and tasteless as the one Will Farrell proposes. The soulless quality of this premise is self evident. Sadly, it also speaks to the lack of compassion in our mass culture. I was moved by reading your piece, Patti, as well as the many responses it evoked. I have lost two close family members to Alzheimer’s — one died at seventy, one at one hundred. The slow, painful dissolution of their memories and their essence is something I still can’t articulate. You have captured the experience as palpably and as powerfully as anything I have read in so few words. You and those of us who have endured this almost surreal diminishing of a loved one need to speak out as everyone on your site has. It is pathetic that a shallow,comic actor would exploit Alzheimer’s for commercial entertainment; it is sadder still that there could be a market for such heartless comedy.

  156. Paul says:

    Your open letter refreshes my sense of condolence to your family over that terribly long and painful goodbye.

    Thank you, Patti, for standing up against the increasingly morally bankrupt entertainment industry.

    I must confess that I have appreciated some of Will Ferrell’s comedy. Much of it is not quite sophomoric. This project goes way beyond the pale. I regret the pain that even the silly thought of doing such must cause you and others who had to walk through that long and ever deepening fog with a loved one.

  157. Dianne Tyndall says:

    Everyday I see my husband living with this cruel disease and there is nothing funny about it. Millions are suffering with the disease and their loved ones are suffering too. If Will Ferrell continues with his plans to mock and make fun, then it is up to us to spread the word and encourage people to stay home so the movie will be a flop at the box office. Mr. Ferrell this is not funny and you or someone you love could be next. Bet you won’t be laughing when it hits home!!!

  158. Toni Solin says:

    I totally agree that Alzheimer’s is never a laughing matter! I lost my father to this horrible disease 12 years ago. My family and I watched in agony for many years as he was inch by inch, memory by memory, taken from us until there was only an empty shell where my once vibrant father had resided. I appreciate Will Ferrell’s humor, but have never been a huge fan. Today, if he goes through with planned movie, will be the last time I have anything to do with this comic.

  159. Greg Binda says:

    From Ferrell’s past work (see his insulting parodies of George Bush) we know where his politics lie. We also know that he isn’t particularly bright or considerate. Even so, I have a hard time believing he would mock President Reagan as he was in last years. Yet I know Ms Davis would not have published this letter if it were not so. I don’t know if Ferrell will change his mind and do something else. That would take character, something Ferrell lacks.

  160. Rodney Brittain says:

    People often ask me “why have you lost your faith in humanity”? This is a perfect example as to the “why’s”. Hollywood pushes the boundaries and have done so for many years. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that they will pull the plug on such a movie. I have seen dementia and Alzheimers from a distance yet have been close enough to see the impact that it has on the family. Death is hardest for those left behind. To enrich oneself by exploiting those that have dealt with and died from this horrible illness speaks volumes about one’s character. I will never watch another WF movie again.

  161. Norma Mikkola says:

    This infuriates me. I have not lost a family member to Alzheimer’s but have
    friends who have. It is so uncomprehensible to stand by and watch, much less have be made a joke. I wonder what the joker will feel like if he goes through with this and loses all respect for having one humorous
    thought about Alzheimer’s disease that cause so much pain to all who love that person. I have always admired and loved Ronald Reagan. Before this disease took away his liberty, he was one of our Nation’s finest Presidents, not to mention the love he had for his family. And you or any other
    person who thinks he will make money on this is a fool. Next will the comedy be about cancer or brain tumor, etc. You Will Farrell are one sick man. Hopefully you have a family who thinks the opposite of you. This is one of the reasons this world is in such turmoil. May God Bless You.

  162. Norma Mikkola says:

    This infuriates me. I have not lost a family member to Alzheimer’s but have
    friends who have. It is so uncomprehensible to stand by and watch, much less have be made a joke. I wonder what the joker will feel like if he goes through with this and loses all respect for having one humorous
    thought about Alzheimer’s disease that cause so much pain to all who love that person. I have always admired and loved Ronald Reagan. Before this disease took away his liberty, he was one of our Nation’s finest Presidents, not to mention the love he had for his family. And you or any other
    person who thinks he will make money on this is a fool. Next will the comedy be about cancer or brain tumor, etc. You Will Farrell are one sick man. Hopefully you have a family who thinks the opposite of you. This is one of the reasons this world is in such turmoil. May God Bless You.

  163. santiago a baez says:



  164. Carol F says:

    When I first heard the news of what Will Farrell was planning, my heart sank. I’ve been blessed that I have not lost anyone from this disease, but I’ve known many families who have suffered from it. I could plainly see pain, frustration, and heartache in the eyes of their loved ones. There is nothing even remotely funny or humerous in this disease. My stomach turns just thinking about it. I can only pray that Mr. Farrell rethinks his decision and that the people around him gives him smart advice. This could be the greatest mistake of his career.

  165. Francine Reisman says:

    Thank you for my Mother. She was a classy, high heel wearing, New York. Times crossword doing woman who’s laugh sounded like crystal moving in the wind. I assure you there was nothing funny when my sisters and I were trying to clean the woman who had raised us and changed OUR diapers.
    Thank You Ms Davis

  166. adam says:

    If anybody happens to be interested in contacting Ferrell’s production company to let them know how you feel directly, it’s

  167. Jennifer Long says:

    My mother and I cared for my grandparents for 4 years until we lost them within 3 months of each other last year. I watched them be stolen from us due to dementia. There is nothing funny about it at all. Thank you for speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves.

  168. Darcy Oordt says:

    Comedy was originally defined as literature where everyone has a happy ending. Therefore there can be no “comedy” about Alzheimer’s. Some things aren’t to be made fun of unless you are living with it.

    I have not been touched by this disease, but I’m outraged at the thought of this. Ms. Davis, I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry our culture has sunk so low that this would be considered.

  169. I can’t even form thoughts that do justice to this injustice tonight. I just left my father assisted living facility to travel across the country to my home where my husband is stationed. My father loved the week of my being here, but by Monday, won’t remember I or his granddaughter visited. We were here last year and he has no memory of that visit or the three prior. I just wrote about how his memory loss is so painful. I can’t imagine the people in Ferrel’s camp who didn’t see the distasteful garbage in this idea. How crude to portray such a devastating illness in such a light, but also to warp the memory of one of our nation’s finest presidents? Truly despicable.

  170. Susan Cstt says:

    Thank you for putting to paper what so many of us feel. I lost my husband 18 mos after his diagnosis of Frontol Temporal Dementia. FTD is the most aggressive form of Dementia. Trust me there was nothing funny about the agony of those months or the years since. What humor is there in losing a beautiful, intelligent, kind and compassionate man before the age of 62.

  171. Annette Guidry says:

    There is a HUGE hole in my heart where my mama used to be, and she passed away in 2010. The caregiving experience brought me closer to her than I could have ever imagined, and gave me a love like I will never know in my life. The journey was tough and lonely. My sister’s response was, “The second she got dementia, she quit being my mom!” Yet after 10 years of not even a phone call (okay, there was one, and she made sure to inform me that the efforts she made took over 10 minutes, and what a waste of her time) she and her husband came in after the burial with a lawyer and false accusations. After a 2 year legal battle (yes I had partial “fault” because I didn’t keep perfect documentation for the last 4 years, I hadn’t expected the fight!), I signed away my inheritance and my plans to get a Master’s degree in Health Advocacy. It was my dream because of what I saw happen to both my mother and father in short staffed, corporate-owned institutions, as well as the VA Hospital. Alzheimer’s not only took away my mother over the course of 15 years, it has virtually alienated my sister and myself. I want to forgive, but I also want to be a positive policy advocate and leader, in the name of my mother, who went through so much suffering because of Alzheimer’s. Aging people need professionally trained advocates and caregivers. Thank you, Patti Davis, for writing this letter! Regardless of any political persuasions, your father should never be at the butt of any jokes because of Alzheimer’s. It destroys too many lives and reaches beyond the Alzheimer’s patient. It tears apart at-risk families, and brings overwhelming sad emotions for years afterward. I only hope I can somehow pick up the pieces and find another way to make a difference in this world, so that others will not have to go through the suffering that my parents experienced!

  172. Andreja Jenko says:

    I lost my father to Alzheimer disease 7 months ago. I can’t even imagine how can somebody make fun of the victims of this disease, either the patients themselves or their relatives. It’s pain, anger, helplesness, disapointment, frustration, sadness, fear…a wide variety of emotions that we go through with our dear ones who are/were affected by AD. I’m deeply hurt to hear that some comedian would make fun of the suffering that AD brings/was brought to us.

  173. Barbara Hacker says:

    Thank you for saying this. I lost my father last year to Alzheimer’s. It broke my heart to watch him deteriorate the way he did. I find nothing funny with this disease. My heart is still broken.

  174. Laurie wilcox says:

    This is so upsetting! My family and I are painfully and helplessly watching our mother lose her identity, family memories, reasoning ability, and self care abilities to this devastating disease. My mother took care of my father at home for years as he was succumbing to this disease. It sickens me to think that anyone would be so heartless to make light of a disease that is so terribly painful for families as they say the ‘long goodbye’ to their loved one….

  175. Susan Buchner says:

    Thank you for expressing so eloquently the pain those of us who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s feel. I also saw the fear in my father’s eyes. It broke me. My mom (who was the most practical and capable person I have ever known) died before the disease manifested in my dad and my sister and I were left to try and figure it all out. We made so many missteps. We placed him in facilities that didn’t care properly for him. I will feel guilt and sadness for the rest of my life for those mistakes. Fortunately we finally found a place where he is safe, cared for and most importantly loved by the staff. He also is finally on the other side of the memory war – so now the pain is all ours and I am so grateful for that. I can’t imagine why anyone would find this disease suitable for comedy.

  176. Faith Boschmann says:

    How does anyone with a conscience think of making a comedy about Alzheimer’s? It is a cruel and heartbreaking process that not only the patient goes through, but their loved ones as well. So agree with Patti’s statement, and I agree, that Farrell, whom I do NOT find funny in the first place, should go to a facility where Alzheimer’s patients are, and spend a day…not an hour, but an entire day with these poor folks, maybe that would change his mind very quickly about this absurd idea of his…my mother was just in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s, and she had that look of fear as to what was happening to her. She eventually died of a massive stroke, but this disease is horrible.

  177. Barry thayer says:

    Thanks to the defenders of humanity who have posted against this outrage. I watched my grandmother drift into her own nothingness and I am currently watching one of the greatest Fire Captains ever to ride a fire engine forget more than I’ll ever know about firefighting. There is no comedy in it, no glamour, no greatness, no glory. God bless you all…

  178. Robert Conger says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Alzheimer’s is no comical subject. It saddens me that anyone would have so little respect for an ill person than to poke fun at something they cannot control or cure themselves. President Reagan was a good man through his whole life. He was everything a good American and good man could be. He does not deserve to be made fun of nor does anyone that has been afflicted with this disease.

    Will Ferrell and many like him should be ashamed.

  179. Lori Moore says:

    Your words are so spot on laughter but no humor. Not knowing who I will wake up to. There is nothing funny about this and leaves the loved ones in fear of will I be next and everytime you for get something a date or where you put something you think is this happening to me!?!?!?

  180. Michal Kauffman says:

    It saddens methat he is making light of this. My family has gone thru this with my father and mother. To watch the sparkle leave our fathers eyes and our mother to forgeting and laughter leave her was devastating. If I could have taken this from our parents and what our family went thru, I would have but I could not. What brings me comfort now is knowing they are together, laughing, smiling and holding hands once again. I feel sorry for Will Ferrell. He clearly has not gone thru this and the pain and devastation that it causes. i can only hpethat he will. Thank you for allowing me to express my feelings. Thoughts and prays to your family.

  181. Melody says:

    As the child of someone who had Alzheimer’s, I can tell you that humor was what got us through. Daddy was unfortunate enough to know and understand that he had dementia. It robbed him of his ability to work, to drive, and to control his bodily functions. I still remember going to see him at the nursing home and finding him weeping. I asked what was wrong and he said, “It’s taken everything from me.”

    We used humor to lighten his mood “Well at least everything you hear is new” and when he would not want to remember he would smile and say he didn’t remember. Humor had its place, but never was he the brunt of the joke.


    Overall, is was devastatingly sad. Watching him slip away and his sadness over losing control were painful and heartbreaking. As his abilities departed, our job was to provide compassion and maintain his dignity.

    Making fun of someone’s devastation is not funny. It’s cruel and disrespectful.

  182. Margaret Dell says:

    I am so mad! I never watched a movie with WF and could care less about his career. If he goes forward with this project it will ruin his career and perhaps the producers. I loved your father and till this day I still believe that he was the best president of this great country. I truly hope this film is tabled and forgotten, because your dad will never be forgotten. The idea of making a comedy about this mind disease is sickening. Stay strong Patti and God be with you and your family in your time of mourning.

  183. Steven Leydorf says:

    A truly great example of what the open letter format is all about. The overused medium is worn, but this shows what it is meant to do: earnestly appeal with witnesses for what is right. This is centering and good. Thank you.

  184. Joni says:

    Wonderful letter! Yes, you do wake up every day wondering who they will be. It’s sad, heartbreaking, terrifying and exhausting…for everyone involved. Most definitely not a comedy in any way!!

  185. Tony Solomon says:

    I have a letter on the wall from your father he sent me in response to one I sen’t him as a young serviceman during his presidency. He was a smart, funny, compassionate, Godly man with a wicked sense of humor that I still look up to today. In my humble opinion he was the last great president the United States had.

    To portray this great man in this way for the sake of a laugh is deplorable, despicable, and totally uncalled for. It’s totally disrespectful of anyone with the disease. I’m angry and totally nonplussed about the entire situation. You’re in my heart and prayers. Godspeed Ms Davis.

  186. Virginia Cundari Falcone says:

    I will not see this horrific movie that Will Ferrell is portraying about Alzheimer’s and Dementia diseases. I have lost a brother at a young age to Alzheimer’s Disease and have a sister who is now suffering with Dementia. There is nothing funny nor entertaining about these diseases as you slowly watch your loved one(s) struggling to remember or say sentences that make sense. Shame on WF. He must b e hard up for attention and money for him to even want to make a film like this. God bless all the families who have had to see their loved one)s_ suffer. I am one of them who is heartbroken over having seen my late brother and my living sister go through these diseases. Wake up actors. Find more accurate issues to entertain us with.

  187. Margaret Duarte says:

    Having lost my mother to this disease and seeing how it’s affected my father in law, I am saddened that Mr Farrel is planning on this film as a comedy! I hope he rethinks this project.

  188. Barbara Gold says:

    To All:

    I have been diagnosed with “Mild Cognitive Impairment” that is a precursor to Alzheimer’s Disease. I find it outrageously insensitive about people who think it is funny and they say “Oh I Forgot”. It is flat out mean.

  189. Dorothy Walker says:

    Patti thank you.Everything you said and more is so true.There’s also the fact that you lose a little more each day.My mother had Alzheimer’s.Its like cancer just slower.Yes you sometimes get laughs but not really the kind you want.

  190. Jeff says:

    I watched my mother’s father die away while he was alive. He was at a retirement home not far from my first employer. I once found him aimlessly walking on a busy street during lunch and had to take him back to the home. The people there cared less. They stole his belongings. Eventually, we put him in a hospice.
    My wife’s grandmother went down the same path.

    Your father was my hero when I was young as I was scared to death of the USSR and nuclear destruction. When KAL 007 was shot down, your father gave the speech that gave me hope.

    Will Ferril is a hideously unfunny man and all venues of his will be boycotted by me.


  191. Carla Danesi says:

    To portray such a beloved President and man in the throws of a disease that is an inhumane atrocity- there is nothing funny about it.I sincerely hope that will Ferrell changes his mind. I’m sure he has other opportunities at his disposal. This disease destroys everyone and everything in its path.its horrific and wretched not comedic take it from someone that knows first hand.I’ve had to watch it try to destroy my family- my mom who has the illness, my dad who suffers daily over mom my brother etc Nothing funny about it! Thank you Sincerely Carla Danesi Gloria’s Daughter “Remember Gloria, Gloria Lives” also an Independent National Alzheimer’s Research Advocate in hopes of a new and better medicine for our great nation

  192. Pat Lear says:

    God Bless you Patti for speaking up for those that can’t speak for themselves. For the life of me I cannot think why someone would want to make a movie, especially a comedy, about something like an Alzheimer’s patient. Especially when it is the President of the United States. Loved your Dad. We will never have another President like him.

  193. Betsy says:

    Win one for the Gipper Patti! Your dad would be proud of you, standing up for what’s right!

  194. I have been diagnosed with dementia. The Drs. don’t know yet what kind. Let me tell you it is not a joke. Some family members have made comments about people having “selective memory”. Pending on their mood when talking about it, they either make it as a joke or are angry at the person. I am angry at myself because I use to be one of them. Not any more of course. I am experiencing tjhings like not remembering how to spell the simplist of words, I can’t remember some conversations or I can’t remember parts of conversations. There are some days I will start out having a good day and then towards the end of the day it starts happening where i am confused and can’t remember situations I had during the day or was it the day before or maybe linger or may be i dreamed it can’t tell what is real what is not. i cry a lot when i am alone because this is happening. one of my daughters know she lives with me my other daughter hasn’t been told yet. im planning on talking to her in May when i go to visit her while her husband is out of town. If any of you believe in prayer I would appreciate your prayers for my family and I.Thank-you for listing to my rambling. I loved President Ronald Reagan My only regret is I never got to meet him in person. I remember he gave us pride again as Americans. If only our country was like that now.I remember when he spoke these words “TEAR DOWN THESE WALLS”. Did I get it quoted right? I wish for the walls of us who have this loss were tore down so we can remember again. Especially the good things we experience in life.Thank God for spell check Even though I still think my words are not spelled right according to my daughters help and my old faithful dictionary where i look at the meanings of words to know whether the words oar right.

  195. DeDe John says:

    My husband had both alzheimers and parkinsons. I took care of him most of the time. Horrible diseases. To even suggest there is any humor in it is revolting. Shame on anyone who makes a movie about these diseases as humor or who thinks jokes about diseases are funny.

  196. LuAnn says:

    Dear Patti, Thank you for writing this letter. Your father was a great man, and probably the greatest president of my lifetime. Suffering from a terrible wasting neurological disease in his final years will never dim his light in my eyes. I was so grateful for the letter that he sent to the American people when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I was, at that time, struggling to find out what was wrong with my own mother. There was never a definite diagnosis, but as time went on, it became more and more clear that she had a progressive, disabling dementia. Your father’s letter was a very brave gesture of leadership that helped bring Alzheimer’s and related dementias out of the shadows. There are already so many distorted beliefs regarding this horrible illness. Does Will Ferrell really need to make a comedy out of something that touches so many so deeply? This will only serve to bring more shame and misunderstanding to the Alzheimer’s community. To me, there is no terminal disease that is funny. Would it be funny to mock cancer patients and the dehumanizing elements of their everyday life? Shame on Will Ferrell!

  197. Susie Shivel says:

    I am currently watching my mother suffer from this disease. Do we laugh, yes! Is it a funny disease, no! I cry almost every time I leave her at her assisted living facility, and I’m not a crier. I hope he does some real research on this disease and educates himself on what it’s really like to watch your mother become the child. I am someone who finds humor in everything I do, and I can tell some really funny stories about my mom and the situations we find ourselves in, but that is my story to tell, not for a Hollywood actor who didn’t live through it to tell. I pray he reconsiders.

  198. Joe says:

    I well remember the outpouring of grief and support your father’s passing caused in this country. It wasn’t just Republicans or conservatives; nearly everyone was deeply saddened by the loss of one of our greatest Americans. I miss him every day, as do many others. That Hollywood, and Mr. Ferrell, would stoop so low as to portray his life, and his struggle with a crippling disease, as comedy underscores the complete lack of morals among so-called entertainers. Let’s hope the effort is not met with success, if only to show that there still are more people in this country who abhor tastelessness than there are who revel in it.

  199. Gary Crouch says:

    Thank you for this response. Glad your letter stopped or will stop this ignorant movie idea. My wife and I are primary caregivers for an immediate family member and this is the most informed, compassionate explanation of what everyone experiences when this disease ravages our human existence.I have always admired your Dad and Mom…such intelligence, grace and class…you sure come by it honestly!

  200. Rodney Wilson says:

    Some movies should not be made. This is one of them.

  201. Dean Haas, Jr. says:

    I am glad Ferrell has decided not to do this – there is nothing funny about it, and those who suffer, as well as President Reagan, deserve more respect.

  202. Linda Lobeck says:

    I am LOSING my mother to Alzheimer’s – once a very funny and accomplished woman is angry, hateful, and has broken bones from falling (loss of balance a side effect). She doesn’t know me or my family. My father died recently and although mom didn’t really know him as her husband, she knew he was a comfort to her. She now senses something is missing in her life but she doesn’t know what. I fail to see anything funny about this. I’ve never liked Will Ferrell, and now I really know why.

  203. William Brown says:

    Yesterday my dear wife and I had our 61st wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, she is unable to remember much of our wonderful marriage as she has Alzheimers. I had to remind her that we had travelled the world setting up meetings for Billy Graham and had the privilege of seeing hundreds of lives changed from hopelessness to redemption.

    Tank you Patty for a great letter that we agree with.

  204. Neal Castagnoli says:

    Just a note, this is a very poignant letter. It’s a shame you had to write it. It touched me, and while sad the silver lining is those connections with others you value so much in your life.

    Thank you for sharing.

  205. Louann Tomassi-Heydt says:

    Thank you for standing up to this despicable move. You were much kinder than I could have ever responded. Your family has done so much to bring awareness to this terrible disease. All our hearts are knit together to do what we can to speak for those that cannot and for the future of our children.

  206. Deborah Lambert says:

    Here’s my comment that I posted on Yahoo regarding the article “Will Ferrell pulls out of controversial Ronald Reagan Alzheimer’s comedy…”
    Today, on CBS This Morning I saw a video clip regarding the screenplay Reagan. Mile Rosolio, The Montalban Theater, the actors and yourself as the event organizer should be ashamed of yourselves. Dementia, in any form (i.e Alzheimers, Vascular, etc.) is a disease that is not to be mocked or laughed about. As Pati Davis stated in her open letter to Will Ferrell, she watched the fear invade her father’s eyes. I too, watched the fear invade my father’s eyes as he suffered with his dementia…worrying daily when he would forget who we, as his family, were. The depression he suffered on a daily basis thinking about his future with dementia. The daily medication he had to take, which only served as a reminder that he had dementia. I watched my father as he struggle for simple words to say in order to complete a sentence. I saw the hurt in his eyes when I had to take the car keys away from he because it was no longer safe for him to drive and this was a man who drove a huge delivery truck for a living. He has since passed away (5 years ago) from other health complications, but we thank God everyday, that he passed away remembering us, his family who loved him dearly. Other dementia sufferers and caregivers are not so blessed as we were…they forget their families, their loved ones, they forget how to speak, how to eat, how to care for themselves. As caregivers of dementia sufferers we get to watch this all happen to our loved ones. I can only hope that one day medical research finds a cure for this disease. I agree with Pati Davis that if any of you visited dementia facility, no one would be laughing or find anything funny. I commend Will Ferrell for making the decision to pull out of the project. Maybe others will be just as intelligent and pull out of this project too, and use the brain God gave them when pursuing other projects of this nature.

  207. Pam Hansford says:

    Thank you Patti for trying to elegantly attempt to state how this horrid disease is for everyone who tries to help someone through it. Yes, all human beings die; however, not all lose every single memory of everyone they love and every memory they love before death takes them. It is absolutely wrong on all levels to try to make a movie out of it.

  208. John says:

    I worked for your Dad, indirectly, for 8 years. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. The very thought of “the Boss” showing fear is just beyond my comprehension. He was a great man, a giant, and what they had planned was just terrible. I hear that the project has been killed. I hope it has been buried deeply. Thank you for publishing this open letter.

  209. Lois says:

    My husband was diagnosed with traumatic dementia almost 3 yrs ago. He has this as a result of a head injury when he was a teenager. It was totally unexpected. He started forgetting words and became uncomfortable in social situations. We went to the Neurologist thinking
    there was some surgery or something to fix him. When DR told him what he had found, I will never forget what my good husband said: ” Oh no, I am going to be a burden on my wife”. He has gotten worse and the time goes by so fast. I can see the progression of this illness almost daily. There is nothing we can do. We have lost all friends we socialized with, organizations where we volunteered, all of it but close family. We see no one but those brave ones who come anyway. Our Church has stopped calling us, the minister has visited once in three years. We can no longer attend church services. I am terribly lonely for conversation but no one seems to notice. I am tired. My husband stays up most all night walking the floor. Really walking about our bedroom and bathroom. I have no way of sleeping while he does this. I average about 3 hours of sleep a night. Then he is often sleeping throughout the day to make up for it but I have to continue on with housework, cooking, bill-paying and life. I never leave him. I have a cleaning lady once a week for 4 hours. He is a veteran but we are not considered low income and it is not a service related injury so VA does not help. Medicare and health insurance do not cover any home care or assistance. I feel so alone. I feel so sorry for all we have lost. I talk to him all day long and cannot even sit down for a movie or tv show because he starts wandering. He tries to go out sometimes and I have had to put some alarms on the doors. I am scared he will wander off. I never rest. He understands what is happening to him but not that it is going to end his life eventually. He cannot remember my name many times. He searches for me and even asks me where his wife is. That is heartbreaking I can tell you. So if you want to portray someone like our former President in your movie part, I hope America will boycott your movie. You are a selfish person with no feelings to do this. We suffer every day. I know and dread that one day I may have to place him in a nursing home. I cannot even begin to plan or face that day. I am using up my health taking care of him. There is no rest!!! That is the main problem with caregiving a person with dementia/alz. If you do this, you should never be able to work again in movie business. May God forgive you for your heartlessness.

  210. Jeff says:

    I produced a play with an actress who came out to the audience announcing her Alzheimer’s. All our proceeds went to Alzheimer charities. While the play itself was not about Alzheimer’s, I met the most dedicated people I had ever met involved in the disease, and have to say, I cannot see where any of the humor may be. As a screenwriter, it will always amaze me that in this incredibly difficult business of selling stories, how a script like this got this far to begin with? Who decided that this would make a great comedy and gave it a green light? Can someone explain this?

  211. Michelle OGrady says:

    Laughter at the expense of someone’s dignity and memory is never funny. I work as a Director of a Memory Care unit in an Assisted Living Community and our residents are beautiful people – they are Mothers, Fathers, Service Men and Women, and dignified women and men who are deserving of a dignified portrayal. Not a comedic mocking. #shameonwillfarrell.

  212. Erin Marie Pannell says:

    Thank you for this. As a caregiver for my mom, who has early-onset ALZ (she’s 64, I’m 31), your letter brought me to tears. You hit the nail on the head. Let’s raise awareness, not increase the stigma surrounding the disease. Hopefully Ferrell will issue an apology. I’m disgusted he ever considered it, let alone that the script got written and to his desk. Thank you for being open and honest.

  213. Roberta Jadick says:

    Beautifully said, Ms. Davis, and something you should not have to deal with so soon after losing your mother. I was horrified when I heard about this and couldn’t imagine what would be funny about Alzheimer’s disease. Thankfully, the same idea came to Mr. Farrell for it has been reported that he has scraped the project. I hope so. There but the grace of God, go I.

  214. Deborah Cook says:

    Thank you for saying this Patti. For speaking for those who are no longer with us or able to speak. For those of us who are just everyday people who have lost loved ones to Alzheimers. Remembering my mother who was a talented, creative woman, spiraling down into frustration and confusion because she couldn’t remember. A woman know for being an outstanding cake decorator, that couldn’t boil water. Who no longer recognized my father, who she had been married to for 65 years, asking him, “Did we ever get married?” Thinking that she lived in a hotel. Not knowing her children and grandchildren. Finally, dying when she could no longer, walk, talk, or eat. It was heart-breaking to observe and it is no laughing matter.

  215. Enuf Istoomuch says:

    I do so very much appreciate Patti Davis posting this open letter. I hope that, if Ferrel truly was planning to do this thing it was only out of simple ignorance, that he has now learned better and was as put off by the idea as any knowing and caring person would be. I like to think, to hope that someone who has seen dementia in any form would never think it a source of entertainment.

    I am deeply involved with the second family member who is displaying symptoms of dementia. The form is episodic, comes and goes, caused by a long ago stroke and complex secondary effects. There are variants of dementia depending upon the disease or injury mechanism causing it. In these episodes this family member displays great fear, panic, terror and confusion. To be an adult with full language skills but suddenly to have no memory is a shattering moment.

    When such an episode happens there is no emotional cushion for the patient. When memory is defective, you do not recall that these things pass and you will be better soon. You do not recall that you are safe at home in your own bed surrounded by people who care for and protect you.

    With no memory, with the things you are being told not registering for more than seconds, it is as if you have been dumped into an existence that makes no sense to you. The sights and sounds and faces are not people you know or trust, not at first. All input is part of the massive confusion and noise of the world around you. Nothing makes sense, nothing reassures. It passes as medications take effect, as the episode releases you into your normally diminished but still functional state of mind. Until you get there it is an exhausting time for family care-givers. A time that may erupt without regard to time of day. Be it morning, noon or night. Be it 2pm or 2am.

    It is a roller coaster of pain and heartache. One you bought no ticket for, that you never know when the ride will start, how severe it will be or when it will end.

    Of Will Ferrel I’ll say this, I have never once found him funny. His humor just doesn’t work for me. But I do not look down on him for it. Not every comic serves everyone’s tastes, that’s only normal. No big deal on that. But somethings should universally understood. So perhaps his agent put some script in front of him, and he considered it for a while, learned more and realized, “Oh no, this is a very bad idea” and dropped him. I like to think the best of people, hopefully be began in ignorance and upon gaining knowledge made the same moral and ethical choice any decent human being would make.

    Of Ronald Reagan, I was one of countless volunteers in his first run for the Presidency. In the end, after his two terms, I came to have serious disagreements with his positions. But I never disrespected the man. That is something I regret seeing in today’s politics. How people do not merely disrespect each other based upon being a left or right winger, there is real hatred there.

    It has all gone too far, become poisonous.

  216. grateful reader says:

    While I frequently disagreed with President Reagan’s policies, I continue to be impressed by his family. Dementia had yet to touch my life when your mother so eloquently articulated the cruelty of its impact. It was her perspective that informed mine and helped prepare me to deal with it when it did touch my life. I have long been impressed by your brother Ron. Thank you for such effective advocacy for dementia’s countless victims. You have truly honored your parents.

  217. Sonya Williams says:

    I was deeply upset by Mr. Ferrell choice to even think such a movie would be written on a script and considered. My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson or Parkinson-like disease. He was very angry at the diagnosis and angry if I told the doctor about his falls. I cried a lot. It was hard to be the only caregiver and hope we would go to the next stage where he was no longer angry. He had been a great surgeon and had lost the ability to hold things and give injections. He was forced to retire. So many dreams went out the window. I had to re-home my beloved horses and dogs. I sold my truck and horse trailers and wagon and harnesses and some saddle. We put the farm up for sale. He left me and wants a divorce. It’s horrible and I wish these terrible illnesses upon no one. I lost my beloved husband, my children and grandchildren and all my furbabies in one year. I am just now beginning to heal. I loved and respected your father and mother. I am grateful Mr. Ferrell has decided not to do such a horrid film. I would have never been able to see such a thing and say it was comedy. The suffering is enormous.

  218. Ava Seavey says:

    Thank you so much, Patti, for standing up for honor and truth. Your words are very powerful. I am watching my Mother In Law struggle with dementia and, while there are “funny” or “touching” moments, I would not want someone to characterize it as comedic or something to make fun of. You have demonstrated yet again your dignity, class and style in everything you do. Thank you.

  219. Cheryl says:

    Patti Davis ~ I am SO sorry that you had to endure reading Peggy Jernigan’s ignorant post. Your father was the BEST president this country has had since Abraham Lincoln! And those so called journalists that claim your father had Alzheimer’s while he was in office are nothing but wanna be reporters trying to make a name for themselves. Their reports are based on their pathetic attempt to make a name and it’s all a lie!! Your father is highly respected and dearly loved.

  220. Cynthia Castelhano says:

    Such a well written letter. I hope it doesn’t fall on a hard heart.

    My mother just passed away with dementia just this year on January 22nd. I’m struggling to understand what Mr. Ferrell is thinking would be–in any way, shape or form, humorous. My mother kept asking when she was going home; was she just staying in the (group home) room for one night; where she was, etc. There was no one laughing in that room. We cried at her bedside as we tried to have a conversation with her; we cried as she choked on even sips of water and threw up anything she ate; we cried outside her room; we cried at her home as we started trying to go through pictures and her personal belongings; we cried as we made funeral arrangements; we cried at the memorial service. Yeah…no laughing, as I can recall.

    Sadly, I am certain, should the movie get made, there will be a certain group of people who will pay the (exorbitant) price for a ticket to laugh at a situation totally void of humor. I can only hope that should the same trial befall them or someone close to them, they will be able to recall (from the movie) just how funny the whole situation can really be. I’m thinking not so much, though.

    Our only joy was knowing she went to be with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and no longer has to suffer.

  221. Diane Keller says:

    Thank you Patti Davis for an eloquent reply about the ravages of dementia. I am appalled that anyone would even think about making a comedy about this horrible, fatal disease. I admired your father very much.

  222. Debra Craig says:

    Thank you. I have lost my grandfather, mother and just recently her sister. Knowing that my cousins and I have that dreadful THING hanging over our head for our future we can not see anything funny at all. I pray that he does not have someone close to him or himself having it.

  223. Paul Chretien says:

    I first heard of Alzheimer’s when I was in my late 20’s… when a good friend of mine lost his father… a man who ALWAYS exemplified strength, to the disease. In 2014, my friend died from the disease. He was 56 years old. So it can strike at younger ages, as well.

    My Mother is in the early to mid-stages and, although she still retains most long term memory, her short term is gradually getting shorter and shorter. She is a resident on a memory care ward and on our last visit, she repeated several questions many times. Her ability to retain short memory is gradually diminishing. We look around at others, on the ward and we see many who have lapsed into an almost infantile euphoria and it is heartbreaking to think that our mother may, inevitably fall into this same state. It makes me think, sadly, that an earlier passing from some other cause and ideally, in her sleep, would truly be more merciful for her… and for all of us who love her.

    We do our best to try to exercise her short term, without adding frustration to her day and we talk about things from our youth and the upbringing she provided for us to keep dignity and happiness in her life for as long as we are able.

  224. […] clearly and respectfully about Alzheimer’s and her father, and change happened — after an open letter, Will Ferrell severed ties from a film that planned to use Ronald Reagan’s experience with […]

  225. Tom Talley says:

    I have never been close to someone or around anyone with Alzeimer’s nor do I need to be, to see the ignorance of this movie. I know there are a lot more people involved than Mr. Ferrell that came up with this disgusting plot. And politics should not even play a part but one can’t help wonder if the same thing had happened to Bill Clinton, would the idea for this movie even been considered. I’m sure most comedians/actors feel like there are no boundaries when it comes to making money regardless of whom they might hurt in the process. I can’t stand our latest President but would not agree with this if it were about him either. It’s about people, not denominations or political parties.

  226. Tish says:

    I was quite honestly baffled when I heard why this movie was even being considered. I guess Will Ferrell has not been directly affected by this disease. I would imagine if he had experienced this illness with a family member or friend he would feel differently. How could anyone find humor in someones life who has been hit by Alzheimer’s? I thank God I have not had a family member who has been affected by this disease, but I have a friend who’s mother had it. She said her daddy would go see her everyday and how sad it made her to see him leave knowing the woman he loved and lived with for nearly 50 years did not know him anymore. It broke her heart. The fact that Will Ferrell already “considered” doing this movie in my opinion hurt him. I think people were outraged at his decision to make this film. I am glad he is no longer doing it, but personally I will no longer see any of his films. This makes me realize that times are changing to a degree where nothing is off the table. Anything goes as long as it makes money. How sad.

  227. Ryan says:

    I really appreciate this open letter and I appreciate you speaking out on Will Ferrell creating a comedy about one of the least funny things in existence. I lost my grandmother to Alzheimer’s disease, and witnessing her lose her memories and her understanding of the world was painful for my whole family. At first it was little stuff, like forgetting where things went in her kitchen and what sports her grandchildren played. It quickly grew much more serious, where she would often not recognize you when you entered the room or completely forget where she was when she was standing in her own house. I remember visiting her in the hospital close to her death and she had no idea who I, her grandson who she had known since he was born, was. She asked for her parents, who had died more than a decade before. She died confused and heartbroken, which is no way any person should die. I know that you had a very similar experience with your father and you know how painful it is seeing that in a person you looked up to all your life. Once again, I thank you for this open letter. God bless you.

  228. Carole says:

    Patti, I lost my beautiful, articulate, humorous and talented mother to this all consuming disease. Every emotion and sense of loss that you wrote, Patti, is felt by all of us that slowly and agonizingly say good-bye to our loved one. The helplessness is overwhelming. The look of fear in her eyes was so painful to see. My family is thankful too that Will Ferrell has decided to cancel this senseless project. Thank you for speaking for all of us.

  229. Aking says:

    Agreed the disease and to see your love one not know who you are isn’t funny. But to live through it you MUST FIND THE HUMOR!!

    It is a bit scary to me considering my mother’s mom was the first person I got to experience with it. A woman that was healthy, and not over weight except when the onset of the dreaded disease set it.

    My mother had to bring her mom to live with us the eventually as the disease progressed my mom and her siblings had to decide to put her in a nursing home.

    The days she was living with us was FUNNY!! My mom told her siblings, her children and anyone close to her she had to laugh to stay sane. Even when my grandmother died I remember telling my mother — well now she is out of pain it is ok– my mother was devastated she didn’t want to her things like that — she told me she was still her mom she didn’t want her to dye.

    One time I came home from work sat my purse on the table came back it was gone— I asked my grandmother had she seen my purse — she said Chile I haven’t seen no purse—FUNNY, I found it in her closet. Once she cut some potatoes up for my mom– she helped cook, it helped her. After she had cut the potatoes my mother asked her what she had done with them– my grandmother what potatoes I didn’t cut up any potatoes– we looked in the stove, outside, under the sink everywhere– then finally the fridge– she put them in the fridge….

    Not only did my grandmother have it all three of her oldest daughters died with it. My mother died early from complications of diabetes so we don’t know if she would have had it or not.

    Me, my siblings and cousins do fear that we may have it too. Also a dear friend of mine in her mid-60s has been diagnosed with it too, she is still doing well no drastic changes thus far.

    I said all this to say — YOU MUST FIND THE HUMOR — cause a sick person will make a well person sick.

    I empathize with any and all that are dealing with a love one with the dreaded disease– you must laugh to stay sane. It has been said laughter sooths the soul. Peace!

  230. Len A says:

    The very idea that this Will Farrell would stoop to such low reprehensible behavior, as to make light of a very serious disease and the tragic circumstances that ensue. This is typical as to what direction the human race and the world is heading. The man obviously is without compassion or soul, to think that this travesty could possibly be funny in any possible way. I do not judge anyone, as only God can do that, but I have absolutely no respect for anyone that would be so cavalier in their thinking and stop at nothing, just for some laughs. I am totally appalled by this man’s ignorance and lack of humanity. Patti, I am with you 100% in this, what you are doing is is highly commendable and God Bless you!

  231. Frances Vantuyne says:

    My father passed away in a hospital i was by his bedside I loved him all the way to heaven . My dad was the most brilliant man ever… But it’s been years since I saw that bright light that was my dad and every day he would forget something, someone, a word a memory and it broke my heart . By the end of his life the only actual things that he remembered was that I was his daughter and he had a son and we were the lucky ones because he thought before he forgot us . Patty thank you for telling in such an eloquent way to Will Farrell that he should learn about this disease before he ignorantly writes and plays the role depicting your father at the worst time of his life . God bless you and I am so sorry for what your family went through and I do know firsthand how hard it is to know that although your loved ones body is there, strong wonderful man that you knew was not there anymore! and cystic fibrosis is no different than ALS!

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