Mike Newman played a lifeguard in the cult series “Baywatch” in the 90s. In the documentary “Baywatch: The American Dream,” the actor speaks for the first time about his Parkinson’s disease.
Hardly anyone could ignore this series in the 90s: “Baywatch – the lifeguards of Malibu”, with the already famous David Hasselhoff, attracted the masses in front of the TV screen and made some of the actors stars.
Mike Newman was the only real lifeguard on “Baywatch”
Beautiful women in the famous fire-red swimsuits, equally attractive, well-trained men at their side as lifeguards, fantastic beach shots and plenty of sun: “Baywatch” probably appealed to the longings of many TV viewers.
Today the series is considered a cult – and so are some of the stars. For Pamela Anderson, for example, it was her breakthrough. Actor Mike Newman was also part of the cast, playing the eponymous lifeguard Mike “Newmie” Newman – and was the only real lifeguard in the series.
In a new documentary, the “Baywatch” star talks about his illness
The actor is now 66 years old and no longer in the business, but will appear again in the documentary “Baywatch: The American Dream.” The multi-part series examines the cultural influence of the series. According to people.com, the director of the documentary, Matt Felker, was particularly interested in Mike Newman’s views. He has a huge fan base: “Everyone loved this guy,” Felker said. Newman was important to the filming because, as a firefighter and real lifeguard, he was, in his own words, “too useful” for the series – just for the necessary stunts.
In advance of the documentary, Mike Newman also spoke to “people.com” about a difficult chapter in his life that he had not previously shared publicly. Because the athlete suffered from Parkinson’s disease, when he was 50 years old he received the diagnosis: “Everything changes. All the things you thought you would do with your children and grandchildren, the pictures we wanted to take, all the plans I had – were stopped.” So did he and his wife Sarah, their plans gave up spending their retirement in Hawaii and stayed in LA
Despite Parkinson’s: Newman still often trains in the water
But one thing hasn’t changed: he still enjoys being in the water and is as active as he was before the illness. According to Newman, the best treatment for Parkinson’s is exercise: “I trained for it. “It wouldn’t look so good for someone who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 65 and wasn’t very athletic,” the 66-year-old explained in an interview, explaining why he isn’t already significantly more physically limited. Director Felker added that he was like “Superman” in the water – he sometimes stumbled on land.
After “Baywatch,” things became quiet around the actor, but now he wants to talk openly about his story. And that also has a lot to do with the cult series, without which, as he himself says, his life would have been “kind of boring.”