'20/20': Dudley Moore Battles Brain Disease

THOMAS GALSKI: Tell me what the mood's like.

MOORE: The mood is fine.

THOMAS GALSKI: His body has, in a sense, betrayed him. The difficulty of having a humorous, quick, witty conversation with someone and being at a loss because you can't process that information as quickly as you've done in the past. It's extremely exasperating in those very little ways.

MOORE: Yes, it is different than I used to speak.

THOMAS GALSKI: Gone? Is the thought gone?

MOORE: Gone, gone.

THOMAS GALSKI: OK.

WALTERS: (VO) Moore also meets with a speech therapist who helps him with his breathing, to relax, to speak simple words.

MOORE: Seven, eight, nine, 10.

OFFSCREEN VOICE: Excellent!

WALTERS: (VO) And simple phrases.

MOORE: We are the hero of our own story.

OFFSCREEN VOICE: Beautiful.

WALTERS: (VO) By the time he's finished, Moore is physically drained and mentally exhausted. But now, in the early stages of the disease, Moore's doctors want him to stay active. Even though he can no longer play, he lends his support to music for All Seasons, a group that brings music to confined people in nursing homes, prisons and, on this day, a hospital.

NURSE: Mr. Moore, I'm not Bo Derek, but I love you just as well.

MOORE: That's nice.

WALTERS: (VO) But going out in public can be treacherous. The disease affects coordination and balance, and Moore often falls, sometimes two or three times a day.

(OC) But you never know when it's going to happen?

MOORE: No.

RENA FRUCHTER: Just for Dudley to keep going, it's a struggle. He's courageous.

WALTERS: (VO) In some ways, this is Rena Fruchter's story, too. At great personal sacrifice, she has devoted herself to Moore and is always by his side.

(OC) Dudley is so much a part of your life. You have to take care of him. You are with him around the clock. You are married. You have children. You have grandchildren.

RENA FRUCHTER: Mm-hmm.

WALTERS: Are you a saint?

RENA FRUCHTER: Hardly.

WALTERS: Is she a saint, Dudley?

MOORE: Yes.

WALTERS: She is?

MOORE: She is a saint.

WALTERS: Certified saint?

MOORE: She is a saint. Certifiable.

RENA FRUCHTER: Certifiable.

MOORE: Yes. She has endless compassion for me. And I just feel that she is extraordinary in that way.

WALTERS: Dudley, if it were not for Rena, is there anyone else to take care of you?

MOORE: I don't think so. I mean, I can't imagine somebody taking over that role.

WALTERS: There is no one else in your life?

MOORE: No, no.

WALTERS: You have two sons.

MOORE: Yes.

WALTERS: (VO) Patrick is 23. And then there is a little boy of 4.

(OC) But you don't see your children?

MOORE: No.

WALTERS: Why not?

MOORE: Because I don't want to deteriorate before them.

WALTERS: You don't want them to see you like this?

MOORE: No.

WALTERS: Don't you think they might want to see you?

MOORE: I suppose so.

WALTERS: Most of your life, you have had to overcome severe problems. Now this. Are you bitter? Do you feel cheated?

MOORE: I feel … No, I don't feel cheated. I feel as though it was good that I did my shows before this happened. I got Arthur out and 10 out.

WALTERS: (VO) And people will always love you in those roles …

MOORE: Yes.

WALTERS: … and remember you in those roles.

MOORE: Yes, hope so.

BO DEREK: That's so sad that it could have affected his work, and that it was coming on and nobody knew. I think that's tragic.

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