Why did Ray Charles have physical difficulty walking?

Watched ‘Ray’ a couple nights ago, and either I missed it or they didn’t explain, but why did Ray have difficulty walking? He seemed arthritic, was it simply that?

I suspect it was more because he was blind and nobody taught him how to walk with confidence even though he couldn’t see. If you’re not sure where you’re going, you’re going to move hesitantly, right?

Well, I don’t know how accurate to real life this was, but in the movie when he was young man I think he seemed to walk normally. If this was true to life, his difficulty walking seemed to come later in life.

Ray Charles attended a school for the blind from age 7 onwards. (He started losing his vision at age 5.)

My WAG is that his mannered walking style and his other twitchy movements originated in his heroin use.

I never heard that as a side effect of heroin. Plus, why is Keith Richards still able to walk? :wink:

Oh yeah…blame it on the heroin. How about he was blind and 75 years old. Think that might have something to do with it? I’m not defending heroin abuse, but christ almightee.

No sense of rhythm.

If the movie was accurate, he seemed to have difficulty walking as a still relatively young man, and did not have any difficulty as a younger man (and already blind). If this was true to life, then it was likely neither his blindness nor his age. But I agree it probably wasn’t heroin, either.

According to his interview with Terri Gross on Fresh Air , his mother made him walk through the house with his eyes closed before he ever went totally blind. She did so to instill self-confidence in him and prepare him for when he was completely blind. He was also a master chess player and fathered about a dozen children by as many different women. I don’t confidence was his problem.

I blame the ottomans.

What have the Turks got to do with it?

Keith is an alien.

Looking at this page about heroin:

it seems that only withdrawal might cause anything that might be related to difficulty walking. Dunno how trustworthy that page is, though.

I know he didn’t use a cane, and preferred to wear heavy shoes and use the sound they made on the floor to judge how far away the walls were. Perhaps he walked a little differently because of that?

Well, in my experience with a few blind friends, they don’t walk any differently than the rest of us, and that goes for those with dogs and those with canes. Maybe some people are better at it than others, but there’s gotta be a major learning curve here, especially if you lose your sight after learning to walk. Add on the effects of age and drugs and whatnot, and there you have it.

I certainly wasn’t saying he lacked confidence in general. Just with moving around in strange environments.