Renowned actress Selma Blair announced she will not be continuing on DWTS after suffering from continued health issues.
The 50-year-old film star got her big break back in 1999 in the cult classic film Cruel Intentions and has since become a household name.
Who is Selma Blair?
Selma Blair was born near Detroit, Michigan on June 23, 1972.
Both her parents worked in the legal system – her mother was a Judge and her father was an attorney who was active in politics.
After graduating with a degree in Psychology, Selma headed to New York to pursue a career in the arts.
After scoring the role in Cruel Intentions, Selma went on to star opposite Hollywood legend Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde and find international fame playing Liz Sherman in the hit Hellboy franchise.
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In the late 2010s, Selma shifted her focus to television, starring in Netflix's sci-fi series Another Life and The People Vs O. J. Simpson alongside Friends alum David Schwimmer.
When did she join DWTS?
Blair joined season 31 of DWTS on September 19, despite her struggle with Multiple Sclerosis since she was diagnosed in 2018.
Ahead of the season 31 premiere, Blair said in an interview on Good Morning America that she is “grabbing at every joy we have in life."
She said she was excited about "getting out and moving," adding: “The truth is when I am trying new things I get a lot of spasticity, dystonia, and I am okay.”
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In the first episode of season 31 of DWTS, Blair danced to a Vietnamese waltz and called it "a whole opening of hope."
She said the dance invited her to remember the joys of living, adding: "I've come through so much, and I've been really vulnerable, and I see how it affects people."
Blair said she relied on her partner, Sasha Farber, to lead her in the movements and not let go, saying when she first removed her cane, she was fearful of what her legs would do, but eventually gave in to the music.
"It just felt so real and right once I could kind of settle into the music and realize, 'You know, Sasha– Sasha never let me go yet,"' she said.
She added: "And it was just symbolic. Let me step out of that comfort zone security into this one, and have some fluidity in my movement."
Why did she quit DWTS?
Blair announced she would not be continuing on DWTS citing health concerns related to her MS.
Blair was diagnosed with MS in 2018, and she said her body has recently "taken a hit."
“I’ve been monitored … I had MRIs and the results came back, and it all adds up to, I can’t go on with the competition,” Blair told her Farber in the episode that aired on October 17.
She continued: “I’ve pushed as far as I could. With a chronic illness, you do have special considerations, and my body has taken a hit.
"It’s way too much for the safety of my bones. I could do extensive damage that I, of course, do not want."
In 2021, Blair released the documentary Introducing Selma Blair, which delved into her battle with MS.
She said despite suffering from symptoms for years, her condition went undiagnosed until 2018, when she was 46.
It is an autoimmune disease that affects communication between the brain and the body, resulting in problems with the spinal cord and the exact cause is unknown.
Blair said she felt better after undergoing stem cell treatment and chemotherapy to treat her MS and while there is no cure for the disease, she said at the time that she is proactive and focuses on the things she can do, rather than those she can't.
"It was a really hard time in my life," Selma said in an interview with People. "People don't say how excruciating, emotionally, it can be to kind of prove you're not well.
"But I want to tell the truth about MS. It is important to me that people see what living with a chronic illness is like."
She said in the documentary that she still struggles with fatigue and reduced motor function, but she said throwing a football with her 11-year-old son, Arthur, and practicing jogging to the mailbox helps.
Blair said she would be returning to her son, and that stepping down from DWTS was a difficult decision but ultimately the best option for her.
She performed with Farber one last time after revealing she couldn't go on, and the pair danced the waltz to What the World Needs Now.
She waited for the judge's feedback and her scores, even though they wouldn't count during the competition.
Judge Len Goodman said: "If the others have climbed hills, you have climbed mountains."
Meanwhile, Judge Bruno Tonioli told Blair: "You really have inspired millions of people. Your star has never shone brighter."
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