Diseases / Medical Conditions
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Famous People Who Survived Leukemia

Updated April 23, 2019 24.9k views12 items

Being diagnosed with any type of cancer can be scary, but these famous survivors of leukemia prove it is not always a death sentence. Treatments like chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants offer hope for sufferers. Plus, doctors work each year to create innovative ways to fight all kinds of cancer. While these treatments do not always result in remission, they can greatly extend and improve the lives of those living with the disease. Many of the below celebrities who survived leukemia opened up about what cancer is like, granting perspective to others in a similar position. 

Leukemia can be an unpredictable and difficult disease to treat. Some celebs responded to conventional treatment options and their cancer went into remission. Other sufferers, sadly, were not as lucky. While stars like Nora Ephron and Mary Travers fought leukemia for many years, they eventually succumbed to the disease. To learn more about famous people who had leukemia, read the list below.

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  • Jill Clayburgh fought leukemia for 21 years before passing in 2010 at the age of 66.

    • Age: Dec. at 66 (1944-2010)
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Gender: Female
  • Japanese actor Ken Watanabe survived leukemia in the late 1980s. In 2016, he revealed that he was now fighting stomach cancer. He underwent endoscopic surgery at the time, causing him to delay returning to a Broadway production of The King and I. 

    • Age: 60
    • Birthplace: Koide, Japan
    • Gender: Male
  • LFO musician Rich Cronin was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005 and fought the disease for many years. Unfortunately, he passed from the disease in 2010 at the age of 36.

    • Age: Dec. at 36 (1974-2010)
    • Birthplace: West Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Gender: Male
  • Mary Travers, best-known for her role in the folk group Peter, Paul, and Mary, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005. She was treated with a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy, treatments that were initially successful.

    She fought the disease for several years before passing in 2009 at the age of 72.

    • Age: Dec. at 72 (1936-2009)
    • Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America
    • Gender: Female