List of people with hepatitis C

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Pencil drawing diagramming the torso of the human body, with the liver labelled
The human liver, the site of hepatitis C infection

The infectious disease hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which affects the liver and is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact, or by exposure to another person's infected blood.[1] The infection is often asymptomatic, but chronic infection can cause inflammation of the liver (chronic hepatitis). This condition can progress to scarring of the liver (fibrosis), and advanced scarring (cirrhosis). In some cases, those with cirrhosis go on to develop liver failure or liver cancer.

Although HCV was not discovered until April 1989,[2] an estimated 170 million people worldwide are infected by hepatitis C.[3] It is the leading cause of liver transplant in the United States; 8,000–10,000 people die each year in the US from the disease.[4] No vaccine is available at this time. The symptoms of infection can be medically managed when the disease is diagnosed early, and a proportion of patients can be cleared of the virus by a course of anti-viral medicines. The symptoms of HCV infection, especially in its early stages, can be mild enough to conceal the fact of the disease; thus, some people do not seek treatment. As Live Aid founder Bob Geldof states, "Stigma, shame and fear can suffocate awareness. These barriers prevent people from getting tested, receiving treatment, and clearing themselves of this disease".[5] A number of celebrities diagnosed with the disease have decided to go public in order to raise awareness about hepatitis C and to encourage more people to get tested for the disease.[5]

Acting[edit]

Man in his late 70s, smiling and wearing a white t-shirt and baseball cap.
Actor Jim Nabors
NameLifetimeComments
Anderson, PamelaPamela Anderson1967–Famous for her role as C.J. Parker on the television series Baywatch. Anderson claimed that she contracted hepatitis C after sharing a tattoo needle with her ex-husband Tommy Lee, who denied he had the virus.[6]
Ashley, BrookeBrooke Ashley1973–Stage name of actress Anne Marie Ballowe, who was infected by hepatitis C and HIV during the making of a pornographic film.[7]
Fafara, StanleyStanley Fafara1943–2003Child actor who played "Whitey" on Leave it to Beaver. He was a recovering heroin addict who died after complications from surgery.[8]
Lawford, ChristopherChristopher Lawford1955–Son of Peter Lawford and nephew of John F. Kennedy, best known for his role as Charlie Brent on the soap opera All My Children in the early 1990s. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2000.[9]
Lovelace, LindaLinda Lovelace1949–2002The star of the 1972 pornographic film Deep Throat. She contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion after a car accident in 1969 and had a liver transplant in 1987.[10]
Lyonne, NatashaNatasha Lyonne1979–Best known for her roles in the first two American Pie films.[11]
Nabors, JimJim Nabors1932–Best known for playing Gomer Pyle in the 1960s sit-com The Andy Griffith Show and its spin-off Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Nabors received a liver transplant after contracting hepatitis C.[12]
Pallenberg, AnitaAnita Pallenberg1944–Italian-born model, actress and fashion designer. Also known as the great influence on the development and presentation of The Rolling Stones from the late 1960s and through the 1970s.[13]
Redglare, RocketsRockets Redglare1949–2001Actor and stand-up comic. Died from combination of kidney failure, liver failure, cirrhosis and hepatitis C.[14]
Saroyan, LucyLucy Saroyan1946–2003Actress who had minor roles in over 20 movies. She died from cirrhosis of the liver complicated by hepatitis C.[15]
Watanabe, KenKen Watanabe1959–Japanese actor best known for his role in The Last Samurai.[16]

Business[edit]

NameLifetimeComments
Aoki, RockyRocky Aoki1938–2008Japanese businessman and founder of Benihana. His hepatitis C was caused by a blood transfusion after his near-fatal boat accident under the Golden Gate Bridge in 1979.[17]
Roddick, AnitaAnita Roddick1942–2007Founder of The Body Shop chain of cosmetics stores. She contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion in 1971.[18]

Music[edit]

A man in his 50s or 60s, wearing a black top and jeans, with jewellry on both wrists and a crucifix around his neck. He is playing an acoustic guitar, and standing in front of a microphone. Other musicians are also visible.
Musician Gregg Allman in concert, 2006
The head and shoulders of a woman, wearing a neckless and a low-cut black dress.
Singer Natalie Cole at the Emmy Awards, 2004
The head and torso of a middle-aged man. He has long, dark hair. He is wearing a dark jacket, a light top, and several items of jewellry, including large earrings. He is playing an electric guitar.
Punk rock pioneer Willy DeVille, 2008
The head and shoulders of a man with ginger hair, wearing sunglasses, a neckless, and a dark jacket with gold trim over the top of a dark t-shirt.
Gospel music artist Gary S. Paxton, backstage at the Country Gospel Music Awards, 2007
A man dressed completely in white, including a white cowboy hat, speaking or singing into a microphone. Another musician and several spectators are also partially visible.
Musician Steven Tyler
NameLifetimeComments
Allman, GreggGregg Allman1947–Rock musician and founding member of The Allman Brothers Band.[19]
Benson, RayRay Benson1941–Front man of the Austin Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel. Benson chose to treat his hepatitis C with Eastern medicine.[20]
Cole, NatalieNatalie Cole1950–Singer and daughter of Nat King Cole. She was diagnosed in mid-2008 during a routine examination. Her infection was likely caused by her drug use many years previously.[21]
Crosby, DavidDavid Crosby1941–Guitarist, singer, and songwriter, best known for being a founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. In 1995, he became seriously ill from hepatitis C. A liver transplant restored his health.[22]
DeVille, WillyWilly DeVille1950–2009One of the founders of the band Mink DeVille and a pioneer in punk rock. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C in February 2009 and was found to have pancreatic cancer during the course of his treatment.[23]
Escovedo, AlejandroAlejandro Escovedo1951–Musician specializing in roots rock/alternative country, diagnosed in April 2003. Various benefit concerts and tribute albums covered his medical bills.[24]
Faithfull, MarianneMarianne Faithfull1946–Singer, songwriter, actress and diarist; diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1995.[25]
Fender, FreddyFreddy Fender1937–2006Country and rock and roll musician. Also struggled with alcohol and drug abuse and diabetes. He received a liver transplant in 2004.[26]
Galás, DiamandaDiamanda Galás1955–Greek American avant-garde vocalist who got Hepatitis C from drug use.[27]
Helms, ChetChet Helms1942–2005Music producer who helped create the vibrant San Francisco rock music scene in the 1960s. He was undergoing interferon treatment for hepatitis C when he suffered a stroke.[28]
Hill, DustyDusty Hill1949–Bassist and vocalist with rock group ZZ Top. Their tour was cancelled when he was diagnosed in 2000. After he received treatment, the band resumed touring in 2002.[29]
James, EttaEtta James1938–2012Singer, called "Little Peaches", who was best known for her song "At Last".[30]
Judd, NaomiNaomi Judd1946–Country music singer and songwriter who retired in 1991 after being diagnosed with hepatitis C. She started the Naomi Judd Research Fund to help find a cure for the disease. The foundation has raised over a million dollars for the American Liver Foundation.[31]
Kiedis, AnthonyAnthony Kiedis1962–American vocalist/lyricist of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. He contracted hepatitis C from drug use.[32]
Lesh, PhilPhil Lesh1940–Founding member and bass guitarist of the rock band Grateful Dead. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1992 and received a liver transplant in 1998.[33]
Marks, DavidDavid Marks1948–Founding member of The Beach Boys, was diagnosed in 1999. After undergoing treatment, Marks has been virus free since 2004. His diagnosis inspired him to stop drinking and smoking, and lead a healthier lifestyle.[34]
Mastrey, TawnTawn Mastrey1957–2007Disc jockey who was the voice of 1980s heavy-metal scene in Los Angeles. She contracted hepatitis C when she was a child.[35]
Neal, KennyKenny Neal1957–New Orleans blues and swamp blues guitar player. He took a year off from performing while receiving treatment and returned to the Monterey Blues Festival in 2007.[36]
Negron, ChuckChuck Negron1942–Vocalist and founding member of Three Dog Night. He contracted hepatitis C due to "the long-lasting effects of drug use and alcoholism".[37]
Paxton, Gary S.Gary S. Paxton1938–Bakersfield country and gospel music artist. He contracted hepatitis C through several blood transfusions and almost died from the disease in 1990.[38]
Reed, LouLou Reed1942–2013American musician, singer and songwriter who was the guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of the Velvet Underground, and had a major influence on rock music. He had a liver transplant earlier that year, after suffering from hepatitis for many years.[39][40]
Richards, KeithKeith Richards1943–Guitarist/singer/songwriter/producer and founding member of The Rolling Stones. He claimed that he cured hepatitis C "just by being me".[41]
Salgado, CurtisCurtis Salgado1954–Blues, R&B, and soul singer-songwriter-musician. Developed cirrhosis and liver cancer because of hepatitis C. Benefit concerts were held in 2006 to raise money for his medical bills.[42]
Scalzo, TonyTony Scalzo1964–Rock musician and songwriter, best known as a founding member of the band Fastball.[24]
Turner, RandyRandy Turner1949–2005Lead singer for the seminal hardcore punk band Big Boys.[24]
Tyler, StevenSteven Tyler1948–Musician, songwriter, member of the rock band Aerosmith, and American Idol judge. In September 2006, he announced that he had been diagnosed three years prior and had just completed eleven months of treatment with interferon.[43]

Politics[edit]

Political activist Stew Albert
NameLifetimeComments
Albert, StewStew Albert1939–2006Co-founder of the Yippies. He died of liver cancer and had previously been diagnosed with hepatitis C.[44]
Johnson, HankHank Johnson1954–U.S. Representative for the state of Georgia; was declared free of hepatitis C, which ravaged in liver, in January 2009 and underwent an experimental treatment to keep the disease in remission.[45]
Kono, YoheiYohei Kono1938–Japanese politician and Deputy Prime Minister from 1994–1995. His eldest son, Taro Kono, also a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, donated part of his liver to save his father's life in 2002.[46]
Lastman, MelMel Lastman1933–Mayor of the former city of North York, Ontario, Canada from 1972 until 1997 and Mayor of Toronto from 1997–2003. His hepatitis C was treated with interferon and resulted in his retirement from politics.[47]
Zebrowski, KennethKenneth Zebrowski1946–2007New York State Assemblyman who served 21 years in the Rockland County Legislature.[48]

Science and medicine[edit]

Jack Kevorkian, January 2011
NameLifetimeComments
Baker, Jeannine ParvatiJeannine Parvati Baker1949–2005Midwife, herbalist, author and homebirth advocate.[49]
Kevorkian, JackJack Kevorkian1928–2011Pathologist noted for publicly championing a terminal patient's "right to die". He served eight years in prison for second-degree murder. His attorney claimed Kevorkian contracted hepatitis C after testing blood transfusions during the Vietnam War.[50][51]

Sports[edit]

NameLifetimeComments
Benirschke, RolfRolf Benirschke1955–Former placekicker in the National Football League for the San Diego Chargers. Diagnosed in 1998, he was infected by the blood transfusions he received in 1979 to treat ulcerative colitis.[52]
Graham, BillyBilly Graham1943–American professional wrestler. He claims to have contracted hepatitis C "from those free exchanges of blood with opponents from the ring".[53]
Mantle, MickeyMickey Mantle1931–1995Baseball player for the New York Yankees. He underwent a liver transplant in June 1995 but his liver cancer had spread to other parts of his body and he died in August.[54]

Writing[edit]

Writer Richard McCann, 2009
NameLifetimeComments
Arcade, PennyPenny Arcade1950–Performance artist and playwright, diagnosed in 2003.[55]
Carroll, JimJim Carroll1949–2009Author, poet, autobiographer, and punk musician, best known for his 1978 autobiography The Basketball Diaries, which was made in the 1995 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.[56]
Cohn, NikNik Cohn1946–Popular music journalist and critic. He said that having hepatitis C was like having "permanent jet lag".[57]
Ginsberg, AllenAllen Ginsberg1926–1997Beat poet best known for the poem Howl. He died of liver cancer after suffering for many years with hepatitis C.[58]
Kesey, KenKen Kesey1935–2001Best known for his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Died of liver cancer, caused by hepatitis C.[59]
McCann, RichardRichard McCann1949–Writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, best known for his book Mother of Sorrows. He was diagnosed in 1990, a few months after the hepatitis C test became available.[60]
Selby, Jr., HubertHubert Selby, Jr.1928–2004Author of Last Exit to Brooklyn and other existential novels. He contracted hepatitis C while receiving treatment for tuberculosis.[61]
Stahl, JerryJerry Stahl1954–Novelist and screenwriter. His autobiography, Permanent Midnight, was adapted into a movie starring Ben Stiller.[62]
Schimmel, RobertRobert Schimmel1954–2010Comedian who was known for "taboo-breaking humor of the sexual and scatological variety"[63] who regularly appeared on Howard Stern's radio show. He contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion while serving in the Air Force, wrote a book in 2008 about his experiences with cancer, and died in 2010 from injuries sustained in a car accident.
Weingarten, GeneGene Weingarten1951–Pulitzer-prizewinning humor writer and journalist on The Washington Post.[64]
Young, ElizabethElizabeth Young1950–2001Literary critic and writer.[65]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Daredevil Evel Knievel, c. 1979
NameLifetimeComments
Aryadaka, DharmachariDharmachari Aryadaka1948–2003First Buddhist chaplain in Washington state prisons.[66]
Bembenek, LaurieLaurie Bembenek1958–2010Ex-Milwaukee policeman and Playboy Club cocktail waitress, convicted of murdering her husband's ex-wife.[67][68]
Greene, StanleyStanley Greene1949–Photojournalist noted for his images of war-torn countries like Chechnya. He contracted hepatitis C from a contaminated razor while working in Chad.[69]
Knievel, EvelEvel Knievel1938–2007Stuntperson best known for his public displays of long distance, high-altitude motorcycle jumping. He underwent a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, which he believed he had contracted from a blood transfusion after one of his many violent crashes.[70]
Loud, LanceLance Loud1951–2001Best known for his role in An American Family, a 12-part 1973 PBS documentary. Died of liver failure caused by a hepatitis C and HIV co-infection.[71]
Ray, James EarlJames Earl Ray1928–1998Confessed assassin of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Died of liver disease due to hepatitis C.[72][73]
Read, ChopperChopper Read1954–2013Australian criminal and author, who claims to have contracted hepatitis C from his time in prison, along with other prisonmates, through using a blood-stained shaver.[74]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

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