List of people with hepatitis C
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. 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, an estimated 170 million people worldwide are infected by hepatitis C. As of April 2014, 130k—150 million globally suffer from chronic hepatitis C infection; a significant number develop cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer. Each year, 350,000 to 500,000 people die from hepatitis C-related liver diseases. 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. Globally, an estimated 50–95% of people treated are cured. With more recently developed medications cure rates are around 80 to 95%. 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". 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.
|Anderson, PamelaPamela Anderson||1967–||Famous for her role as C.J. Parker on the television series Baywatch. She has, since late 2015 had a successful treatment of hepatitis C, and has been cured of the disease.|
|Fafara, StanleyStanley Fafara||1943–2003||Child actor who played "Whitey" on Leave it to Beaver. He was a recovering heroin addict who died after complications from surgery.|
|Kaye, DannyDanny Kaye||1911–1987||American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, and musician. His performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and rapid-fire novelty songs. He contacted hepatitis C four years before his death from a transfusion during surgery.|
|Lawford, ChristopherChristopher Lawford||1955–||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.|
|Lovelace, LindaLinda Lovelace||1949–2002||The 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.|
|Lyonne, NatashaNatasha Lyonne||1979–||Best known for her roles in the first two American Pie films.|
|Nabors, JimJim Nabors||1930–||Best known for his role in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.. His immune system was compromised since receiving a liver transplant in 1994.|
|Pallenberg, AnitaAnita Pallenberg||1944–||Italian-born model, actress and fashion designer. According to Marianne Faithfull, "she almost single-handedly engineered a cultural revolution in London by bringing together the Stones and ... transformed the [Rolling] Stones from pop stars into cultural icons."|
|Redglare, RocketsRockets Redglare||1949–2001||Actor and stand-up comic. Died from combination of kidney failure, liver failure, cirrhosis and hepatitis C.|
|Saroyan, LucyLucy Saroyan||1946–2003||Actress and daughter of William Saroyan who had minor roles in over 20 movies. She died from cirrhosis of the liver complicated by hepatitis C.|
|Watanabe, KenKen Watanabe||1959–||Japanese actor best known for his role in The Last Samurai, he disclosed in his autobiography that he had contracted hepatitis C, and in 2006, told reporters that he was being successfully treated, therefore doesn't really belong in this list as he no longer suffers from the disease.|
|Aoki, RockyRocky Aoki||1938–2008||Japanese businessman and founder of Benihana.|
|Roddick, AnitaAnita Roddick||1942–2007||Founder of The Body Shop chain of cosmetics stores. She contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion in 1971, and was diagnosed in February 2007. She campaigned to make hepatitis C more of serious health concern and died of a brain hemorrhage in September 2007.|
|Allman, GreggGregg Allman||1947–||Rock musician and founding member of The Allman Brothers Band.|
|Benson, RayRay Benson||1941–||Front man of the band Asleep at the Wheel, he believed that he got hepatitis C from a tattoo needle. He later become of the most vocal spokesman for the disease.|
|Cole, NatalieNatalie Cole||1950–2016||Singer and daughter of Nat King Cole. She was diagnosed in 2008 during a routine examination, when she found that the disease had been in her body for 20 years without her knowing it.|
|Crosby, DavidDavid Crosby||1941–||Guitarist, singer, and songwriter, best known for being a founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He was diagnosed after collapsing onstage in the summer of 1994 and received a life-saving liver transplant later that year.|
|DeVille, WillyWilly DeVille||1950–2009||One 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.|
|Escovedo, AlejandroAlejandro Escovedo||1951–||Songwriter, member of the San Francisco punk scene. By 2014, he had recovered from his illness, which was treated with holistic medicine.|
|Faithfull, MarianneMarianne Faithfull||1946–||Singer and actress who dated Mick Jagger in the 60s. She was diagnosed with the virus in the 1990s, after a long period of drug abuse and clinical depression.|
|Fender, FreddyFreddy Fender||1937–2006||Musician who introduced Tex-Mex music to a wider audience. Struggled with alcoholism, drug abuse, and diabetes. He had a kidney transplant (the kidney was donated by his 21-year-old daughter) in 2002 and had a liver transplant two years later.|
|Galás, DiamandaDiamanda Galás||1955–||A vant-garde vocalist who got hepatitis C from drug use, by 2005, she was in remission.|
|Helms, ChetChet Helms||1942–2005||Music producer who helped create the vibrant San Francisco rock music scene in the 1960s. He was undergoing treatment for hepatitis C when he suffered a stroke.|
|Hill, DustyDusty Hill||1949–||Bassist and vocalist with rock group ZZ Top. Their tour was cancelled when he was diagnosed in 2000. After he received treatment and went into remission, the band resumed touring in 2002.|
|James, EttaEtta James||1938–2012||Singer, called "Little Peaches", who was best known for her song "At Last".|
|Judd, NaomiNaomi Judd||1946–||Member of the mother-daughter duo The Judds; she retired in 1991 after being diagnosed with hepatitis C, but returned to touring with her daughter Wynonna by 2011.|
|Kiedis, AnthonyAnthony Kiedis||1962–||American vocalist/lyricist of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. He contracted hepatitis C from drug use.|
|Lesh, PhilPhil Lesh||1940–||Founding member and bass guitarist of the rock band Grateful Dead. He received a life-saving liver transplant in 1998.|
|Marks, DavidDavid Marks||1948–||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.|
|Mastrey, TawnTawn Mastrey||1957–2007||Disc jockey who was the voice of 1980s heavy-metal scene in Los Angeles. She contracted hepatitis C when she was a child.|
|Neal, KennyKenny Neal||1957–||New Orleans blues guitarist. Diagnosed in 2005, less than one year after his brother, musician Ronnie Neal, died of hepatitis C. He was successfully treated and went into remission.|
|Negron, ChuckChuck Negron||1942–||Vocalist and founding member of Three Dog Night. He contracted hepatitis C due to "the long-lasting effects of drug use and alcoholism".|
|Paxton, Gary S.Gary S. Paxton||1938–||Bakersfield country and gospel music artist. He contracted hepatitis C through several blood transfusions and almost died from the disease in 1990.|
|Reed, LouLou Reed||1942–2013||Singer, guitarist, and songwriter whose work with the Velvet Underground influenced generations of rock musicians. He struggled with hepatitis C for many years before receiving a liver transplant in 2013, but died later that year.|
|Richards, KeithKeith Richards||1943–||Founding member of The Rolling Stones. He credited his "incredible immune system" with curing his hepatitis C, "without even bothering to do anything about it".|
|Salgado, CurtisCurtis Salgado||1954–||Blues musician who was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1988 and had a successful liver transplant in 2006.|
|Scalzo, TonyTony Scalzo||1964–||Rock musician and songwriter, best known as a founding member of the band Fastball.|
|Turner, RandyRandy Turner||1949–2005||Lead singer for the seminal hardcore punk band Big Boys.|
|Tyler, StevenSteven Tyler||1948–||Musician, songwriter, and member of the rock band Aerosmith. In September 2006, he announced that he had been diagnosed three years prior and had just completed eleven months of treatment.|
|Albert, StewStew Albert||1939–2006||1960s era activist and co-founder of the Yippies. He died of liver cancer and had previously been diagnosed with hepatitis C, which he successfully treated.|
|Johnson, HankHank Johnson||1954–||U.S. Representative for the state of Georgia; was declared free of hepatitis C, which ravaged his liver and resulted in depression, thyroid problems, and other health issues, in January 2009. He underwent an experimental treatment to keep the disease in remission.|
|Kono, YoheiYohei Kono||1938–||Japanese politician. His eldest son, Taro Kono, also a politician, donated part of his liver to save his father's life in 2002.|
|Lastman, MelMel Lastman||1933–||Mayor of Toronto. He contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion in 1989.|
|Zebrowski, KennethKenneth Zebrowski||1946–2007||Member of the New York State Assembly. Contracted hepatitis C from blood transfusion in 1973, but was not diagnosed with it until 1996. His son, Kenneth Zebrowski, Jr., also became an Assemblyman and introduced legislation to fund research and treatment in his honor.|
Science and medicine
|Baker, Jeannine ParvatiJeannine Parvati Baker||1949–2005||Midwife, herbalist, author and homebirth advocate. She contracted hepatitis C from an injection she received after the birth of her first child in 1970 to prevent Rh disease.|
|Kevorkian, JackJack Kevorkian||1928–2011||Pathologist 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.|
|Benirschke, RolfRolf Benirschke||1955–||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.|
|Graham, BillyBilly Graham||1943–||American professional wrestler. He claims to have contracted hepatitis C "from rolling around the ring in other wrestlers' blood".|
|Mantle, MickeyMickey Mantle||1931–1995||Baseball 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.|
|Arcade, PennyPenny Arcade||1950–||Performance artist and playwright, diagnosed in 2003. She became an "unofficial spokesperson for sufferers of a disease that often strikes people living on the margins".|
|Carroll, JimJim Carroll||1949–2009||Author, poet, autobiographer, and punk musician, best known for his 1978 autobiography The Basketball Diaries, which was made in the 1995 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.|
|Cohn, NikNik Cohn||1946–||Popular music journalist and critic. He said that having hepatitis C was like having "permanent jet lag".|
|Ginsberg, AllenAllen Ginsberg||1926–1997||Beat poet best known for the poem Howl. He died of liver cancer after suffering for many years with hepatitis C.|
|Kesey, KenKen Kesey||1935–2001||Best known for his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Died of liver cancer, caused by hepatitis C.|
|McCann, RichardRichard McCann||1949–||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, and received a liver transplant in 1996.|
|Selby, Jr., HubertHubert Selby, Jr.||1928–2004||Author of Last Exit to Brooklyn and other existential novels. He contracted hepatitis C while receiving treatment for tuberculosis.|
|Stahl, JerryJerry Stahl||1954–||Novelist. He was forced to avoid contact with his pregnant wife while on a clinical trial for a new hepatitis C treatment.|
|Schimmel, RobertRobert Schimmel||1954–2010||Comedian who was known for "taboo-breaking humor of the sexual and scatological variety" 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 Weingarten||1951–||Pulitzer-prizewinning humor writer and journalist with The Washington Post.|
|Young, ElizabethElizabeth Young||1950–2001||Literary critic and writer.|
|Aryadaka, DharmachariDharmachari Aryadaka||1948–2003||First Buddhist chaplain in Washington state prisons.|
|Bembenek, LaurieLaurie Bembenek||1958–2010||Ex-Milwaukee police officer accused of killing her husband's ex-wife. She died of liver and kidney failure and hepatitis C.|
|Knievel, EvelEvel Knievel||1938–2007||Stuntperson 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.|
|Loud, LanceLance Loud||1951–2001||Best 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.|
|Ray, James EarlJames Earl Ray||1928–1998||Confessed assassin of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Died of liver disease due to hepatitis C.|
|Read, ChopperChopper Read||1954–2013||Australian criminal and author, who claimed to have contracted hepatitis C from his time in prison. He refused a liver transplant because he said "he did not deserve it".|
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Clinical trials have shown that these new medications achieve SVR in 80%-95% of patients after 12-24 weeks of treatment.
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