The protagonist of Black Panther did not make it, but Ben Stiller, Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro could: 10 actors and actresses who defeated cancer

Chadwick Boseman (43), the protagonist of the film Black Panther, fought silently for four years against colon cancer, a battle that finally ended on the night of Friday, August 28.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, this pathology is the third most recurrent type of cancer in men and the second most common in women: In 2018 alone there were 1.8 million cases. In addition, figures from the World Health Organization indicate that 862,000 deaths occurred that same year, being surpassed only by lung cancer.

But not all Hollywood stories have a bitter ending. Boseman was not alone in his fight against cancer among the celebrity community. In fact, a long list of actors and actresses have defeated this disease.

This is a list of some celebrities who made it:

Although most doctors recommend that men get a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test that measures the potential risk of developing this disease, starting at the age of 50. But visionary, actor Ben Stiller’s doctor suggested that he undergo this test in 2014, when i was only 46 years old. The result: the actor had prostate cancer.

However, early diagnosis allowed Stiller to undergo intense therapy, which included surgery and six years later, the actor is absolutely free of the disease.

“The conclusion for me: I was lucky to have a doctor who gave me what they call a PSA test when I was about 46 years old, ”Still wrote in an essay he posted online in 2016.

The actor feels lucky, because he confessed that he had no family history of the disease.

In 2000, actress Melanie Griffith (63) was diagnosed with skin cancer, which forced her to undergo surgery. The operation sought to remove a few thin layers of skin on his face under his right eye that his skin cancer had caused.

Fortunately, they found the disease at a very early stage, so since then, 20 years ago, She has had no new symptoms so she is considered recovered from her cancer.

Melanie Griffith

Although at first Michael Douglas said it was throat cancer, in reality what the actor suffered was a cancer of the tongue.

The interpreter of Low Instincts, lied about the diagnosis, due even though his doctor told him that he had to undergo surgery, lose part of the jaw and tongue, which is why he advised her to say it was throat cancer, in a story that was never properly clarified. What is concrete is that the actor is recovered from his illness.

Michael Douglas

In 2003, the actor was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Like Ben Stiller, his diagnosis was very early, which allowed him to undergo timely treatment.

The actor was constantly undergoing periodic check-ups, due to his family history: his father had suffered from the disease. After a routine check-up, his doctor detected “something” strange, which a biopsy would later confirm: prostate cancer.

His medical responsibility allowed his recovery. He already has seven years free of the disease.

Robert De Niro

Known for her role as Miranda on the acclaimed series Sex and the City, Cynthia Nixon, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. Once fully recovered, the actress always kept her illness a secret, and only a few years later she confessed in an interview her struggle with cancer.

cynthia nixon

The actress was only 28 years old, when in a medical check-up of her son Manolo, the doctor warned him that he had a strange lump on his neck.

He suggested that she undergo tests, which later confirmed that the Colombian actress suffered from thyroid cancer. Timely treatment allowed the actress to fully recover from the disease.

That’s when a little nightmare began when I realized I had thyroid cancer. He had no symptoms. I was healthy, young man, ”the actress later recalled in an interview.

Sofía Vergara posing with her statuette. Photo: AFP.

Olivia Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 1992. After undergoing a mastectomy to remove the tumor, he had to face six months of chemotherapy completely overcoming the cancer.

After overcoming the disease, the actress and singer continued with her successful career and the protagonist of Grease founded the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Center to help women with this same disease.


Surprising everyone, in 2015 actor Hugh Jackman He confessed that he had suffered from four types of skin cancer on the nose and shoulder. He even had to undergo surgery for a carcinoma in his nose.

Since then, the actor must have check-ups every three months, without the disease having reappeared.


The Spanish actor once confessed that he had a fist-sized tumor on the back. “I went to the doctor for a lump and two days after the visit I was already in the operating room to remove the neoplasm,” he recalled in an interview.

This event coincided with the cancer of his ex-wife Melanie Griffith and like many celebrities, decided to keep it a secret until years later.

Christina Applegate, protagonist of the series Dead to Me which airs on Netflix, had to undergo a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Since then, Applegate has been cancer-free, allowing her to found the organization Right Action for Women, a center that helps At-risk women pay for MRI exams and tests, she told Today in 2017.

In addition to leading a healthy lifestyle, to help prevent cancer recurrence, Applegate also made the decision to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, to prevent the development of another type of cancer.

Christina Applegate said Witherspoon “had done a better job” than she would have done in “Legally Blonde”