18 Celebrities Diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

Share this article:

Share article via email


1. Bill Bright

William R. Bright, best known as Bill Bright, is the co-founder of the largest Christian ministry in the world, the Campus Crusade for Christ. In 2003, he died from complications related to pulmonary fibrosis, as announced on his website.

2. Boyd Bennett

The musician Boyd Bennett is considered a pioneer in the music industry. In 1955, he composed and sang the first two rock & roll hits dedicated to teenagers – “Seventeen” and “My Boy Flattop”, which sold more than three million copies worldwide. During World War II, Bennett was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and mesothelioma. He eventually died in 2002, at the age of 67.

3. Daniel Carlin

Daniel Adrian Carlin is an Emmy Award winning musician who was recognized for the 1987 mini-series “Unnatural Causes.” He suffered from both pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer and died on August 2001, when he was 73 years old.

4. Ella Mae Evans

The actress Ella Mae Evans was born in 1925, and she became known for her roles in movies such as “I Got the Hook Up” (1998), “Downtown” (1990) and “Moesha” (1996). The actress died on January 27, 2002 due to pulmonary fibrosis in Inglewood, California.

5. Gene Moles

The guitarist Gene Moles became known in the country music world and called himself the “doctor of guitars.” During his career, Moles played with musicians like Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Red Simpson, and Tex Ritter. He was diagnosed with and died from pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 73.

6. Gordon Jump

The actor Gordon Jump had a 40-year career, during which he played a string of muddled but lovable roles such as the station owner on TV’s “WKRP in Cincinnati,” or the incompetent “Chief of Police Tinkler” in the sitcom Soap. He died from pulmonary fibrosis in 2003.

7. James Doohan

Best known for his role as Scotty in Star Trek, the actor James Doohan suffered from a series of severe diseases before his death in 2005, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis.

8. Jerry Lewis

The actor and comedian Jerry Lewis was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in May 2001. Due to scarring in the lung tissues, doctors treated him with steroid prednisone, but the treatment led him to gain 50 pounds in weight and his waist ballooned from a trim 33 inches to 51 inches.

9. John Bowden Connally, Jr.

The thirty-eighth governor of the state of Texas John Bowden Connally, Jr. was in the front seat of the presidential limousine with John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. That day, he was shot and a bullet passed through his back, chest, wrist, and thigh. While Connally Jr. survived, he was left with the lifelong lung condition, pulmonary fibrosis, which killed him in 1993.

10. John Ritter

John Ritter was an actor who became best known for his role as Jack Tripper in the ABC sitcom “Three’s Company”, which gained him an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award in 1984. While he suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, he died in 2003 due to a torn heart valve.

11. Laurance Rockefeller

The conservationist, philanthropist and leading figure in the field of venture capital, Laurance Rockefeller, died in 2004 at the age of 94. Rockefeller was No. 377 on that year’s Forbes magazine list of 587 billionaires, with an estimated worth of $1.5 billion. The cause of his death was pulmonary fibrosis.

12. Lou Fant

The actor Lou Fant died in 2001 at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle due to complications from pulmonary fibrosis. While he is well known for his acting career, including roles in over 30 movies and tv shows, he was also an advocate for the deaf community and co-founded the Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf and the National Theater of the Deaf.

13. Lothar Klein

The contemporary composer Lothar Klein has seen his compositions being performed by some of the foremost conductors and orchestras in the United States, Canada and Europe. At the age of 71, Klein died after pulmonary fibrosis complications in Toronto.

14. Marlon Brando

The renowned actor Marlon Brando is considered the greatest movie actor of all time, and he became one of the most famous patients with pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that ended up killing him on July 1, 2004 at UCLA Medical Center.

15. Mary Jane Russel

Mary Jane Russel was an important fashion model during the 1940s and 1950s, having worked for the Ford Agency for 13 years and starred on the cover of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar dozens of times. At the age of 77, she died in Charleston, SC due to pulmonary fibrosis.

16. Peter Stone

The writer Peter Stone, who was responsible for the movie Charade, who won an Oscar, an Emmy, and three Tony awards, was also a victim of pulmonary fibrosis. At the age of 73, Stone died in New York’s Cornell Hospital due to complications from the respiratory condition.

17. Sam Phillips

Sam Philips was the owner of the legendary company Sun Records and is the producer credited with bringing to light names like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich and Jerry Lee Lewis. Philips died on July 30, 2003, of pulmonary fibrosis in a Memphis hospital.

18. William Edward Simon

Secretary of the treasury under President Nixon, William Edward Simon served through the Ford administration and he ended up leaving all of his fortune to charity. On June 3, 2000, Simon died in Santa Monica, California, after complications arising from pulmonary fibrosis.

Learn more about pulmonary fibrosis: http://bit.ly/1lfMsiZ

Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.