Society usually holds celebrities as these larger than life figures, but whether they’re on the big screen, in your headphones or on the playing field, many are just like you and me. They might be living luxurious lives, but they have to deal with some of the daily problems and serious ailments of everyday people. We all come down with an illness like the common cold once in a while, but many are struggling with debilitating illnesses.
Here are some of the most surprising celebrities dealing with diseases and disorders that you won’t see coming. For the most shocking reveal, stick around for the #1 slide.
15. Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson revealed in 2002 that she suffers from Hepatitis C, which she contracted from sharing tattoo needles with her ex-husband and father of her two children, Tommy Lee. Anderson said that when she was diagnosed with the disease, doctors told her that she would die in 10 years, but fortunately with advancement in the medical community, she was cured of the disease in 2015.
14. Brooke Burke
Brooke Burke looked like the picture of health when she won Dancing with the Stars, but four years later she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Fortunately for Brooke, she was able to undergo aggressive treatment and has been cancer-free for years. Since then she has been an activist and has spoken out at events such as Stand Up To Cancer. At that particular event, she said she was beginning “the best part of my life.”
Think this is surprising? Check out #10.
13. Tom Hanks
Hanks is no stranger to extreme body transformations for his roles. In 2013, Hanks saw the toll his career had taken on his body when he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. His doctors believe his commitment to his craft might have played a huge role in the actor developing the disease.
12. Venus Williams
Venus and Serena Williams are two of the most notable tennis superstars in the world, but Serena has soared a little higher than her sister. That’s because Venus had to pause her career to deal with Sjogren’s Syndrome. With this particular illness, the body’s immune system attacks healthy white blood cells.
11. Sharon Stone
For decades, Sharon Stone has been known as one of the most glamorous and iconic stars of all time, but most don’t know that in 2001 she was hospitalized with a very serious condition. She had a cerebral hemorrhage (a stroke) that lasted for a total of 9 days. In 2015, she said, “it almost feels like my entire DNA changed.”
10. Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps is the most celebrated Olympian of all time, but during his road to glory, the swimmer hasn’t had the easiest time coping with fame and the public scrutiny that come with that much publicity. The star had to deal with alcoholism in the public eye, and after he had incredibly dark thoughts about suicide, he was diagnosed with clinical depression.
While this is a huge surprise, #7 tops this shocker!
9. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez started her career on Disney and went on to break out as a famous singer and actress. As far as her fans are concerned, Gomez has the perfect life. That was all blown apart when the singer was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus in 2014. The singer kept her diagnosis under wraps for as long as she could before checking into rehab to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
8. Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Barr has kept a relatively low profile since her sitcom Roseanne ended in the late 90s. So, you might be surprised to learn that the comedienne announced that she was going blind because of macular degeneration and glaucoma. Loss of vision is just one of the ailments people with glaucoma experience.
7. Daniel Radcliffe
Being in an action franchise, one would suspect that an actor, especially the lead, would have to be quick on his feet and have excellent eye-hand coordination. Surprisingly, the Harry Potter star has a condition called dyspraxia which deals with eye-hand coordination. Some of the tasks that people with this condition struggle with include writing and tying their shoes.
This condition is on the “tamer” side of the list. The #4 slide is on the opposite end of the spectrum.
6. Lady Gaga
At one point in her career, Lady Gaga was known to show off her wild costumes, which included three-foot pumps and crazy spiked platforms, so it might be a shock to hear that Gaga has a condition that causes extreme joint pain. The star revealed her diagnosis of synovitis as well as testing positive for lupus on Larry King Live in 2010.
5. Nick Cannon
Nick Cannon is constantly juggling jobs as a TV host, so when he landed in the hospital in 2012 for health reasons, it was a shock to everyone. At the time he kept everything under wraps but later revealed that he was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis which causes the kidneys to become inflamed.
4. Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton was everywhere in the 90s. The R&B singer had hits throughout that decade but took a step back from her career to raise her family. That said, when she was making a return back to the spotlight, she was diagnosed with a “potentially fatal” disease called Systematic Lupus Erythematosus. Instead of pushing forward with music, the singer has dedicated her time and funds to research into this particular disease.
Click through to slide #1 as this condition has been in “plain sight” all along.
3. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Mental health is still a sensitive topic that few public figures are willing to talk about. That’s why it was a shock when famed actress Catherine Zeta-Jones announced that she was checking herself into Silver Hill Hospital to treat her Bipolar II disorder. Several years after her announcement, Zeta-Jones checked in once again to treat her depression.
2. Sofia Vergara
Before she gained a huge fanbase from the hit show Modern Family, Sofia Vergara battled thyroid cancer. Once she was diagnosed at the age of 28, the up and coming actress decided to adopt a more healthy lifestyle. She’s been free of cancer for years which is attributed to her strict diet.
1. Jon Hamm
Mad Men star Jon Hamm revealed that he suffers from a skin condition called vitiligo. This disease affects the skin, and causes it to lose its pigmentation. Hamm’s vitiligo can be seen around the bridge of his nose, his eyes, and his hands. It’s barely noticeable, but it’s there if you look!
What do you think? Did any of the celebrities on this list surprise you?
As you can see, the diseases written about here ran the gamut. Some were severe life-threatening illnesses, while others are conditions that can be treated. So while it may seem that celebrities are these untouchable figures in pop culture, this list is a good reminder that no matter how much money you have, or how many hours are dedicated to work throughout the year, celebrities still struggle with the same type of issues that normal people do — they just have to deal with some things on a wider scope.