It is considered a luxury to be a celebrity, let alone belong to one of India’s prolific industries – Bollywood. Sure, the glitz and glamour can be blinding but what one often fails to see are the problems and illnesses these stars deal with. Behind the layers of makeup and smiles under the spotlight, lie issues which equally need our support as much as their on-screen presence. Because life can be pretty unpredictable! We never saw Sonali Bendre’s or Irrfan’s cancer coming, did you? Given all the plush and healthy lifestyle, celebrities are the last on the list of expected ones. Here are 15 such celebrities who were diagnosed with and battled cancer
In a shocking development, Sonali went public with her cancer diagnosis on Wednesday. Star of Aag, Hum Saaath Saath Hai, Sarfaros,Kal Ho Na Ho is suffering from high grade cancer which has now metastised. She is currently undergoing treatment in New York and is determined to take the battle heads on.
Ahead of the release of his film Blackmail, Irrfan announced on social media that he has a rare disease – a high-grade neuroendocrine cancer. The actor immediately flew to UK and sought treatment. “It’s been quite some time now since I have been diagnosed with a high-grade neuroendocrine cancer. This new name in my vocabulary, I got to know, was rare, and due to fewer study cases, and less information comparatively, the unpredictability of the treatment was more. I was part of a trial-and-error game,” he recently stated.
Currently, under recovery, it remains uncertain as to when Irrfan will return to India. He will next be seen in Karwaan alongside Mithila Palkar and Dulquer Salmaan.
Star of Dil Se, Bombay, Mann, 1942: A Love Story, Lajja, Nepali beauty Manisha Koirala was detected with ovarian cancer in 2012. The actress, then 42, underwent several surgeries and chemo therapies and was finally declared cancer free in 2015. Even during her treatment, Manisha carried on with her professional commitments, and came out of the illness on top!
She was recently seen in Sanjay Dutt’s biopic Sanju wherein she played the actor’s mother Nargis Dutt.
In 2004, doctors informed Anurag Basu that he only has 50% chance of surviving acute promyelocytic Leukemia, a type of blood cancer he was diagnosed with. But nobody tells a director how to call the shots! Basu penned scripts for his film Life In A Metro and Gangster and owned and fought the situation like a boss!
He last directed Jagga Jasoos featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, and is also seen as a judge on a reality show.
Beautiful Indian-born actress-model Lisa Ray was detected with multiple myeloma in 2009. , It is a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Lisa underwent treatment away from the media glare and in 2010, she made a public announcement saying that she had a full stem cell replacement and was cancer-free. However, the rare disease is treatable and not curable.
Mexican beauty Barbara Mori who featured alongside Hrithik Roshan in Kites, was diagnosed with cancer in the same year she made her Bollywood debut. She had an early stage breast cancer, but with the help of treatment she soldiered on
Veteran actress Mumtaz was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 at the age of 54. 6 chemotherapies and 35 radiations later, she told a leading daily, "I don't give up easily. Even death will have to fight me." The beauty still makes men go weak in the knees!
Kamaal Rashid Khan aka KRK enjoys a reputation for spelling the unexpected. In one such development, he tweeted that he has been diagnosed with stomach cancer, and after an opinion from 2-3 hospitals it was revealed that the illness is at stage 1 and he will be fine within six months.
While many of our reel heroes overcame the odds, singer-music composer Aadesh Shrivastava succumbed to cancer after battling the illness relentlessly for 40 days. He was 51.
Rasika Joshi, a well-known actress in the Hindi and Marathi film industry, died of cancer in 2011. She was 39-years-old. The star of Bhool Bhulaiya, Malamal Weekly, Ek Hasina Thi breathed her last at a nursing home in Mumbai.
Hearththrob of the 70s and 80s, Vinod Khanna passed away of advanced bladder cancer in April 2017. The veteran breathed his last at a hospital in the suburbs of Mumbai. Last seen in Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale, he is best remembered for his roles in Imtihan, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Hera Pheri, Amar Akbar Anthony, Qurbani amongst others.
The first superstar of Indian cinema, Rajesh Khanna, passed away of cancer in 2012. Best known for his work in Aradhana, Amar Prem, Bawarchi, Anand and Namak Haram amongst others, Khanna battled cancer for a year before he breathed his last.
Ex cinematic queen Nargis was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during the time Sanjay Dutt, her son with Sunil Dutt, was preparing for his Bollywood debut. Determined to watch her first born on the silver screen, the star of the 40s and 50s put up a tough fight but her health deteriorated following treatment in New York. She passed away briefly before the release of Sanjay’s debut film Rocky.
Padma Shri award winning actor Tom Alter lost lost his battle against skin cancer last year. Best remembered for his stints in Shaktimaan, Bharat Ek Khoj, Zabaan Sambhalke and Betaal Pachisi, Tom was suffering from stage four of the illness. He was 67.
Veteran actor Feroz Khan died of cancer at the age of 69. He breathed his last at his farmhouse in Bangalore.
Simple Kapadia was the younger sister of actress Dimple Kapadia. The National Award winning costume designer succumbed to cancer in 2009 at the age of 51.