At the end of September 2017, the comedy world got a terrible shock when veteran comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced via Twitter that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The star of HBO’s whip-smart (and delightfully vicious) Veep has been a mainstay in the comedy world since she broke through in the 1980s on SNL. In 1989, JLD became famous as one of TV’s Fab Four of Comedy, a cast member on Seinfeld. Over the years, Louis-Dreyfus has demonstrated a mastery of both verbal wit and physical comedy time and again. She is truly beloved, and her prognosis is cause for concern for millions of comedy fans. If there is a silver lining to the announcement, it’s that the science of cancer treatment has improved in leaps and bounds; the announcement is far from a death sentence. There are already several celebrities who have confronted and beaten cancer, and with the pluck she’s demonstrated getting laughs for the last thirty years, there’s hope that Julia Louis-Dreyfus can add her name to this growing list.
1. Robert De Niro
From one of comedy’s greats to one of film’s greats. In 2003, the actor known for a string of timeless performances (plus some Focker movies) revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Thanks to early detection, the cinema icon was able to recover completely.
2. Kathy Bates
Cancer has tried to get Kathy Bates twice in her life. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003 and breast cancer in 2012. The legendary character actress faced down the disease both times and won.
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