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Celebrities with hepatitis C
  The Kansas City Star
Sun, Nov. 09, 2003
Several public figures suffer from hepatitis C and some have died. Celebrities with hepatitis C, according to news reports:
• Pamela Anderson: She is perhaps the best-known hepatitis C patient, if only because the former Baywatch star has such a flair for publicity. Her revelation last year that she had the disease prompted innumerable news stories.
• Naomi Judd: The former nurse and country singer has been one of the best-known hep C celebrities. She retired from the Judds, the duo with daughter Wynonna, in 1991. But she has since undergone treatment and become more active.
• Dusty Hill: The band ZZ Top stopped touring in 2000 because the bassist had hepatitis C. The band began touring again in 2002.
• Evel Knievel: The motorcycle daredevil had a liver transplant more than two years ago and later said doctors could find no trace of the virus in his blood.
• Chuck Negron: He's the former lead singer on such Three Dog Night classics as "Joy to the World."
• Larry Hagman: The television actor required a liver transplant in 1995.
• Phil Lesh: One of the founding members of the Grateful Dead, the bass player received a liver transplant several years ago.
• "Superstar" Billy Graham: The former WWF wrestling champion got a liver transplant last year. He thought he contracted the virus by being bled on during wrestling matches years ago.
• David Crosby: The rock star with a fabled history of drug abuse is touring again after receiving a liver transplant in 1995.
• Freddy Fender: The singer of such '70s hits as "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" suffers from several health problems, including hepatitis C.
• Jack Kevorkian: The retired pathologist, now serving a prison term for killing a man who had Lou Gehrig's disease, has hepatitis C, his lawyer says.
• Laurie Bembenek: The former Playboy bunny, whose conviction in a Milwaukee murder and later escape are chronicled in the book Run, Bambi, Run, is free now but suffers from hepatitis C.
• Rolf Benirschke: The former star kicker for the San Diego Chargers got the virus from a transfusion two decades ago. He has used his sports status to raise awareness about the disease.
• Linda Lovelace: The star of the 1972 porn film "Deep Throat" contracted the virus from a transfusion and had a liver transplant in 1987. She died in 2002 at age 53 after a car crash.
• Willie Dixon: The legendary bluesman was diagnosed with hepatitis C shortly before his death in 1992. He contracted the virus from transfusions in 1987.
• Mickey Mantle: The baseball great is thought to have contracted hepatitis C during a transfusion for a knee operation. He died of liver cancer in 1995.
• Stormie Jones: The 13-year-old died in 1990 six years after becoming the first person in the world to receive heart and liver transplants in a single operation. Hepatitis C damaged that liver, though, and before she died she received a second liver and treatment for the virus.
• Ken Kesey: The author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, who died of liver cancer in 2001, suffered from hepatitis C.
• James Earl Ray: The confessed assassin of Martin Luther King Jr. died in 1998 of liver disease after being infected with hepatitis C, probably in a 1981 blood transfusion he received after a prison stabbing.
• Allen Ginsberg: The poet laureate of the Beat Generation died in 1997 after battling hepatitis C for many years. He had terminal liver cancer.
• Lance Loud: The free-spirited son on public television's "An American Family" in 1971, he died in 2001 of liver failure caused by hepatitis C and HIV.
• Frank Reynolds: Experts speculated at the time that the newsman's death in 1983 was hastened by the virus later known as hepatitis C, which he may have contracted through a transfusion.
• Benito Mussolini: Did Il Duce, the World War II Italian dictator, have the disease? A new biography speculates that his chronic health problems -- stomach pain, fatigue and depression -- stemmed from an ulcer and a mild case of hepatitis C.
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