Famous People Who Died Of Cancer

Cancer has been known to be the #2nd biggest killer in developed countries while it takes the crown to become the #1 in the underdeveloped. Though there aren’t any ground breaking solutions for cancer, the latter stages of it can be prevented by early detections and medications. But the treatments that come with exorbitant bills prove to become unachievable for the under developing countries, which lead to massive death rates. Dig into the matter and cancer is mostly the consequence of poor diet and lifestyle habits, and also the lack of information regarding the symptoms. Cancer is deadly and can affect almost any part of the body and a very small percentage of it is caused by genetic links. Cancer never really goes well with anyone diagnosed with it, worst of which is when kids are affected. According to a source, more than 40 kids are diagnosed with cancer almost every day and is known to be the #1 cause of death in children. Switching gears and looking into the cause of deaths in the music and movie industry, there are a number of artists who have lost their battles against cancer. Though some of them recovered and were blessed to be given a second chance at life, actors like Paul Newman, Farah Fawcett, Alan Rickman, and Dennis Hopper, who were gone too soon due to cancer. Musicians like David Bowie, Bob Marley, and Frank Sinatra are few names who shook the music industry by their sudden deaths because of cancer. This isn’t it- keep reading and find out more about the life of these famous people who died of cancer.
Vote for Your Favourite People Who Died Of Cancer

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

 1 
Dr. Seuss
(Children's Author And Illustrator)
Dr. Seuss
72
Birthdate: March 2, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 24, 1991

Dr. Seuss was an American children's author, illustrator, and political cartoonist. He is credited with writing some of the most famous children's books ever, including The Cat in the Hat. His works were translated into over 20 languages and sold more than 600 million copies by the time of his death. Many of his creations were adapted into animated cartoons.

 2 
Philip II of Spain
(King of Spain (1556 - 1598), King of Portugal (1580 - 1598))
Philip II of Spain
38
Birthdate: May 21, 1527
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: September 13, 1598
Philip II, son of Charles V, was a 16-th century king of Spain and Portugal. Also known as Philip the Prudent, he became the king of Ireland and England through his marriage to Mary I. Following Mary’s death, he attempted to overthrow Elizabeth I with his armada invasions, but failed.
 3 
Diana Rigg
(British Actress Known for Her Roles in 'The Avengers', 'Game of Thrones', 'Medea')
Diana Rigg
20
Birthdate: July 20, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died: September 10, 2020

English actress Diana Rigg had a wide-ranging career in films, television and theatre that spanned over six decades. Memorable roles of Diana include Emma Peel in television series The Avengers, which made her a sex-symbol; Mrs. Danvers in television drama Rebecca that won her an Emmy Award; and title role in the play Medea that won her a Tony Award.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Desmond Tutu
(First Black African Archbishop of Cape Town & Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
Desmond Tutu
69
Birthdate: October 7, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Klerksdorp, South Africa
Died: December 26, 2021
Desmond Tutu is known for his anti-Apartheid activism in South Africa. The first black Archbishop of Cape Town, he has also been the Bishop of Johannesburg. His efforts to eradicate AIDS, poverty, anti-LGBT sentiments, and human rights violations earned him the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Recommended Lists:
 5 
John Hurt
(Actor)
John Hurt
20
Birthdate: January 22, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, UK
Died: January 27, 2017
John Hurt is best remembered for his Academy Award-nominated performances in Midnight Express and The Elephant Man. His death scene in Alien is considered one of the most memorable in history. He lent his voice to The Lord of The Rings and appeared in the Harry Potter and Hellboy films.
 6 
Paul Allen
(Co-founder of Microsoft, Philanthropist)
Paul Allen
33
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 21, 1953
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Seattle
Died: October 15, 2018

Paul Allen was an American investor, business magnate, and philanthropist. He is credited with co-founding one of the most popular multinational technology companies in the world, Microsoft Corporation. Along with his philanthropic activities and ownership of several other companies and sporting clubs, Paul Allen had a major impact on sports, wildlife, education, arts, healthcare, community services, environmental conservation, and more.

 7 
Tony Gwynn
(Baseball Player)
Tony Gwynn
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: June 16, 2014
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 8 
Johnny Ramone
(Guitarist)
Johnny Ramone
8
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: October 8, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Queens, New York City, New York, USA
Died: September 15, 2004
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
Recommended Lists:
 9 
Catherine of Aragon
(Queen Consort of England (1509 - 1533))
Catherine of Aragon
34
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 16, 1485
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Alcala de Henares, Spain
Died: January 7, 1536

Catherine of Aragon was one of the most popular English royal consorts of all time. A patron of Renaissance humanism, she gained widespread admiration for starting a program for the relief of the poor. A woman who was ahead of her time, Catherine commissioned The Education of a Christian Woman, a controversial book promoting women's right to education.

 10 
Syd Barrett
(Singer-songwriter)
Syd Barrett
21
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 6, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cambridge
Died: July 7, 2006
Pink Floyd co-founder and frontman Syd Barrett was known for his contribution to psychedelic rock and experiments with studio effects such as echo and distortion. He was removed from the band due to his drug addiction, following which he began a solo career. His final years were spent in privacy.
 11 
Paul Reubens
(Actor, Comedian & Writer Known for His Role as ‘Pee-wee Herman’ in Film ‘Pee-wee's Big Adventure’)
Paul Reubens
21
Birthdate: August 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Peekskill, New York, United States
Died: July 30, 2023

Comedian Paul Reubens, or Pee-wee, began his career with the troupe The Groundlings. His popular stage show The Pee-wee Herman Show inspired the CBS show Pee-wee’s Playhouse; the movie Pee-wee's Big Adventure; and a Netflix film. His 1991 arrest due to indecent exposure changed his image to a great extent.

 12 
Markie Post
(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Terri Michaels’ in the TV Series ‘The Fall Guy’)
Markie Post
34
Birthdate: November 4, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Palo Alto, California, United States
Died: August 7, 2021

Markie Post is an American actress known for playing important roles in popular TV series, such as The Fall Guy, Night Court, and Hearts Afire. Before starting her acting career, Markie Post worked on game shows. She worked as an associate producer for Double Dare, which ran from 1976 to 1977. Markie Post has also voiced animated characters like June Darby.

 13 
Merlin Olsen
(American Football Player)
Merlin Olsen
12
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 15, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Logan, Utah, USA
Died: March 11, 2010
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)
 14 
Michelle Thomas
26
Birthdate: September 23, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
Died: December 22, 1998

Michelle Thomas was an American comedian and actress known for playing important roles in popular TV series, such as The Cosby Show and Family Matters. Thomas had a promising start—even before commencing her acting career Thomas was crowned International Queen in a pageant—but her career and life were cut short by cancer and she died at the age of 30.

 15 
Erin Moran
(Actress)
Erin Moran
15
Birthdate: October 18, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Burbank, California, United States
Died: April 22, 2017
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 16 
Robert Vaughn
8
Birthdate: November 22, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Charity Hospital in New York City
Died: November 11, 2016

Robert Vaughn was an American actor known for his contribution across all three major acting mediums. Vaughn also had political aspirations and was among the first Hollywood stars to openly criticize the war against Vietnam. A member of the Democratic Party, Robert Vaughn was credited with founding a group called Dissenting Democrats along with Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke.

 17 
David Ogden Stiers
(Actor)
David Ogden Stiers
5
Birthdate: October 31, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Died: March 3, 2018
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 18 
Dom DeLuise
(Actor)
Dom DeLuise
13
Birthdate: August 1, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Died: May 4, 2009
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 19 
Suzanne Somers
(Actress)
Suzanne Somers
10
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: October 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Bruno, California, United States
Died: October 15, 2023
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 20 
Allen Ludden
(Game Show Host)
Allen Ludden
27
Birthdate: October 5, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Died: June 9, 1981

TV personality, actor, emcee, and game show host Allen Ludden is best remembered for hosting various incarnations of the game show, Password, for almost two decades. He also hosted other game shows and wrote a series of books for young readers. A much-beloved personality, he was the recipient of the 1961 Horatio Alger Award.

 21 
Adam Yauch
(Founding Member of the Hip Hop Group ‘Beastie Boys’)
Adam Yauch
29
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: August 5, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: May 4, 2012

Rapper and bass guitarist Adam Yauch, better known by his pseudonym, “MCA,” was a founding member of the hip-hop and rap rock Beastie Boys. He also owned a film distributing company and was a practicing Buddhist who supported the Tibetan independence movement. He died of parotid cancer.

 22 
Kevin Conroy
(Actor)
Kevin Conroy
2
Birthdate: November 30, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Westbury, New York, United States
Died: November 10, 2022
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 23 
Tokugawa Ieyasu
(Military Leader)
Tokugawa Ieyasu
26
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 31, 1543
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Okazaki Castle, Mikawa (now Okazaki, Japan)
Died: June 1, 1616

Tokugawa Ieyasu was the founder and first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. He is considered one of the three "Great Unifiers" of Japan. He was the son of Matsudaira Hirotada, a minor local warlord. He grew up to be an ambitious young man with exemplary leadership qualities and eventually founded the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. 

 24 
Molly Brown
(American Socialite, Philanthropist and Actress Who Survived the Sinking of the Titanic)
Molly Brown
13
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 18, 1867
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hannibal, Missouri, United States
Died: October 26, 1932

Molly Brown was an American philanthropist and socialite. She is often referred to as the Unsinkable Molly Brown for surviving the 1912 sinking of Titanic and for unsuccessfully encouraging the crew members of Lifeboat No. 6 to look for survivors by returning to the debris field. Her life and work inspired the 1960 musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

 25 
Vivian Vance
(Actress)
Vivian Vance
9
Birthdate: July 26, 1909
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cherryvale, Kansas
Died: August 17, 1979
Vivian Vance is best remembered for her Emmy-winning role of Ethel Mertz in the sitcom I Love Lucy. Fans also loved her as Vivian Bagley in the sitcom The Lucy Show. A skilled stage actor, too, she also gained fame for playing Nancy Collister in the musical Let's Face It! 
 26 
Amrish Puri
(Actor)
Amrish Puri
9
Birthdate: June 22, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nawanshahr, Jullundur, Punjab, British India
Died: January 12, 2005
 27 
Gloria Grahame
(Actress)
Gloria Grahame
9
Birthdate: November 28, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: October 5, 1981
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 28 
Cynthia Lennon
(John Lennon's Ex-Wife)
Cynthia Lennon
14
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 10, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Blackpool, England
Died: April 1, 2015
Cynthia Lennon, the first wife of the Beatles singer John Lennon, met John at a calligraphy class. They divorced on the grounds of adultery, after John started dating Japanese artist Yoko Ono. Cynthia married thrice later, and even released a memoir and a biography, detailing her relationship with John Lennon.
 29 
Peter Tork
(American Actor & Musician)
Peter Tork
7
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: February 13, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: February 21, 2019
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 30 
John Thaw
(Actor)
John Thaw
11
Birthdate: January 3, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: West Gorton, Manchester, England, UK
Died: February 21, 2002
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 31 
Milton Berle
(American Actor and Comedian Who Became the First Major American Television Star)
Milton Berle
10
Birthdate: July 12, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: March 27, 2002

Milton Berle was part of the initial Golden Age of Television, and his significant TV roles earned him the nicknames Uncle Miltie and Mr. Television. The multiple Emmy-winning artist began as a child actor on stage and in silent films and later gained fame on Texaco Star Theatre.

 32 
Diana Dors
(English Actress and a 'Sex Symbol' of the Mid 20th Century)
Diana Dors
11
Birthdate: October 23, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Swindon, Wiltshire, England
Died: May 4, 1984

Diana Dors was an English singer and actress who became renowned as one of the most famous sex symbols of her generation in the UK. She achieved stardom, first as a blonde bombshell—who made headlines for organizing lavish parties—and later as a regular chat-show guest. Diana Dors’ life and career inspired a 1999 TV biographical film titled The Blonde Bombshell.      

 33 
DeForest Kelley
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Dr. Leonard McCoy’ in the TV Series ‘Star Trek’)
DeForest Kelley
8
Birthdate: January 20, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Toccoa, Georgia, United States
Died: June 11, 1999
DeForest Kelley, also known as Dee, is remembered for his appearances in Westerns such as Warlock. He also gained fame as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in the Star Trek movie and TV franchise. A talented singer, he also sang on various radio shows and appeared on WSB AM
 34 
Sydney Pollack
(Film Director and Producer Best Known for His Movie 'Out of Africa')
Sydney Pollack
11
Birthdate: July 1, 1934
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lafayette, Indiana, United States
Died: May 26, 2008
Sydney Pollack is best remembered for his Academy Award-winning direction in the film Out of Africa and was also nominated for the same award for They Shoot Horses, Don't They? and Tootsie. He also acted in films such as Eyes Wide Shut and series such as Will & Grace.
 35 
Scott Wilson
(American Actor)
Scott Wilson
2
Birthdate: March 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thomasville, Georgia, United States
Died: October 6, 2018
 36 
Jackie Collins
(Novelist)
Jackie Collins
11
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 4, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England, UK
Died: September 19, 2015
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 37 
Karen Black
(American Actress, Screenwriter and Singer)
Karen Black
7
Birthdate: July 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Park Ridge, Illinois, United States
Died: August 8, 2013

A multifaceted personality, Karen Black was an actress, screenwriter, singer, and songwriter. In the 1970s, she appeared in many major studio and independent films, mostly playing eccentric and unconventional characters. She became known as a figure of New Hollywood. Her career spanned five decades and she continued working until shortly before her death.

 38 
King Hussein of Jordan
(King of Jordan from 1952 to 1999)
King Hussein of Jordan
12
Birthdate: November 14, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Amman, Jordan
Died: February 7, 1999

King Hussein of Jordan reigned as the king of Jordan from 1952 to 1999. As a royal member of the House of Hashim, Hussein was a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad. At the time of Hussein's accession, Jordan was a young nation with few natural resources. However, by the end of his reign, Jordan had become a stable, modern state.

 39 
Alan Hale Jr.
(Actor)
Alan Hale Jr.
13
Birthdate: March 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: January 2, 1990
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 40 
Tommy Ramone
(Best Known as the Drummer for the Influential Punk Rock Band the ‘Ramones’)
Tommy Ramone
6
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 29, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: July 11, 2014

Tommy Ramone was a Hungarian-American record producer, musician, and songwriter. For four years, he served as the drummer for the punk rock band the Ramones. The band was often cited as the first true punk rock group and was highly influential. Even though he left the group in the late 1970s, he maintained good relations with his former bandmates. 

 41 
David Lean
(English Film Director and Producer Who is Considered One of the Most Important Figures in British Cinema)
David Lean
5
Birthdate: March 25, 1908
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Croydon, Surrey, England
Died: April 16, 1991

David Lean was an English film producer, director, editor, and screenwriter. He is best remembered for directing large-scale epics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, A Passage to India, and Lawrence of Arabia. David Lean is widely regarded as one of the most prominent figures in British cinema. He won many prestigious awards, including two Academy Awards.

 42 
Dan Fogelberg
(Musician)
Dan Fogelberg
11
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: August 13, 1951
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Died: December 16, 2007
 43 
Roger Maris
(Baseball player)
Roger Maris
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 10, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hibbing, Minnesota, United States
Died: December 14, 1985
 44 
Robert Guillaume
(Actor)
Robert Guillaume
6
Birthdate: November 30, 1927
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Died: October 24, 2017
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 45 
Joel Schumacher
(Director, screenwriter, producer)
Joel Schumacher
3
Birthdate: August 29, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 22, 2020
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 46 
Oscar de la Renta
(Fashion Designer)
Oscar de la Renta
13
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: July 22, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Died: October 20, 2014
 47 
Nancy Kulp
(Actress)
Nancy Kulp
12
Birthdate: August 28, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 3, 1991

Nancy Kulp was an American actress best known for her portrayal of Miss Jane Hathaway in the popular television sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 1967. A multi-talented personality, Kulp was also renowned for her comedic skills. She also tried her hand at politics and teaching before succumbing to cancer in 1991.

 48 
Joan Blondell
(American Actress Best Known for Her Film 'The Blue Veil')
Joan Blondell
6
Birthdate: August 30, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: December 25, 1979

Joan Blondell was an American actress whose film and TV career spanned over 50 years. She is perhaps best remembered for her portrayal of Annie Rawlins in the 1951 historical drama film The Blue Veil, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.  

 49 
Aneta Corsaut
(Actress)
Aneta Corsaut
12
Birthdate: November 3, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hutchinson, Kansas, United States
Died: November 6, 1995
Aneta Corsaut is best known as Helen Crump from The Andy Griffith Show. She also appeared in films such as The Blob and was seen in significant roles in the series House Calls and Mrs. G. Goes to College. She co-wrote a book named The Mystery Reader's Quiz Book
 50 
Vivien Thomas
(Surgeon)
Vivien Thomas
14
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: August 29, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Iberia, Louisiana, United States
Died: November 26, 1985

Vivien Theodore Thomas was laboratory supervisor who never went to college; yet he rose above poverty and racism to develop a procedure for treating cyanotic heart disease. Initially billed as janitor, he began his career as assistant to surgeon Alfred Blalock first at Nashville University and later at Johns Hopkins, and in time discovered the life-saving technique, eventually becoming a teacher of operative techniques.