Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on November 19, 2021
This late baseball Hall of Famer is best known for his 18 years with the New York Yankees during the 1950s and '60s. He played in 12 World Series and collected seven championships. He also set the record for most World Series home runs. Mantle was also outspoken about his problems with alcohol, which led to liver cirrhosis and flares of hepatitis C. He died in 1995 from liver cancer that had spread throughout his body.
Aerosmith's front man, who used to live the infamous rock 'n' roll lifestyle to the max, was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2003. The flamboyant former American Idol judge underwent an intense 11-month-long interferon treatment, which seems to have stopped the disease in its tracks.
The late daredevil thrilled audiences in the 1960s and '70s with his motorcycle jumps and daring stunts. With 35 broken bones over his career, Knievel was no stranger to hospital stays. He reportedly believed he caught hepatitis C from a blood transfusion during one of those visits. The disease led to a liver transplant in 1999. He passed away in 2007.
She was known for her soulful voice, a trait she got from her father, jazz legend Nat King Cole. But this Grammy Award-winning singer wasn't without her demons. She spent many of her younger years addicted to heroin. Cole says her doctor told her that needle-sharing might have led to hepatitis C, which remained dormant for a long time. Cole was diagnosed in 2008 -- long after she'd put drugs behind her -- during routine blood tests. She had chemotherapy to treat the hepatitis, which caused kidney failure. She received a transplant in 2009. Cole passed away in 2015 from ongoing health issues.
The former Playboy Playmate and Baywatch star grabbed plenty of headlines during her up-and-down marriage to Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee. Anderson claims she came down with hepatitis C after sharing a tattoo needle with Lee. She says he had the disease but didn't tell her -- a claim he denies. In late 2015 she said new medications had cured her of the disease.
As the mother half of the mother-daughter country music duo The Judds, Naomi spent years in the spotlight. But before this Grammy-winning singer was a household name, she was a nurse. During that time, she says, she was poked with a dirty needle and got hepatitis C. Though she's retired from music, she puts her voice to good use on behalf of the American Liver Foundation.
She got her start with acting on Pee-Wee's Playhouse, and she soon became a teenage indie darling in flicks like Slums of Beverly Hills and But I'm a Cheerleader, along with mainstream movies like the American Pie series. But her career was sidelined by drug abuse. She was also diagnosed with hepatitis C, a collapsed lung, and reportedly a heart infection. Lyonne, now in much better health, acts on the popular series Orange is the New Black.
The late singer-musician formed the legendary blues-rock band the Allman Brothers with his brother Duane and others. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said he got hepatitis C in his 20s -- most likely from a tattoo needle -- but it was decades before he was diagnosed. Allman received a liver transplant in 2010 but died in 2017 from complications of liver cancer.
This singer and songwriter of Crosby, Stills, and Nash fame truly lived the rock-star life. Crosby was also known for a drug habit that landed him in prison. He sobered up, but later learned that he had hepatitis C. A liver transplant in 1994 saved his life, and the disease has been dormant since.
If you were living in the 1980s, there's little chance you escaped the question, "Who shot J.R.?" Hagman's iconic role as J.R. Ewing on TV's Dallas cemented his place in pop culture history. He was diagnosed with advanced hepatitis C, requiring a life-saving liver transplant in 1995. He reprised his iconic role on the Dallas reboot until he died in 2012.
"Superstar" Billy Graham
With his over-the-top personality, this man was made for professional wrestling. The former heavyweight champ influenced such notable wrestlers as Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura. Unfortunately, according to Graham, an exposure to tainted blood in the wrestling ring led to a diagnosis of hepatitis C, resulting in a liver transplant in 2002.
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The Washington Post: "Mickey Mantle Legend of Baseball, Dies at 63."
The New York Times: "Mickey Mantle, Great Yankee Slugger, Dies at 63."
Today Show: "Steven Tyler Reveals Battle With Hepatitis C."
Billboard: "Steven Tyler Reveals Battle With Hepatitis C."
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Phoenix New Times: "Superstar Billy Graham Made It Big In Wrestling and Now the Steroids That Got Him There May Be Killing Him."
CBS News: "Pamela Anderson: I am cured of Hepatitis C."