10 Famous Celebrities Still Battling Lung Cancer in 2020

On: January 9, 2020
In: Health
By: Abhishek Dey

8. John Wayne

The award-winning actor also known as The Duke reportedly smoked about six packs a day. When diagnosed with lung cancer after a routine physical examination in 1964, he recalled, “I sat there trying to be John Wayne.” Then, after doctors removed most of his left lung, he quipped, “I licked the Big C.” But unfortunately he didn’t. During gallbladder surgery in 1979, doctors discovered stomach cancer. While waiting to build up enough health to undergo experimental treatments, he died at age 72 on June 11, 1979. John Wayne, a five-pack-a-day smoker, underwent surgery for lung cancer in 1964.

“The X‐rays showed a spot on my lung. They brought me up to Los Angeles to Good Samaritan Hospital and opened me up,” he told the New York Times at the time.

The surgery was initially successful at treating the cancer and the True Grit star lived for over a decade aftewards. While he beat the lung cancer, until he ultimately died due to stomach cancer in 1979. He was 72 years old.