13 Celebrities with Dangerous Liver Disease, PBC

PBC, short for Primary Biliary Cholangitis, is a dangerous liver disease that has recently come to the public’s attention due to its diagnosis in some of Hollywood’s most famous celebrities.

PBC is an autoimmune condition—a disorder where your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and organs—that affects bile ducts in the liver. It can cause inflammation, scarring, and damage to the organ over time.

In this article, we are going to take a look at some very famous people that have been dealing with PBC in their everyday live, while also looking at those who have shared their own personal experiences.

13 Famous Celebrities Struggling with PBC Health Issues

In the list below, we will highlight several celebrities that prove it is possible to manage and live with PBC. With their courage and dedication they have helped raise awareness of the disease, as well as its treatments, highlighting that even with a serious liver condition, life can still be full of joy and success.

Natasha Lyonne's addiction led to her contracting Hepatitis C

Natasha Lyonne

Natasha Lyonne is an American actress, director, and writer best known for her starring role in the Netflix series Russian Doll. In addition to being a talented performer, she’s also had a very public battle with substance abuse that has included a harrowing heroine addiction.

Sadly this addiction led to her contracting Hepatitis C, which subsequently resulted in her developing Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC). After being diagnosed, she underwent treatment at NYU Langone Health and is now in remission.

Pamela Anderson got Hepatitis C via an unclean tattoo needle

Pamela Anderson

The iconic blond beauty behind Baywatch’s CJ Parker fame is Pamela Anderson. During her marriage to Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, she accused him of giving her Hepatitis C via an unclean tattoo needle.

After being diagnosed with the virus, she followed a strict holistic regimen that included avoiding alcohol and sugar, as well reduced stress levels to help combat PBC. Anderson is now in remission after having received modern treatments for her condition.

Steven Tyler developed Primary Biliary Cholangitis

Steven Tyler

Grammy award-winning Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler was diagnosed with Hepatitis C after presenting no symptoms for years. As a side effect of the disease, he developed Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC).

He underwent treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he successfully achieved remission and has since been advocating for liver health awareness. He even went so far as to appear in a commercial promoting hepatitis C prevention and treatment.

Ken Watanabe revealed that he contracted Hepatitis C during a blood transfusion

Ken Watanabe

The Academy Award-nominated actor Ken Watanabe is a well known figure in both Japan and the United States. He’s appeared in several popular films such as The Last Samurai, Inception, and Batman Begins.

In an interview with The Guardian, he revealed that he contracted Hepatitis C during a blood transfusion for his cancer treatment which ultimately led to contracting Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC). Despite all this, Watanabe is still going strong and continues to work on new projects.

Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull

British singer-songwriter Marianne Faithfull has had her fair share of struggles over the years including battling breast cancer and recently surviving a long COVID hospitalization.

In addition to these, she was also diagnosed with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) after experiencing a period of poor health and fatigue. She underwent treatment for her PBC and is now in remission, taking care to remain healthy by following a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole

Grammy Award-winning singer Natalie Cole has had an unfortunate history with drug abuse that ultimately led to Hepatitis C. As a result, she was forced to cancel several concerts due to her issues with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC).

Cole credits her successful recovery from the liver disease to her faith in God and determination to be well again. She now dedicates her time to advocating for liver health and speaking out about her own experiences.

Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd

American country singer Naomi Judd has been open about her battle with Hepatitis C, a virus she contracted from a blood transfusion in the 70s. After being diagnosed, she also developed Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC). She was one of many celebrities who spoke out against the stigma surrounding Hepatitis C and liver diseases.

In 2001, she founded The Naomi Judd Education & Research Fund which provides support for education, awareness, and research on these illnesses. Her efforts have helped countless people living with PBC get the resources and information they need to manage their condition successfully.

Kieron Dyer

Kieron Dyer

Former professional footballer Kieron Dyer had an illustrious career playing for Newcastle United, West Ham United, and Ipswich Town before retiring in 2013. Following his retirement, he revealed that he had been struggling with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC).

As part of his journey to recovery, he has gone on to become a vocal advocate for liver health awareness and joined forces with British Liver Trust to help raise awareness of PBC and other liver diseases. He now lives a healthy lifestyle, focusing on an holistic regimen that includes avoiding alcohol and sugar, as well as reducing stress levels to help combat PBC.

David Crosby

David Crosby

Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter David Crosby was one of the most influential figures in music history. At the age of 76, he publicly revealed that he had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C and Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC).

In 2017, he underwent a successful liver transplant which helped him battle his complications from PBC. Since then, he has dedicated his time and resources to advocating for organ donation awareness. He says that if it weren’t for the liver transplant, he would not have been able to continue making music.

Etta James

Etta James

R&B legend Etta James passed away in 2012 due to complications from Leukemia but she had long been struggling with liver disease and Hepatitis C. She was known to be an advocate against the stigma surrounding these illnesses and spoke candidly about her own experience in her autobiography, “Rage To Survive.”

Her legacy lives on as she continues to inspire people living with PBC and other liver diseases.

Lou Reed

Lou Reed

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Lou Reed passed away in 2013 due to liver disease which had been brought on by contracting Hepatitis C from an unsafe needle.

He was known for his innovative style of music and is considered one of the most influential figures in rock music history. He publicly spoke out about his battle with PBC and other illnesses, encouraging people to get tested and seek treatment early on.

Anita Pallenberg

Anita Pallenberg

Model, actress, and designer Anita Pallenberg passed away in 2017 due to complications from Hepatitis C and Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC).

She was best known for her relationships with Keith Richards and Brian Jones as well as her contributions to the Rolling Stones. Pallenberg was a fashion icon who pushed the boundaries of style and she used her platform to raise awareness about liver health.

Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick

British businesswoman, entrepreneur, and activist Anita Roddick passed away in 2007 due to complications from Hepatitis C and Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC). She was the founder of The Body Shop which revolutionized natural cosmetics and helped push for ethical values throughout the beauty industry.

In 2001, she launched The Hepatitis C Trust which has since become one of the leading organizations in raising awareness of this illness. Her activism was instrumental in bringing attention to PBC and other liver diseases.

Primary Biliary Cholangitis FAQ

With more attention on personal health and kidney disease, many people are looking for more information on PBC all the time. Here are some of the most common things people search on.

How long do PBC patients live?

Those who have been diagnosed with PBC and receive proper medical care can expect to live an otherwise normal lifespan. In fact, some studies have even suggested that those with properly managed PBC may outlive their healthy peers.

What causes PBC liver disease?

Primary biliary cholangitis is an autoimmune disorder caused by an attack on small bile ducts in the liver. As these ducts are damaged, toxins and other substances start to build up in the liver, eventually leading to scarring and cirrhosis.

Is PBC liver disease curable?

Unfortunately, PBC is not yet curable. However, with proper care and management, it is possible to control symptoms of the disease and extend a person’s lifespan significantly.

Treatment for PBC usually involves medications such as ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), vitamin D supplements, and various immunosuppressants that can help slow down the progression of the disease. In more advanced cases, a liver transplant may be an option as well.

Celebrities Dealing with Various Health Issues

These celebrities are living examples that with proper care and management, PBC can be managed successfully. They have helped countless people living with PBC get the resources and information they need to manage their condition successfully.

And when it comes to celebrities and their varying physical or mental health issues, it’s always great to see them share their own stories, while also spreading awareness in the process.