Stanley Tucci Reveals He Had Cancer Three Years Ago: 'More Afraid and Less Afraid at the Same Time'

The Hunger Games actor told Vera magazine that he is now in remission and that his cancer of the tongue is unlikely to return after undergoing "high-dose radiation and chemo"

Stanley Tucci visits Radio Andy at SiriusXM Studios on November 14, 2018 in New York City.
Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty

Stanley Tucci is speaking candidly about his health.

While chatting with Virgin Atlantic's inflight magazine Vera for its September issue, the 60-year-old actor opened up about being diagnosed with cancer three years ago, a condition he did not previously make public until now.

Detailing that he was diagnosed with a tumor at the base of his tongue, Tucci told the publication, "It was too big to operate, so they had to do high-dose radiation and chemo."

Doing so, the Hunger Games and Easy A actor explained, was something he had hoped he would never have to do in his lifetime, as he watched his first wife, Kate Tucci, go through similar treatment years ago. Kate died from breast cancer in April 2009. She was 47.

"I'd vowed I'd never do anything like that, because my first wife died of cancer, and to watch her go through those treatments for years was horrible," Tucci shared.

Stanley Tucci and his wife Kate, attend the 20th Century Fox premiere of The Devil Wears Prada at the Loews Lincoln Center Theatre on June 19, 2006 in New York City.
Kate and Stanley Tucci in 2006. Evan Agostini/Getty

Continuing to speak with Vera magazine, Tucci told the outlet that his being diagnosed with cancer and going through chemotherapy was not easy on his kids. He and Kate had three children together: twins Nicolo and Isabel and daughter Camilla (Tucci is also a dad to son Matteo and daughter Emilia with current wife Felicity Blunt).

"The kids were great, but it was hard for them," he explained. "I had a feeding tube for six months. I could barely make it to the twins' high school graduation."

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Tucci also told the publication that he is now in remission and his cancer is unlikely to return, as he mused on how the illness has changed his outlook on life. "[Cancer] makes you more afraid and less afraid at the same time," he said. "I feel much older than I did before I was sick. But you still want to get ahead and get things done."

During the time that Tucci was sick back in 2018, he still worked on various projects. The actor worked on the films Night Hunter, A Private War, and Patient Zero, while also lending his voice to a role in the children's film, Show Dogs.

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Earlier this year, Tucci opened up about his deceased wife and how he still grieves her loss.

"You never stop grieving," Tucci said during an interview with CBS Sunday Morning's Holly Williams in January. "It's still hard after 11 years. It's still hard. And it will always be hard."

"But you can't let it ... and she would never want any of us to ever wallow in that grief and let it take over our lives," he continued. "She would never want that. She wasn't like that."

Tucci also previously spoke about the death of his first wife in an interview with NPR in 2010, just one year after her death.

"There's all the blaming of yourself, which you can't do, but you kind of do," he shared at the time, "and I'm just — I'm mostly sad."

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