Julia Louis-Dreyfus went public with the news that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2017

By Mary Green and Jodi Guglielmi
April 15, 2020 12:00 PM
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus knows just who to credit for helping her get through her cancer battle.

The comedian, 59, says she leaned on her closest friends and family during the most difficult stage of her fight against stage 2 breast cancer.

“You hear it all the time, but the people that I relied on the most, besides the very capable doctors and nurses who took care of me, were my family and my close friends,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.

Louis-Dreyfus went public with the news that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2017. Just over a year later, and after undergoing a double mastectomy and six grueling rounds of chemotherapy, she announced that she was cancer-free.

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During her treatments, Louis-Dreyfus says she was constantly surrounded by her friends and family, many of whom went above and beyond to make her feel loved — like when her Veep castmates Tony Hale and Timothy Simons made a lip-sync video, with Hale pretending to be the actress literally beating up the illness.

Watch the full episode of People Cover Story: Julia Louis-Dreyfus now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

“I was surrounded by people who were supporting me,” she adds. “That was hugely meaningful, and I needed it. It helped me to believe I was going to get through.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus
| Credit: Eric Ray Davidson

And of course, among those who never left her side were her husband Brad Hall, 62, and sons Henry, 28, and Charlie, 23.

“It was like they had their hands underneath me holding me up,” she says.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and husband Brad Hall with sons Charlie Hall and Henry Hall

Looking back, Louis-Dreyfus says the experience bonded her even tighter with her family.

“I think whenever a family goes through a crisis and comes out the other end, you’re bound to have an intimacy that, perhaps, wasn’t quite there like it was before,” she says. “I mean, we were very close before, but I know how precious life is.”

“I got diagnosed with cancer, and I powered through it, and I came out the other side,” shares Louis-Dreyfus. “I’m grateful for all of it.”