Senior Resources » Toby Keith and 8 More Beloved Celebrities Who Lost Their Battle with Cancer

Toby Keith and 8 More Beloved Celebrities Who Lost Their Battle with Cancer

Toby Keith's Unforgettable Final Award Show Performance, "Don't Let the Old Man In"
Photo Courtesy: ‘Toby Keith Performs “Don’t Let the Old Man In” at the 2023 People’s Choice Country Awards | NBC’/NBC via YouTube

The entertainment industry is no exception to those who have been deeply affected by the relentless grip of cancer. With the recent passing of country music icon Toby Keith on February 5, 2024, we’re reminded once more of the relentless nature of the disease. As we reflect on the legacies of these remarkable individuals, their journeys serve as poignant reminders of the importance of prioritizing our health and regular check-ups. Toby Keith died of stomach cancer. Here are 8 more celebrities who have died from various types of cancer.


Patrick Swayze (57), Pancreatic Cancer

Patrick Swayze was a multi-talented American actor, dancer, and singer-songwriter who left an indelible mark on Hollywood. Celebrated for his unique lead roles that spanned romantic, comedic, and tough characters, Swayze’s charm extended beyond his acting prowess to his striking looks, earning him the title of “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine in 1991. His illustrious career included notable performances in films like “Dirty Dancing” (1987), “Ghost” (1990), and the road comedy “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” (1995), all of which earned him Golden Globe nominations.

In 2009, Swayze passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 57. This type of cancer is notoriously difficult to detect in its early stages when the chances of a cure are highest, often remaining symptomless until it has metastasized to other organs. Pancreatic cancer originates from abnormal growth of cells within the pancreas, an organ located behind the lower part of the stomach that produces enzymes for digestion and hormones for blood sugar regulation.


David Bowie (69), Liver Cancer

David Bowie at the Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, May 6, 1978, Shutterstock: Arthur D’Amario III

David Bowie was renowned for his innovative work in the 1970s and his ability to constantly reinvent himself both musically and visually. Bowie found success with songs like “Space Oddity,” “Starman,” and “Fame,” and he continued to experiment with various musical styles throughout his career. Bowie passed away from liver cancer in 2016, just two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his final album, “Blackstar.”

The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma, but cancer can also spread to the liver from other parts of the body.

Farrah Fawcett (62), Anal Cancer

Farrah Fawcett was celebrated for her groundbreaking roles in the 1970s. She rose to fame playing Jill Munroe in the TV series “Charlie’s Angels,” which established her as a pop culture icon. Besides her acting career, Fawcett was also known for her iconic hairstyle and status as a pin-up model.

Fawcett’s life was tragically cut short by anal cancer in 2009, at the age of 62. While there are various types of anal cancer, the most common is squamous cell carcinoma.


Alan Rickman (69), Pancreatic Cancer

Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman attends ‘Une Promesse’ Photocall during the 70th Venice International Film Festival at Palazzo del Casino on September 4, 2013 in Venice, Italy; Shutterstock: Denis Makarenko

Alan Rickman led a remarkable career full of performances in films and theater which consistently brought a unique blend of intensity and subtlety to his roles. He achieved widespread fame for his roles in films like “Die Hard” and the “Harry Potter” series.

Rickman’s life was cut short by pancreatic cancer in 2016, at the age of 69.

Dennis Hopper (74), Prostate Cancer

Dennis Hopper, acclaimed for his compelling performances in film and his work as a director, was known for his remarkable ability to portray complex characters. Born on May 17, 1936, Hopper rose to prominence for his roles in films such as “Easy Rider,” which he also directed, becoming a countercultural icon in the 1960s.

Sadly, Hopper’s life was cut short by prostate cancer in 2010, at the age of 74. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, often with a diverse range of treatment options depending upon its stage and rate of growth. The disease can also metastasize to other parts of the body.

Donna Summer (63), Lung Cancer

Donna Summer was an American singer and songwriter, often referred to as the “Queen of Disco.” Born on December 31, 1948, she was known for her powerful mezzo-soprano vocal range and her enduring hits such as “Love to Love You Baby,” “I Feel Love,” and “Last Dance.”


Summer’s died from lung cancer on May 17, 2012, at the age of 63. Lung cancer is one of the most common and deadly types of cancer, often diagnosed in its late stages. Those who regularly use tobacco products are at the highest risk of developing this cancer, although non-smokers can also be diagnosed. Donna Summer’s official website and social media platforms continue to keep her legacy alive by sharing her music, videos, and photos.

Elizabeth Montgomery (62), Colon Cancer

Elizabeth Montgomery was an American actress whose impressive career spanned five decades across film, stage, and television, though perhaps best remembered for her role as the charming witch Samantha Stephens in the popular TV series “Bewitched.”

Montgomery passed away from colon cancer on May 18, 1995, at the age of 62.

Bob Marley (36), Melanoma

Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer and songwriter who became an international musical and cultural icon. Marley is celebrated for popularizing reggae music around the world with hits like “No Woman, No Cry,” “Could You Be Loved,” and “Three Little Birds.”

Marley tragically passed away at the young age of 36 in 1981 due to a rare form of melanoma. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body. Despite his early death, Marley’s music and message of love and unity continue to impact people globally.

Toby Keith (62), Stomach Cancer

Toby Keith
Toby Keith in the press room of the 2010 American Country Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 6, 2010 in Las Vegas, NV; Shutterstock: Kathy Hutchins

Born in Oklahoma, Toby Keith charted an impressive course in country music with hits like “Red Solo Cup” and “Should Have Been a Cowboy. At the age of 62, the singer and songwriter passed away after battling stomach cancer.


Originally published February 09, 2024


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