20 Celebs Sharing Their Health Issues to End Stigma

Feb 22, 2018 at 4:13 p.m. ET
Selena Gomez, Tom Hanks and Lady Gaga have all shared their health issues
Image: WENN

While it's true that all celebrities deserve privacy and respect from the public, it's also true that being famous comes with a unique platform — a platform that allows celebs to speak up and actually be heard by huge groups of people.

Not all celebs choose to use this platform — and that's totally cool — but others use theirs to bring awareness to serious health issues that might not necessarily get the press they deserve. Whether it's Lyme disease, endometriosis, lupus or mental health issues, by sharing their issues, celebrities are helping to make thousands of people feel less alone. Raising awareness can also prompt people to talk to their doctors about nagging pains they hadn't considered as possible symptoms or generate interest and funding for further medical research.

Whatever their reason for stepping forward, we're grateful. These are the stars bravely bringing awareness to illnesses from which they suffer to help others.

A version of this article was originally published in April 2016. 

1 /21: Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough wearing a yellow sweater and skirt
Image: Getty Images

1/21 :Julianne Hough

2 /21: Prince Harry

Prince Harry in a suit
Image: WENN

2/21 :Prince Harry

3 /21: Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga in a black dress
Image: WENN

3/21 :Lady Gaga

4 /21: Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez in a red dress
Image: Apega/WENN

4/21 :Selena Gomez

5 /21: Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham sitting down and speaking into a microphone
Image: Larry Busacca/Getty Images

5/21 :Lena Dunham

6 /21: Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne in dark makeup
Image: Steve Granitz/Getty Images

6/21 :Cara Delevingne

7 /21: Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields in a red suit
Image: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

7/21 :Brooke Shields

8 /21: Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox in a blue shirt
Image: John Medina/Getty Images

8/21 :Michael J. Fox

9 /21: Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato in all black
Image: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

9/21 :Demi Lovato

10 /21: Rene Russo

Rene Russo in a white dress
Image: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

10/21 :Rene Russo

11 /21: Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas in a black suit
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

11/21 :Michael Douglas

12 /21: Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine Zeta-Jones with red lipstick and a red and black dress
Image: Jason LaVeris/Getty Images

12/21 :Catherine Zeta-Jones

13 /21: Paula Deen

Paula Deen in a light blue sweater
Image: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images

13/21 :Paula Deen

14 /21: Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson in white posing behind curtains
Image: Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images

14/21 :Emma Thompson

15 /21: Hayden Panettiere

Hayden Panettiere in all black on stage
Image: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

15/21 :Hayden Panettiere

16 /21: Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey in a T-shirt and white jeans
Image: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

16/21 :Jim Carrey

17 /21: Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi in a striped shirt
Image: David Livingston/Getty Images

17/21 :Padma Lakshmi

18 /21: Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks in a gray suit
Image: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

18/21 :Tom Hanks

19 /21: Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts in a red top
Image: Michael Tran/Getty Images

19/21 :Robin Roberts

20 /21: Brittany Snow

Brittany Snow in a red dress
Image: Steve Granitz/Getty Images

20/21 :Brittany Snow

21 /21: Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher in a red dress with her dog
Image: David M. Benett/Getty Images

21/21 :Carrie Fisher