Stanley Tucci Reveals Past Cancer Diagnosis and Difficult Recovery

by Jennifer Shea
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Gymkhana

Actor Stanley Tucci has had a rough go of it with cancer.

The movie star, known for his roles in “The Hunger Games,” “Supernova,” “Spotlight” and “The Devil Wears Prada,” recently shared a bit about what he’s been through between his late wife’s death from breast cancer and his own bout with tongue cancer starting three years ago.

In a new interview with Vera Magazine, Tucci talked publicly about his own cancer ordeal and how the disease has affected his family.

Stanley Tucci Faced Tongue Cancer

Doctors diagnosed Tucci with tongue cancer three years ago. He had a tumor at the base of his tongue, and “it was too big to operate,” Tucci said. The doctors told him it could only be treated with high-dose radiation and chemo.

“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 said.

Tucci has three children, boy and girl twins and a daughter, from his first marriage to Kate Spath Tucci. He also has two young children with his current wife, Felicity Blunt.

“The kids were great, but it was hard for them,” Tucci said of his cancer ordeal. “I had a feeding tube for six months. I could barely make it to the twins’ high-school graduation.”

Tucci, knocking on wood, said that after the radiation and chemo, his cancer is unlikely to return. But the experience aged him, and he’s approaching his life with a new perspective now.

“[Cancer] makes you more afraid and less afraid at the same time,” Tucci reflected. “I feel much older than I did before I was sick. But you still want to get ahead and get things done.”

Tucci’s First Wife, Kate, Died of Breast Cancer

More than a decade after breast cancer took Kate from him, Tucci is still grieving her death, the actor said in an interview this past winter. The couple were married in 1995. Kate died in 2009 at age 47.

“You never stop grieving. You never stop grieving,” Tucci said. “And it’s still hard after 11 years, it’s still hard, and it always will be hard. But you can’t let it — and she would never want any of us to — sort of, to wallow in that grief and let it take over our lives. She would never want that. She wasn’t like that.”

Three years after Kate’s death, Tucci did as she would have wanted him to do and resumed living his life. He married Blunt, the sister of Emily Blunt, who appeared with Tucci in “The Devil Wears Prada,” in 2012.

The couple lives in London with their blended family, and they have been making the best of the pandemic lockdowns. An Instagram video of Tucci making a drink while quarantining at home recently went viral, showcasing the actor’s resilient joie de vivre even after everything he’s been through.