Stanley Tucci Says He Lost 30 Pounds and His Sense of Taste During His Cancer Battle
By Paige Gawley
Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images
Stanley Tucci is opening up about his cancer battle. In an interview with Good Morning America, the 60-year-old actor revealed that he experienced dramatic weight loss and a loss of taste amid treatment for a tumor on the base of his tongue.
"I couldn't do surgery, the tumor was too long, but luckily it had not metastasized, so high-dose radiation and chemotherapy are the only things that can help and luckily the cure rate was very high," he said. "I was unable to eat solid food for six months."
"I lost 30 pounds and my taste buds and saliva glands were destroyed as was the inside of my mouth," Tucci continued. "It's taken really three years to get back to almost normal."
Still, Tucci said, "It's a small price to pay for being alive and being able to enjoy the company of my family."
Tucci discusses his health among other things in his new book, Taste: My Life Through Food. Part memoir, part cookbook, the project features recipes that mean something to Tucci, including that of pasta fagioli, a pasta and beans dish he frequently ate amid his cancer battle.
"This dish is actually something I lived on when I could start to eat solid food again," he said. "I lived on this dish for a very long time because I had to eat only very soft food... This is a classic dish, but it's my iteration of that dish."
Tucci first revealed his cancer batter last month, during an interview with Virgin Atlantic's inflight magazine Vera. The diagnosis, he said, came three years ago.
Tucci's first wife, Kate Tucci, died in 2009 at age 47 after a battle with breast cancer.
"They had to do high-dose radiation and chemo," he said of his own cancer treatment. "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 and his first wife shared three kids, Camilla, 19, and 21-year-old twins, Isabel and Nicolo. After he was diagnosed, he worried about how the news would affect them, following the loss of their mother.
"The kids were great, but it was hard for them," he said. "I had a feeding tube for six months. I could barely make it to the twins' high school graduation."
Now, though, his cancer is unlikely to come back, and he's grateful for what it means for his family, which now includes his wife, Felicity Blunt, whom he wed in 2012, and their kids, Emilia, 3, and Matteo, 6.
"[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."