Their skin tone may look perfect on set, but even celebs are not immune to skin cancer, which affects over 3 million people every year in the US alone. These A-listers have all been diagnosed and treated for various forms of skin cancer, from precancerous spots to deadly melanoma.
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman was diagnosed with early-stage melanoma in 1998 following the removal of a suspicious mole from his upper back. He was alerted to the mole by his two sisters, both of them nurses, who advised him to get it checked.
In 2014, the Cowboys partnered with the American Academy of Dermatology to raise awareness of skin cancer by hosting two SPOT me skin cancer screenings at the Cowboys’ season opener and Rally Day. Free screenings were again offered in October 2015.
The model, actress, and former sun-lover told People magazine in May 2009 that she’d had a precancerous spot removed from her face. Just months earlier, she’d become a spokesperson for a Coppertone product that combined sunscreen and face lotion.
Shields admitted to tanning regularly as a teen but said she insists her two daughters use sunscreen.
While promoting his movie Deception in 2008, actor Ewan McGregor revealed to the BBC that he had had a cancerous mole removed from below his right eye. The fair-skinned Scotsman said his doctor had also removed a few other suspicious moles.
McGregor followed his cancer diagnosis by giving up two habits that raise the risk of other cancers: smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol.
In 2013, the redheaded actor of Irish descent, known for his roles on the TV shows Sons of Anarchy and Vikings, noticed that a reddish, flaky bump he’d previously had removed from his scalp had come back. After a biopsy, Logue learned he had squamous cell carcinoma that had penetrated the underlying tissues. His dermatologist insisted he have surgery to remove it immediately.
“Now that I’ve had skin cancer,” says Logue, “I know I have to be extra-vigilant in the future: to check for new spots, to stay out of the sun if I can, to wear sunscreen when I can’t.” He adds, “Today, when I check my face in the mirror for new growths, I wish I could shake that young boy I once was — running around under the hot, desert sun without protection — for doing such ineradicable damage to his future skin.”
Logue grew up in the Southern California city of El Centro, near the Mexican border.
After paparazzi snapped photos of Melanie Griffith with a black eye in December 2009, a spokeswoman for the actress set the record straight for those speculating as to its cause: She had undergone surgery to remove early stage skin cancer from her face.
One form of surgery often used to remove basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas is called Mohs surgery. During the procedure, a surgeon removes the tumor layer by layer, examining it under a microscope, and preserving as much normal tissue as possible.
Actress Michelle Monaghan, who co-starred in the 2006 movie Mission: Impossible III, told Health magazine in 2011 that she’d had skin cancer a few years earlier. She said her husband had urged her to get a mole on the back of her calf checked, and it turned out to be cancerous.
The backs of the legs are easy to overlook when checking for moles, so it’s important to get screened for skin cancer by a dermatologist every year. Other “hidden” areas a dermatologist will check include between the toes, on the scalp, under the fingernails, and inside the ears.
The fair-skinned Annie Hall star was first diagnosed with skin cancer — basal cell carcinoma — when she was 21, and later had a squamous cell carcinoma removed from her face.
“Did I ever wear sunblock? Never. I was always trying to tan,” Keaton said at an event hosted by L’Oréal Paris, the cosmetic company for which she is a spokeswoman. She now counts the brand’s face lotion with broad spectrum sunscreen among the products she is never without.
Australian actor Hugh Jackman attended the May 2014 premiere of his movie X-Men: Days of Future Past with a bandage on his nose and revealed he had undergone treatment for skin cancer earlier that month — and not for the first time. His first skin cancer was removed in November 2013.
In May 2015, Jackman told People magazine he’d had four skin cancers removed in the previous 18 months, all of them basal cell carcinomas. He now gets checkups every three months.
According to Cancer Council Australia, the country has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. But the long-running Slip, Slop, Slap ad campaign is credited with lowering the rate of skin cancer among Australians under 45.