7 Famous People Who Lost Their Battle With Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a chronic lung disease where the tissue in the lungs becomes scarred and stiffens over time. Like all diseases, PF does not discriminate and there have been many celebrities who have suffered from the condition. Sadly, some have lost their lives to the disease.

According to Wikipedia, here are seven famous people who lost their fight with pulmonary fibrosis.

Sheila Matthews Allen
Sheila Matthews Allen was a Hollywood actress famous for roles in the films Poseidon Adventure and Towering Inferno and TV shows like Lost in Space and The Waltons. Allen passed away in November 2013 after a prolonged battle with pulmonary fibrosis. She was 84 years old.


John Barry
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, John Barry is most famous for popularizing the use of the household oil WD-40. Through clever marketing and advertising, Barry took WD-40 from an industrial product to a household product, used in 80 percent of American homes. In 2009, Barry died from pulmonary fibrosis in San Diego, California, at the age of 84.

MORE: 6 Less Common Symptoms of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Joanie Spina
Joanie Spina was a dancer, choreographer, and magician who became famous working with the renowned illusionist David Copperfield. As well as having pulmonary fibrosis, Spina was also treated for cancer. In 2014, she was due to have a lung and liver transplant, however she passed away before the procedure. She died in August 2014 at the age of 61.

Scott Brady
With a career spanning four decades, Scott Brady is best known as a Hollywood actor who specialized in Western films and television programs. Born in 1924 in New York, Brady moved to L.A. in 1946 to pursue his acting dream.  He was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 1981 and required oxygen therapy until he passed away in 1985 at the age of 60.

MORE: 6 Tips for Protecting Your Lungs

Evel Knievel
Motorbike stunt artist Evel Knievel (born Robert Craig Knievel) broke many world records and was famous for his death-defying stunts in the 1970s. Knievel was rumored to have broken or fractured more than 40 bones during his career, but he was a staunch advocate for safety helmets. Knievel’s organs weren’t as resilient as as his bones — he suffered from hepatitis C and needed a liver transplant. In 2005, he was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and required 24-hour oxygen therapy. He died in 2007 at the age of 69.

Peter Benchley
The New York-born author is most well-known for writing the book and screenplay, Jaws. The book was published in 1974 and remained a bestseller for 44 weeks. The book was then made into a film in 1977 and made more than $470 million worldwide. He died in 2006 following complications from pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 65.

MORE: 12 Facts About Pulmonary Fibrosis Prognosis and Life Expectancy

Marlon Brando
Born in Nebraska in 1924, Marlon Brando Jr. went on to become one of Hollywood’s acting legends. Famous for starring in such iconic roles as Vito Corleone in The Godfather and Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront. Brando died from respiratory failure in 2004, following a long fight with pulmonary fibrosis and congestive heart failure. He was 80 years old.

MORE: Top 5 Recommended Reads for Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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