Blythe Danner is opening up about her battle with oral cancer, two decades after the same disease killed her husband, Bruce Paltrow.
“Everyone is touched by cancer in some way, but it’s unusual for a couple to have the same cancer,” the “Meet the Parents” and Emmy-winning “Huff” actress, 79, told People.
Danner, whose cancer is now in remission, admits she hid her 2018 diagnosis from daughter Gwyneth Paltrow and son Jake Paltrow to “forge ahead as a mother” and spare them of concern.
When she received the diagnosis, Danner says she “looked up at heaven and said to Bruce, ‘Are you lonely up there?’”
“It’s a sneaky disease. But I’m fine and dandy now. And I’m lucky to be alive,” said Danner, who lost her husband — “the heart of our family” — in 2002 after 33 years of marriage.
The diagnosis itself wasn’t the only strange coincidence between Danner — whose remission follows three surgeries and alternative treatments — and her late husband’s experiences. She discovered a lump in her neck “right next to where Bruce had found his” in 1999, the actress said.
The Oscar-winning Gwyneth Paltrow, 50, told People, “It felt really eerie because it was so similar [to my dad’s].”