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- November 22, 1999
- Vol. 52
- No. 20
A Comic's Courage
Cosby's Madeline Kahn Wages a Sobering Battle Against Ovarian Cancer
On Nov. 3, Kahn, who has nabbed a Tony, an Emmy and two Oscar nominations with her nasally twang and madcap humor, let everyone in on her painful secret. "During the past year, I have been undergoing aggressive treatment for ovarian cancer," she said in a statement. "It is my hope that I might raise awareness of this awful disease and hasten the day that an effective test can be discovered." Kahn went on to commend the work of the New York City-based Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, whose executive director, Jamie Boris, notes, "With ovarian cancer, there is no equivalent of a mammogram or Pap smear. Seventy-five percent of cases are detected late." Such was the case with Kahn's close pal Gilda Radner, who died of the disease in 1989.
Best known for her hilarious screen collaborations with Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety), Kahn is waging a determined fight. On Oct. 10, she married her longtime beau, attorney John Hansbury, 49. And the Cosby cast is hoping she'll return after the new year. "Her spirits are wonderful," says friend Eric Mendelsohn, who directed her in the upcoming film Judy Berlin. "Madeline is indomitable."
March 28, 2015
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