Gwyneth Paltrow’s Mom Blythe Danner Reflects on Cancer Battle

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Gwyneth Paltrow on Maintaining Health & Wellness With Family

Blythe Danner is opening up about her health.


The Meet the Parents alum shared that she is currently in remission after a years-long battle with oral cancer. Her husband, Bruce Paltrow—with whom she welcomed daughter Gwyneth Paltrow, 50, and son Jake Paltrow, 47—died of oral cancer at the age of 58 in 2002.

“Everyone is touched by cancer in some way, but it’s unusual for a couple to have the same cancer,” she told People in an article published Nov. 21. Blythe, who was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma in March 2018, recalled, “I remember I 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.”

As the 79-year-old noted, she was working in London at the time when she “started feeling very woozy and I was forgetting everything. And then I felt a lump in my neck, right next to where Bruce had found his [in 1999].”

The actress also reflected on keeping her battle private from those closest to her at first.

“I kept it from my kids for a long time,” she shared. “I wanted to forge ahead as a mother, and I didn’t want them to worry.”

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When the actress did share the news of her health with her family, her daughter recalled her distress over the circumstances. “I was obviously very shocked,” Gwyneth told the outlet. “It was scary. And it felt really eerie because it was so similar [to my dad’s].”

However, the Iron Man alum also recalled her mom’s determination. “She went through it with so much grace,” she added. “I was amazed at how strong she was able to be.”

Reflecting on the passing of her husband, Blythe shared that she takes it one day a time. 

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“You never get over that kind of loss,” she said. “Bruce was the heart of our family. And life is so much paler without him around. But grief is the price we pay for love.”

But the actress has a different outlook on life in light of her own health battle. 

“I think we’ve all become somehow stronger,” she shared. “It’s a bit of a crapshoot — this disease and this life. But I’ve had a career, great kids and a loving husband. I’m very grateful.”

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