Much has improved in healthcare since the 1980’s, and the investigation of HIV and AIDS is no longer a death verdict. While many people still experience full lives after a diagnosis, it is no less repulsive when somebody in the public eye comes out as being HIV positive. Here are 10 HIV positive celebrities – who have come out with their investigations.
10. Rock Hudson
Rock Hudson was the first important celebrity to openly reveal his HIV positive diagnosis. He was the head in many 1950’s and 1960’s movies. His publicist delivered a statement in 1985 declaring that the actor contracted HIV from a blood transfusion during an unanticipated operation, but it was considered that Hudson was privately homosexual and got the disease through unprotected sex.
9. Robert Reed
8. Andy Fraser
In 1968, Andy Fraser made history at 15 years old when he became the founding member and base member for the rock band Free. With a career lasting over an extraordinary 40 years, Fraser and the band rocked the world with mega successes including “All Right Now” and “The Stealer”.
First education as a classical pianist until the age of 12, Fraser spent his adult life on the street playing the guitar and loving the rock star life. By the early 2000s, Fraser admitted that he had been facing HIV since the 1990s as well as Kaposi’s sarcoma, a rare sort of cancer. Leaving the spotlight between 1994 and 2005, Fraser made his final appearance as part of the new Free album signed Naked and Finally Free. Sadly, Fraser failed his struggle with AIDS and cancer in March 2015.
7. Chris Smith
Though maybe not a celebrity in terms of an artist or a musician, Chris Smith is a star in his own right in his natural Great Britain. Starting his career as a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, Smith was selected as the Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment and later for the National Heritage, Health and finally Culture, Media and Sport.
With an extraordinary career of firsts, Smith made leaders across Europe in 1984 for more particular matters when he presented himself as one of the first Members of Parliament to come out as gay. Making leaders yet again in 1997 as Great Britain’s first honestly gay Cabinet minister, Smith got even more backlash in 2005 when he said the media he had been HIV positive since 1987. Also, the first MP in Great Britain to announce his diagnosis, Smith now serves as the Master of Pembroke College in Cambridge as well as the Chairman of Trustees at Cambridge Union Society.
6. Andy Bell
The second British in our list, Andy Bell is one-half of the popular British pop duo remembered as Erasure. Along with Vince Clarke, Bell experienced widespread success as Erasure became one of the greatest groups in the region during the 1980s with successes like “A Little Respect”, “Chains of Love” and “Always”.
Shortly after following Vince Clarke in 1985, Bell declared to the world that he was honestly gay in an interview with Melody Maker in 1986. Bell told interviewers, “If you’re doing music, you should use it for something and have substance. Being gay and open about it is my substance.” In December 2004, Bell made another public declaration, this time informing his audience that he had been HIV positive for about six years. Despite other health difficulties, Bell has managed to put his virus in check and is still playing at 51 years old.
5. Danny Pintauro
Who’s the boss? Though younger fans may not identify Danny Pintauro, others remember him as Jonathan Bower on the sitcom Who’s the Boss? running from 1984 to 1992 starring Tony Danza. First performing on TV in the soap opera As the World Turns, Pintauro also won a name for his performance as Paul Ryan in Cujo.
Currently operating as a restaurant manager in Las Vegas, Pintauro performed on a 2015 episode of “Oprah: Where Are They Now” when he announced that he had HIV. In the unexpected interview, Pintauro went into great detail and told Oprah, “Believe it or not, with this guy I was actually safe. We did use condoms. I got it another way, which was through oral sex, which is a complicated story.” While it’s a limited way to get the virus, Pintauro said that it was a combination of different factors that produced the perfect storm for his investigation in 2003.
4. Tom Fogerty
“I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?” Tom Fogerty and his brother, John, were parts of the legendary rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival. Though Fogerty performed with other bands like The Blue Velvets and The Golliwogs, he will always be known for his work with CCR whose songs like “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”, “Fortunate Son” and “Bad Moon Rising” will go down in music records.
Fogerty got HIV in the 1980s from a blood transfusion during what began as a regular back surgery. Despite the bleak investigation, Fogerty and his brother keep growing further apart, helpless to resolve the ongoing artistic differences that derived from their time in CCR. On September 6, 1990, when he was 49 years old, Fogerty died from a T.B. infection generated by AIDS.
3. Anthony Perkins
Appreciated by many as the infamous Norman Bates in Psycho, Anthony Perkins was previously an Academy Award nominated actor thanks to his heavenly performance in the 1956 film Friendly Persuasion. With other shows in The Trial, Murder on the Orient Express and Fear Strikes Out, Perkins will always be known as Alfred Hitchcock’s famous psycho.
By the middle of the 1980s with Psycho III already in production, Perkins discovered that he was HIV positive. Depressed about his future in the film industry , Perkins had long avoided being tested but a false story in The National Enquirer spreading lies about him having HIV led him to discover the truth. Once the test confirmed the so-called lies, Perkins did his best to keep his privacy until his death, at just 60 years old, in September 1992 from AIDS related pneumonitis.
2. Amanda Blake
She was a member of one of the greatest running television shows, Gunsmoke. Cast as the hot redhead, Miss Kitty Russell, on America’s popular western, Blake also performed in shows such as The Love Boat, Hart to Hart and The New Dragnet.
Though many knew that Blake’s smoke habit had led to her 1977 investigation of oral cancer, few knew that she also had AIDS. Many thought from the reports by her doctor, family and friends that cancer challenged her life on August 16, 1989. However, Blake’s death certificate indicated a fully different story as it informed that she passed away due to CMV hepatitis, an AIDS related disease. It was definitely confirmed by Blake’s family that she had got HIV from her fourth husband, Mark Spaeth, who died in 1985.
1. Magic Johnson
Well-known as one of the best players in school basketball history at Michigan State, Earvin “Magic” Johnson was chosen first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. With five NBA championships, 12 All-Star Games, three MVP Awards and an Olympic Gold Medal, Johnson soon became a basketball favorite and legend.
As HIV became more and more obvious in the late 1980s, many thought that the diagnosis only concerned gay men. However, in 1991, as Magic Johnson declared that he was HIV positive, the world’s perspective replaced. Still in the earliest of his NBA career, Johnson took the chance to become a supporter for HIV/AIDS awareness. An excellent example of what medicine can do, Johnson’s medicine has gone so well that there are almost no manifestations of the virus and, surprisingly enough, his T-levels are nearly the same as a normal person.
10 Celebs Who were HIV Positive – HIV Positive Celebrities
- Magic Johnson
- Amanda Blake
- Anthony Perkins
- Tom Fogerty
- Danny Pintauro
- Andy Bell
- Chris Smith
- Andy Fraser
- Robert Reed
- Rock Hudson
Author: A.C. Claudia