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7 Famous People With Gout

From sports stars to actors, see who has suffered from this debilitating disease

Henry VIII

En español | This 16th-century British king is the quintessential poster boy for this misunderstood condition. His passions for rich food and alcohol led to obesity and painful — some might say well-deserved — bouts with gout. But this increasingly common form of arthritis attacks a much wider range of people than simply portly kings. Some of the following famous people with gout may surprise you.

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Jared Leto

When Leto gained 60 pounds to play the role of John Lennon's killer in the film Chapter 27, the gout he contracted was so painful that he couldn't walk long distances and sometimes had to use a wheelchair. "My body was in shock from the amount of weight I gained," he told the Daily News.

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Luciano Pavarotti

Pancreatic cancer killed the legendary tenor in 2007, but he also suffered from gout. Although his voice remained remarkably powerful well into middle age, his battles with weight gain took a toll on his body. "The Fat Man Won't Sing," declared the New York Post when he withdrew from a gala performance of Tosca at the Met in 2002.

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Jim Belushi

When comedian and actor Jim Belushi was first diagnosed with gout he told the Chicago Tribune that "his ego" didn't allow him to seek treatment. But after an attack while performing in Reno, Nev., he sought out a rheumatologist. Now a spokesperson for Check Out Your Gout, an education campaign sponsored by the drug industry, Belushi says he's been attack-free for 12 years.

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Ansel Adams

Even though the photographer spent much of his life lugging camera equipment through forests and up mountains in search of his iconic landscapes, both gout and arthritis slowed him down in later years. "The spirit was willing but the body was questionable," wrote Adams biographer Jonathan Spaulding.

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Maurice Cheeks

When the former NBA basketball player and coach had his first gout attack at age 46, he initially blamed his new shoes. The pain was so severe he coached five Philadelphia 76ers games wearing only one shoe. "I never experienced pain like this as an athlete," he told Everyday Health.

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Dick Cheney

The former vice president isn't known for being forthcoming about his health issues, but the New York Times reported that a 3 a.m. trip in 2006 to George Washington University Hospital was due to a side effect of a drug he took to treat chronic foot ailments. "Mr. Cheney has been taking a long list of medications for a number of conditions, including heart disease and gout," wrote David E. Sanger and Lawrence K. Altman.

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