This image was published by Martin Kraft under the free license CC BY-SA

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.March 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Stanley Tucci, the respected award-winning actor, director, producer, and writer is joining the Oral Cancer Foundation Advisory Board.

In September of 2021, Mr. Tucci publicly revealed that he had been diagnosed with oral cancer in 2018. For two years prior to his diagnosis, he had suffered from extreme jaw pain that doctors were unable to pinpoint. A dentist in Los Angeles suggested he might have oral cancer, and an oncologist in England, where he lives with his wife and children, finally diagnosed the condition. Having lost his first wife to breast cancer in 2009, Mr. Tucci had some sense of how life for him – and for his family – was about to change, but the experience was even more traumatic than he had feared.

As described in his recently published memoir, Taste: My Life Through Food, Mr. Tucci underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatment five days a week for seven weeks at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, for a tumor at the base of his tongue that was too large to remove surgically. He developed labyrinthitis, an inner ear condition causing nausea and vertigo, lost his sense of smell, and was weakened to the point that he could barely stand. Soon after beginning treatment, food started to taste terrible, and not long after that he was forced to eat by feeding tube because of mouth sores and damage to his salivary glands from his treatments. Never a large man, he lost 30 pounds.

As a lifelong food aficionado with family roots in Calabria Italy, the inability to enjoy or even eat food was particularly agonizing for Mr. Tucci. It was several months after his treatment ended before he began to regain both his strength and his ability to eat. His sense of taste and smell gradually started to return.  Over three years later, some foods still taste strange to him, spicy foods are too painful to eat, and a low saliva level caused by treatment damage to his salivary glands forces him to eat slowly. But considering he once feared that he might never be able to indulge his passion for food again, Mr. Tucci considers himself very lucky.

“We are indeed fortunate to have someone with Mr. Tucci’s impressive public profile and renowned zest for life become a member of our Advisory Board,” said Brian Hill, Oral Cancer Foundation Founder and Executive Director. “His personal experience of having had oral cancer threaten not only his life, but his passion, will enable him to bring a unique and important perspective to our team of advisors. He will be joining other celebrities that help the foundation in that capacity, including actors Michael Douglas, and Blythe Danner-Paltrow, who along with heads of other nonprofits assist us in defining our goals and methods to achieve them.”

Mr. Tucci made his film debut in John Huston’s Prizzi’s Honor in 1985. In 1996, he made his directorial debut with the cult comedy Big Night, which he also co-wrote and starred in alongside Tony Shalhoub. Mr. Tucci also has collaborations with Meryl Streep in films such as The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and Julie & Julia (2009). He gained further acclaim and success with such films as Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), film series (2012–2015), Spotlight (2015), Beauty and the Beast (2017), and Supernova (2020). In 2021, he hosted a six-part food and travel documentary series on CNN titled Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy. The series has been renewed for another season in 2022.

Mr. Tucci has won four Emmy Awards: for Winchell (1998), one for a guest appearance on the comedy series Monk, one for being a producer of the web series Park Bench with Steve Buscemi, and another for hosting and producing Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Lovely Bones (2009) and for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (2003). He and Ms. Streep also received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children, for The One and Only Shrek! Mr. Tucci