Stars Open Up About Coronavirus Battles

Tom Hanks, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Khloe Kardashian and more celebrities have shared their COVID-19 experiences with the public.

By Tierney Bricker Dec 19, 2020 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Khloe & Scott Stock Up on Coronavirus Prevention Essentials

Stop us if you've heard this one: 2020 was the year that tested us all. Even the celebrity set.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began in mid-March, production on films and television series were shut down, big festivals and events such as Coachella and Comic-Con were canceled and movie releases were postponed. So basically, like the rest of the world, Hollywood had to adjust to the new normal

And for stars, that meant doing anything they could to encourage their fans to stay home, including opening up their own personal experiences with COVID-19 in hope of conveying just how serious the illness could be.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were among the first major stars to reveal they had tested positive for coronavirus, with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Khloe Kardashian, Hugh Grant and more later detailing their bouts with COVID-19.

And, like the general population, their experiences ranged from sucky to extra, really, very sucky.

Stars With Coronavirus

Allow them to fill you in...

Kim Kardashian, North, Saint, Chicago & Psalm

On the May 27, 2021 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim battled COVID-19 after Saint caught coronavirus from a student at school. She later confirmed all four of her children tested positive back in fall 2020 but are now OK. Despite experiencing harsh symptoms like headaches, chest pains, fevers and more, Kim took her first year law school exam for the second time while battling COVID.

Salma Hayek

In May 2021, Variety reported that the actress spent most of 2020 recovering from a near-fatal case of COVID-19 and at one point was put on oxygen while quarantining at home.

"My doctor begged me to go to the hospital because it was so bad," she told the outlet. "I said, 'No, thank you. I'd rather die at home.'"

Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson

The beloved couple were among the first major Hollywood stars to contract the virus, revealing their respective diagnoses in March.

"We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches," Hanks detailed on Instagram. "Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus, and were found to be positive."

The Castaway star kept fans updated throughout his recovery while the couple quarantined in Australia, posting pictures of his toast and Vegemite to giving thanks to those who helped look after the duo.

"Remember," he wrote in one post, nodding toward one of his more famous lines, "despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball."

Khloe Kardashian

The reality star's coronavirus diagnosis was revealed in the Oct. 29 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

"Just found out that I do have corona," the Good American mogul said in self-recorded footage. "I have been in my room. It's gonna be fine, but it was really bad for a couple days."

Detailing her symptoms, Kardashian explained she suffered from vomiting, shaking, hot and cold flashes and terrible headaches.

Dwayne Johnson

In September, the superstar revealed in an impassioned video that he, his wife Lauren Hashian and their two daughters Jasmine and Tiana were recovering after testing positive for the coronavirus.

"I could tell you that this has been one of the most challenging and difficult things we have ever had to endure as a family, and for me, too, personally as well," Johnson detailed of his family's ordeal. "I wish it was only me who tested positive, but it wasn't, it was my entire family, so this one was a real kick in the gut."

Hugh Grant

During his appearance on The Late Show, The Undoing actor revealed he and his wife battled coronavirus early on in the pandemic.

"It started as just a very strange syndrome where I kept breaking into a terrible sweat," he said. "It was like a poncho of sweat, embarrassing really. Then my eyeballs felt about three sizes too big."

Then, Grant realized he couldn't smell anything while walking down the street and he started to "panic."

"By then people were just starting to talk about this as a symptom," he told Colbert. "And I started sniffing flowers, nothing. And you get more and more desperate. I started sniffing in garbage cans. You know, you want to sniff strangers' armpits because you just can't smell anything."

"I eventually went home and I sprayed my wife's Chanel No. 5 directly into my face," Grant continued. "Couldn't smell a thing, but I did go blind."

Sadie Robertson

The pregnant Duck Dynasty star detailed her hospitalization after becoming "very sick" with the virus in October.

Writing she "definitely struggled," Robertson described her symptons as "wild" and shared that her her mother, Korie Robertson, and younger sister, Bella Robertson, also tested positive for coronavirus.

The reality TV personality, who in early October announced she and husband Christian Huff were expecting their first child together, said, "thankfully baby Huff is doing great and healthy, and I am now healing as well."

Zoey Deutch

In an interview with Vulture, the Set It Up star revealed she and a group of friends all contracted the virus early on.

"People keep asking me, ‘Where did you get it?' and I wish I knew," Deutch said. "I feel like I could have spoken in a more eloquent way about my experience had I known. I continued testing positive for a month, which is longer than they're saying you're supposed to. I'm okay now. I'm so grateful for my health and I also feel guilty, in a way, for making it out okay."

According to The Politician actress, her symptoms included a sore throat and feeling "totally delirious, like I was losing my mind." 

Jennifer Aydin

While The Real Housewives of New Jersey star experienced "no breathing issues," she detailed the symptoms she experienced in an Instagram post.

"My days haven't been so bad, aside from a lot of fatigue and sleeping," the reality TV personality wrote in April. "At night is when it's the worst for me because of the mix of sweating and chills."

Andy Cohen

After "not feeling great" for several days in mid-March, the Watch What Happens Live host tested positive for the virus. 

On his SiriusXM radio show Andy Cohen Live, the Bravo executive revealed his symptoms included a ffever, a cough, tightness in his chest, some chills, loss of smell and appetite and a very achy body.

"It took about 10 or 11 days, I would say, to work through my system," Cohen explained. "You know, It takes a bit to get your energy back."

But the hardest part was being isolated from his then 13-month-old son, Ben. "I've hosted reunions for years, but yesterday's was the best one yet," Cohen captioned an Instagram photo of the pair once they were back together.

Lena Dunham

The Girls creator and star opened up about her experience with COVID-19 in an Instagram post, revealing she battled it for 21 days in March.

"It started with achy joints," Dunham wrote, "then the pain was joined by a crushing fatigue. Then a fever of 102. Suddenly my body simply revolted."

Her symptoms included losing her sense of taste and smell, a "hacking" cough and trouble breathing and lingered for several weeks while she remained under the care of a doctor at-home. She was later diagnosed with clinical adrenal insufficiency and chronic migraine, issues she did not have prior to contracting COVID-19.

Todd Chrisley

After experiencing symptoms for three weeks and spending four days in the hospital, the Chrisley Knows Best star shared his experience on his podcast, Chrisley Confessions.

"It has been the sickest that I have ever been in the 52 years I've been on this earth," Chrisley said. "I cannot ever tell you a time in my life where I have ever been as sick as what I had been with the coronavirus."

He also opened up about the impact the coronavirus had on his life in an interview with E!'s Jason Kennedy.

"I've come to the realization that my life needs to be more. It needs to be about more," Chrisley explained. "And I believe that we as a family, collectively, need to be doing more for those that can't. And so it's caused me to have a whole different perspective towards life."

Chris Cuomo

The CNN anchor tested positive for the virus in late March and detailed his symptoms, including a fever and chest pains, while hosting his show from his basement. He would later announce his wife Cristina Greeven Cuomo and teenage son Mario also contracted COVID-19.

Cuomo later offered an update on his health months after testing negative. 

"I still have weird stuff going on with my lungs. I'm not back to where I was before I had the virus, but I can work," he shared. "I can hang out. I can engage with my family. I'm going to be able to do plasma donations, which I want to do with you, together, to show the audience how it works if people are able to do that. But, I'm not 100 percent and there's funky stuff in my blood work that doctors say is what they see in people who've had COVID, so freaks me out a little bit.

Jim Parsons

The Big Bang Theory star detailed his and husband Todd Spiewak's battle with COVID-19 during a September appearance on The Tonight Show.

"Todd and I both had it early on. It was like the middle of March. We didn't know what it was," Parsons told host Jimmy Fallon. "We thought we had colds. And then, it seemed less likely and then we lost our sense of smell and taste and we were like—it defied the descriptions for me."

He continued, "I didn't realize how completely taste and smell could be gone. And when you're in quarantine, and there is really nothing to do but eat, oh my god. That was brutal." He also shared that he in fact did "eat everything," but couldn't taste what he was eating. 

"It was the definition of wasted calories," he joked. 

Alyssa Milano

The Charmed star detailed her ordeal with the virus on social media. 

"I had never been this kind of sick," she wrote in April. "Everything hurt. Loss of smell. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't keep food in me. I lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks," Milano wrote on social media. "I thought I was dying. It felt like I was dying. I will be donating my plasma with hopes that I might save a life."

She continued to be open her health journey on social media by sharing photos and videos of her symptoms. And in October, Milano revealed to Dr. Oz that she was still suffering from "extreme hair loss" and "brain fog" months after battling the illness.

Larsa Pippen

On Friday, Nov. 13, the reality star confirmed with her Instagram followers that she has been battling COVID-19 for a week.

"It's no joke," she wrote from her bed in a since-deleted post. "I've never felt pain like this."


Aaron Tveit

The Broadway star took to Instagram to share his experience with the virus in March.

"I consider myself extremely lucky that my symptoms have been very mild - cold like with no fever - as so many are experiencing much more serious symptoms, because this is a very dangerous virus," he wrote. "One thing I have been experiencing is the loss of taste and smell, which I think is a big sign for people who are otherwise asymptotic."

Kristofer Hivju

The Game of Thrones star revealed on Instagram that he and his wife Gry Molvær Hivju were infected with the virus and had "fully recovered."

"After several weeks in quarantine, and also a couple more indoors after being free of all symptoms, we are finally safe and sound," he wrote in April. "We were lucky to only have mild symptoms of the Covid 19."

While Hivju went on to say he experienced "mild symptoms of a cold," he urged his followers "to be extremely careful."

Olga Kurylenko

In March, the Quantum of Solace star announced on social media that she had contracted the virus and was quarantining at her home.

"I've actually been ill for almost a week now," the Ukranian-French actress wrote on Instagram. "Fever and fatigue are my main symptoms."

George Stephanopoulos

The Good Morning America anchor, whose wife Ali Wentworth previously tested positive, shared his diagnosis and experience in April. 

"I'm one of those cases that are basically asymptomatic," he said on air. "I've never had a fever, never had chills, never had a headache, never had a cough, never had shortness of breath. I'm feeling great."

Ali Wentworth

"I have tested positive for the Coronavirus I've never been sicker. High fever. Horrific body aches. Heavy chest," the Office Space star revealed on Instagram in April. "I'm quarantined from my family. This is pure misery. #stayhome"

Debi Mazar

What the Younger star initially thought was an "odd bug" was actually COVID-19.

"Low grade fever, headaches, sore throat, body aches, ears ringing and a dry cough. It cleared up quickly," Mazar wrote on Instagram on March 21. "Seasonal I thought? but it felt unusual/different..."

But when her symptoms returned two weeks later, along with "super intense body aches," she got tested for coronavirus.

Mazar continued, "Im hoping I've been through the worst of it already. Its very 'morphy'. One day I feel crappy and the next I'm normal. Today my lungs are heavy, but I'm tough. I can breath, and I'm going to heal here, in my own home!"

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at To plan your vaccine, head to NBC's Plan Your Vaccine site at