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Entertainment & Arts

Rapper Scarface, 49, among latest celebrities to contract coronavirus

Scarface
Rapper Scarface, a founding member of legendary Southern hip-hop group Geto Boys, has tested positive for COVID-19.
(Courtesy photo)

When screen icon Tom Hanks revealed on March 11 that he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, they were the first stars to announce their diagnoses.

Since then, a handful of celebrities have said that they too have contracted the respiratory illness, with varying symptoms.

The latest to go public is veteran rapper Scarface, 49, best known for his role in the pioneering Southern hip-hop group Geto Boys, who revealed Thursday that he’d been diagnosed with COVID-19.

A couple of entertainers from the older, at-risk population, including jazz musician Manu Dibango and playwright Terrence McNally, have died from complications related to the virus.

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Here are the celebrities — including a Bond girl, a towering figure of opera and a beloved TV host — who are known to have been infected with the coronavirus.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

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On March 16, Hollywood power couple Hanks and Wilson, both 63, were reportedly no longer hospitalized in isolation after being diagnosed with the virus.

The pair were self-quarantining in Australia, where the “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” actor was in pre-production on Baz Luhrmann’s highly anticipated Elvis Presley biopic, starring Austin Butler as the titular rocker and Hanks as his manager, Col. Tom Parker.

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“Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball,” Hanks wrote on Instagram after his diagnosis, quoting one of his lines from 1992’s “A League of Their Own.”

On March 22, Hanks said that he and Wilson were starting to “feel better” and Wilson revealed she was brushing up on her rap skills.

Idris Elba

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English star Elba tested positive for the virus March 16, according to a video he shared with millions of Twitter followers.

“This morning, I got some test results back for coronavirus, and it came back positive ... and it sucks,” Elba, 47, said in the clip before assuring everyone that he was “doing OK.”

“I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus,” he wrote on Twitter. “Stay home people and be pragmatic.”

In another video the next day, Elba dispelled the “weird myth” that black people were immune to the virus and urged everyone to take it seriously.

Olga Kurylenko

French Ukrainian actress and model Kurylenko, 40, announced March 15 on Instagram that she was “locked up at home after having tested positive for Coronavirus.”

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Kurylenko, known for starring alongside Daniel Craig in the 2008 James Bond film, “Quantum of Solace,” also noted that she had “actually been ill for almost a week now” with symptoms including “fever and fatigue.”

She later said in a follow-up post that she hadn’t been hospitalized to make room for “patients that are struggling with life.”

“Thank you to everyone who has sent me well wishes,” she said. “I’m overwhelmed with everyone’s kindness.”

Kristofer Hivju

“Game of Thrones” alum Hivju also took to Instagram on March 16 to reveal that he had been diagnosed and that he was “self-isolating at home for as long as it takes.”

The 41-year-old Norwegian actor, who played crass “GoT” fan favorite Tormund Giantsbane, clarified that he was “in good health” and that he had only “mild symptoms of a cold.”

“There are people at higher risk for who this virus might be a devastating diagnosis, so I urge all of you to be extremely careful,” he wrote. “Wash your hands, keep 1,5 meters distance from others, go in quarantine; just do everything you can to stop the virus from spreading.”

Rachel Matthews

Rachel Matthews
A screenshot of Rachel Matthews’ Instagram story.
(Rachel Matthews / Instagram)

American actress Matthews, who voiced Northuldra member Honeymaren in “Frozen 2,” said she was in quarantine after testing positive for the virus, according to her Instagram story.

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“Unsure of what the next step is (been getting mixed info so will keep you posted) but obviously will remain in quarantine until told to do otherwise,” the 26-year-old wrote March 16. “Let’s please be mindful of our decisions — now is the time to be smart and responsible. Let’s take care of one another!!”

Matthews’ early symptoms included “sore throat, fatigue, headache,” as well as a “mild fever,” “shortness of breath” and a “deep, dry cough.” She updated followers later that same day that she was “feeling better.”

Charlotte Lawrence

American singer-songwriter Lawrence, 19, announced March 17 on Instagram that she too had been infected with the virus.

“I am going to be completely fine,” the “Sleep Talking” artist wrote. “But many who get it won’t be if too many people get sick too quickly. So this is not me asking for prayers, for love, for sweet messages. This is me pleading for you all to protect those less able to survive this virus.”

Lawrence, who was recently featured on Warner Bros.’ “Birds of Prey” soundtrack, echoed fellow patients’ requests to “stay inside. Please.”

“Think about your parents. Think about your grandparents,” she continued. “Think about someone else getting your loved ones sick because they don’t listen, because they thought they knew better. Because they were selfish.”

Daniel Dae Kim

On March 19, 51-year-old actor Kim posted a 10-minute video on Instagram detailing his “experience fighting the coronavirus.”

“Looks like I’ll be OK, but I wanted share my journey with you in the hopes that you find it informative or helpful,” the “Hawaii Five-0" star wrote in his caption. “Hope you all stay safe, calm, and above all, healthy.”

Kim explained that before he tested positive, he was “in New York shooting a role on a TV series where, ironically, I play a doctor who gets recruited to a hospital to help patients during a flu pandemic.” He was asymptomatic at first.

He added that after he started showing symptoms he was eventually able to get checked for the virus at a “drive-through testing facility that had just opened” in his home of Honolulu.

“For all those out there — especially teenagers and millennials — who think this is not serious, please know that it is,” he said. “And if you treat this without care, you are potentially endangering the lives of millions of people, including your loved ones.”

Colton Underwood

“The Bachelor” star announced on social media March 20 that he “became symptomatic a few days ago, got my test results [for COVID-19] back today, and they are positive.”

“It’s been kicking my [butt], just to put it very bluntly,” the 28-year-old said in a brief video message. “The main thing is I can’t even walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath or go to the bathroom without having to sit down because I’m exhausted.”

Outlining his symptoms in a follow-up post, Underwood said he had experienced “headache, body aches, night sweats, fever, shortness of breath and a cough,” as well as trouble “doing simple tasks like ... getting out of bed.

“The reason I’m sharing this is not to cause fear or panic but to hopefully encourage you guys to stay at home. Do your part. Take care of yourselves Take care of one another.”

Andy Cohen

“Watch What Happens Live” host Cohen, 51, said March 20 that “after a few days of self-quarantine, and not feeling great,” he had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

“As much as I felt like I could push through whatever I was feeling to do [‘Watch What Happens Live’] from home, we’re putting a pin in that for now so I can focus on getting better,” he wrote on Instagram. “I want to thank all the medical professionals who are working tirelessly for all of us, and urge everybody to stay home and take care of themselves.”

Debi Mazar

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I have just tested positive for Covid-19.I AM OK! About a month ago my entire home(husband and two teen daughters) got an odd bug- Low grade fever,headaches,sore throat,body aches,ears ringing and a dry cough.It cleared up quickly.Seasonal I thought?but it felt unusual/different... Two weeks later,March 15th,I woke up with all those same symptoms but super intense body aches,and 102.4 fever.I figured maybe I got the flu or..Corona?😬 I had had cocktails the evening prior,and smoked a few cigarettes. I figured I had jacked my immune system from having a fun night with friends.I called a doctor/friend to ask if I could get the Covid-19 test on 3/16.He said NO,I didn’t meet the criteria.I hadn’t recently traveled out of the country&I hadnt been with someone who had actually tested positive.I found this kind of a CRAZY criteria for a NY’er as I had taken the subway,gone to the theater,the grocery store,the pharmacy,hair salon,etc.I was the Mom who was trying to prepare the home and get supplies&bleach wipes,dry goods.extra food etc. Because we have Italian family in Italy and we follow the news closely,my biggest panic was why were they not closing schools in NYC &forbidding movement outside the home without permission,like China and all of Europe? Prospect Park yesterday,i hear was jumpin’! A friend told me that CityMD/Urgent Care in my neighborhood had test kits,which appealed to me as I wanted to stay away from the hospital. I went on 3/17.First I was tested for the flu-which was negative.Then they tested me for Covid-19. I was sent home and told to quarantine myself until I had results,which would take 3-7 days(in S.Korea it takes two hours) Well..today is day 5 and I just found out.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!My family is under quarantine for 14 days.They have no symptoms.I think we all had it possibly already?Who knows. Anyhow,stay home people!Protect yourselves&your loved ones.Build up your immune systems.Good Luck&God Bless us all! #alonetogether #physicaldistancing #stayhome

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Mazar, 55, known for her roles in series including “Entourage” and “Younger,” said she started feeling ill on March 15, with intense body pains and a 102.4 degree fever.

The actress said she exhibited similar symptoms to what her husband and daughters had about a month ago. She asked a doctor friend if she could get tested on March 16, but the doctor said no because she did not meet the criteria, as Mazar had not traveled out of the country or had known contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

“I found this kind of a CRAZY criteria for a NY’er as I had taken the subway, gone to the theater, the grocery store, the pharmacy, hair salon, etc.” Mazar wrote on Instagram.

She later went to an urgent care clinic on March 17 to get tested and then was sent home to self-quarantine. On March 21, Mazar said she found out that she had tested positive for COVID-19.

“One day I feel crappy and the next I’m normal,” Mazar wrote. “Today my lungs are heavy, but I’m tough.”

She said she and her family were under quarantine. Her family is not showing any symptoms, she added.

She advised her fans to stay at home. “Protect yourselves & your loved ones,” she wrote. “Build up your immune systems.”

David Bryan

David Bryan, keyboardist and founding member of rock band Bon Jovi, said on March 21 that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

“I’ve been sick for a week and feeling better each day,” Bryan, 58, said on Instagram, urging people not to be afraid.

“Please help out each other,” Bryan wrote. “This will be over soon... with the help of every American!!”

Plácido Domingo

Opera singer Domingo revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19 in a Facebook post on March 22.

“My family and I are all in self isolation for as long as it is deemed medically necessary,” wrote Domingo, 79, who said he’d experienced fever and cough symptoms. “Together we can fight the virus and stop the current worldwide crisis so we can hopefully return to our normal daily lives very soon. Please follow your local government’s guidelines and regulations for staying safe and protecting not just yourselves but our entire community.”

On March 10, Los Angeles Opera revealed that its investigation of their former general director found sexual harassment allegations against him to be credible.

Aaron Tveit

Theater star Tveit, 36, announced March 23 on Instagram that he had tested positive for COVID-19, that he has “been in quarantine since Broadway shows shut down” and that he is “feeling much better.”

“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,” the “Wicked” and “Moulin Rouge!” actor 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 [asymptomatic].”

Tveit and several other Broadway performers recently participated remotely in Rosie O’Donnell’s live benefit show, which raised $500,000 for the the Actors Fund, according to the host’s social media.

“I want everyone to realize that this can affect anyone,” Tveit said. “Even if you aren’t feeling sick or showing drastic symptoms — please take heed, stay safe, stay healthy and I hope to see everyone at the theater again soon.”

Greg Rikaart

Longtime “The Young and the Restless” cast member Rikaart revealed March 23 on Instagram that he “just tested positive” for COVID-19 after having “a fever for 11 days, difficulty breathing” and being “diagnosed with pneumonia.”

“I am a pretty healthy 43-year-old who doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink much, eats well and exercises regularly and this has been the hardest experience of my life,” he wrote. “Two+ weeks ago, everyone in my house had a bit of a cough and my son came home from school with a high fever. Everyone recovered, but I deteriorated.”

Last week, Rikaart documented his struggle to get tested, reporting that three doctor’s offices, including that of his primary caregiver, had “refused” to see him because he “didn’t meet the CDC threshold.”

“I’m confident that I have finally turned the proverbial corner and am fever free today for the first time since this all started,” he continued after announcing his COVID-19 diagnosis. “So, nice try coronavirus, but I have another 4-5 decades worth of experiences to have with [my family].”

Manu Dibango

Jazz saxophonist Dibango, who fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music, died March 24 at age 86 after being hospitalized with an illness “linked to COVID-19,” according to his official Facebook page.

A funeral service for the “Soul Makossa” hitmaker will be “held in strict privacy,” the Facebook post read, “and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible.”

“He can’t wait to meet you again soon,” a previous Facebook update from last week said, “and in those troubled times we all go through, wants you to take very good care of yourselves.”

Terrence McNally

Terrence McNally
Playwright Terrence McNally died Tuesday at age 81.
(Willy Sanjuan / Invision / AP)

Prolific playwright McNally died March 24 from complications related to the coronavirus. He was 81.

The entertainment world has begun mourning the Tony-winning “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “Master Class” scribe on social media, remembering him fondly for his contributions to the stage and LGBTQ communities.

“Heartbroken over the loss of Terrence McNally, a giant in our world, who straddled plays and musicals deftly,” tweeted “Hamilton” mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Grateful for his staggering body of work and his unfailing kindness.”

The Los Angeles Times will provide around-the-clock updates on COVID-19 from across Southern California and around the world.Read our coverage from last week hereTracking the coronavirus in California: latest numbers | Support our journalism with a subscriptionHave a question about coronavirus? Send us your questions here. | You also can sign up for our newsletterSee latest photo gallery

Slim Thug

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Just found out I got Corona virus

A post shared by Slim Thug (@slimthug) on

In an Instagram video captioned “just found out I got [coronavirus],” rapper Slim Thug announced March 24 that he tested positive despite self-isolating and wearing a mask and gloves when going out for “simple stuff” like food.

“Y’all gotta take this stuff serious,” the 39-year-old said in the clip. “Sit at home, self-quarantine. Do not come outside for however long they saying. If you have symptoms, you need to go get checked out or whatever.”

The “Welcome 2 Houston” artist added that he previously “had a slight fever and a cough” but isn’t currently experiencing any problems.

“I feel better now,” he told his million-plus followers. “I have no fever … nothing like that, so I feel like I’m good. But y’all better take it serious. It’s real out here.”

Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne revealed he tested positive for COVID-19.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

After announcing his diagnosis on March 24, singer-songwriter Browne told the Los Angeles Times he was feeling “OK” and lucky he “didn’t have to go to the hospital or use any supplies or medications that others really need.”

“I’m not bad at all,” he said. “My physical symptoms have mostly abated. In fact, there’s very little of it left.”

The “Running on Empty” hitmaker explained that he was able to get tested through his private physician and revealed he passed the illness onto his oldest son, who has also been self-isolating with mild symptoms.

Scarface

Scarface
Hip-hop artist Scarface, a founding member of the Geto Boys.
(Lovekin / Getty Images)

Veteran rapper Scarface, best known for his role in the pioneering Southern hip-hop group Geto Boys, revealed Thursday that he’d been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Speaking in a livestream with his bandmate Willie D, Scarface, 49, said he’d been sick for some time and had taken several tests before finally receiving a positive result from his doctors late Wednesday night.

“I been to the point where I just felt like I was gonna die, bro,” said the rapper, who added that he hadn’t traveled recently. “I threw up so much until it was just, like, hot sauce… I didn’t have no food in my stomach — it was just coming up like bile.”

Born Brad Jordan, Scarface helped make Houston an important hip-hop capital in the late 1980s and early 1990s with Geto Boys, whose hits include the anguished yet hard-hitting “My Mind Playing Tricks on Me.” Bushwick Bill, another member of the group, died last year at age 52.

Advice from an ER doctor: “If you can’t think clearly and can’t breathe and speak normally … that’s a reason to come in.”

Times staff writers Wendy Lee and Sonaiya Kelley contributed to this report.


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