Famous People With Ostomies And Colostomy Bags

Celebrities with a stoma bag:


An ostomy, also referred to as a stoma, is a surgical opening made in the skin as a way for waste products to leave the body.

It can be temporary – when the organ needs time to heal. It can be permanent – when an organ must be removed. Ostomy surgery can be performed on people of all ages, including infants.

The most common types of ostomy connect either the large intestine (colostomy) to the abdominal wall or the small intestines (ileostomy or jejunostomy).

A small number of people may need two ostomies: one into the urinary system and one into the bowel.

Conditions that may require an ostomy include traumatic injury to the bowel or bladder, colorectal cancer (cancer necessitates about 80% of ostomy procedures), inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, and removal of the bladder.

An ostomy may also be required due to the treatment side effects of radiation therapy or surgery.

Here Is A List Of 11 Famous People With Ostomies:

#1 Marvin Bush

Marvin Bush
Marvin Bush and Dorothy Bush LeBlonde – @Getty

He is the youngest son of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush, and brother of former U.S. President George W. Bush, former Florida Governor Jeb, Neil, and Dorothy.

Marvin earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Virginia.

He was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when he was only 28 and was getting worse, even with medication.

In 1986, Marvin had to go to the hospital for treatment, because he was so ill that he lost about 30 pounds and was bleeding internally.

Part of his colon was removed, and he had an ostomy.

#2 Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte

He was a military general who became the 1st emperor of France. Napoleon distinguished himself as a military commander fighting in Italy.

His father, Carlo Buonaparte, was an attorney in Louis XVI’s court.

Napoleon Bonaparte maintained France’s sphere of influence by the formation of extensive alliances and the appointment of family members and friends to rule other European countries, as the French client states.

Also, it has been rumored that the reason why Bonaparte has his hand in his coat in so many portraits is that he was holding a goat’s bladder – as a rudimentary colostomy bag.

At the time of Napoleon’s death, the autopsy indicated stomach cancer as the cause of death.

#3 Barbara Barrie

Barbara Barrie

She is an American actress in film, stage, and television. Barbara is also an accomplished author.

Her film breakthrough came in 1964 with her performance as Julie in the landmark film One Potato, Two Potato, for which Barrie won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Barbara authored the young adult novels, Adam Zigzag and Lone Star.

In 1994, Barbara underwent a colostomy after she received the diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

She also wrote a memoir, Second Act: Life After Colostomy and Other Adventures, about the experience.

#4 Dwight Eisenhower

Dwight Eisenhower

He was the 34th president of the United States and had been supreme commander of the Allied forces in western Europe during World War II.

Dwight Eisenhower was also responsible for planning and supervising the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front and the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43.

On May 10, 1956, six months before the election, Eisenhower was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease which may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus.

Less than a month later, Dwight’s small intestine was inflamed, and an ileostomy was performed.

He recovered well from the operation and began conducting official business again five days after the surgery.

Eisenhower was succeeded by John F. Kennedy as President of the US.

#5 William Powell

William Powell

He was a versatile American motion picture and stage actor who played villains in Hollywood silent films and intelligent leading men in the sound era.

William Powell is best remembered as Nick Charles in The Thin Man series of films.

Powell was married to three popular film and TV stars of the age: Carole Lombard, Diana Lewis,  and Eileen Wilson.

He was also one of the first patients to receive a temporary colostomy.

#6 Rolf Benirschke

Rolf Benirschke

He is a former American football player in the National Football League who, at the age of 24, was struck with ulcerative colitis (an inflammatory disease potentially affecting the entire large bowel) and required life-saving ileostomy surgery.

Remarkably, Rolf Benirschke was able to return to the game he loved and play seven more seasons.

Currently, Rolf is involved in many other philanthropic organizations, including Scripps Hospital, United Way, the San Diego Zoo, and Santa Fe Christian School, plus he is the national spokesman for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

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#7 Richard “Red” Skelton

Richard Red Skelton

He was an American comedy entertainer who was best known for his television and national radio acts between 1937 and 1971.

Skelton was also the host of the television program The Red Skelton Show.

The day after his wedding on March 9, 1945, Richard checked into the hospital for a tonsillectomy.

He also became known for wearing colostomy bags.

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#8 Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire

He was an American singer, dancer, and actor who worked in musical comedy, vaudeville,  television, radio, and Hollywood musicals.

Fred Astaire received a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1981 and was awarded an honorary Academy Award for his contributions to film in 1950.

Fred made ten films with Ginger Rogers.

He was also a famous ostomate.

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#9 Al Geiberger

Al Geiberger

He is an American former professional golfer who won more than ten times on the PGA Tour, including a major championship.

Al had surgery in 1980 to remove his colon due to inflammatory bowel disease and has an ileostomy.

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#10 Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

She was the Queen consort of King George VI until his death in 1952.

Queen Elizabeth was one of the most popular members of the British royal family and remained a much-loved figurehead for the country until her death on March 29, 2002, aged 101.

The Queen Mother suffered from colon cancer in her 60s, her official biography reveals.

It is also rumored that she had a colon operation that saw her fitted with a colostomy bag.

#11 Adele Roberts

Adele Roberts

Adele Roberts is a British radio DJ and television presenter.

She is best known for her work on BBC Radio 1, where she currently hosts the Early Breakfast Show.

In May 2022, she appeared on the Women’s Health cover with a visible stoma bag.

Featured image credit – Shutterstock

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21 thoughts on “Famous People With Ostomies And Colostomy Bags”

  1. I am an ostomate since 1982 I am the Founder of Savbaby first non profit to save abandoned babies I have been featured on over 13 national talk shows Geraldo Rivera twice and Oprah as well as Inside Edition In 1998 I was nominated and won City and State and National Jefferson Award Jackie Kennedy the Founder and I was honored in Washington DC. This award is dubbed America’s Nobel Prize.

  2. I’m booked for a urostomy later this month. I needed to know that there is life afterwards.
    Thanks for the positive messages about people who had survived and thrived.

  3. I had emergency surgery for diviticulitis which left me with a colostomy. I am going in for a second opinion on a reversal and would appreciate any suggestions or questions I should have for the doctor. They are concerned about my rectal function. If anyone could walk me through this I would greatly appreciate it. They are concerned about incontinence. In other words has anyone faced this decision, and if so how did you come to your decision?

    • I had a colostomy done when I was 32 years old, I am 58 now and I’ll have it until I die. Best decision I ever made. I knew a woman who had hers reversed and could not control her bowel movements afterwards. She ended up have the colostomy put back. She only had the first colostomy for about a year or maybe two. I know I can never have mine removed, nor do I want to. But having bowel control issues is a real concern. Sorry to be a killjoy but the choice is up to you.

      • This is so very helpful! Thank you!!!! I recently had a colectomy March 28,2022 after having severe ulcerative colitis for 25years . I am not sure if I want a reversal …. Well at 50 I do not want anymore problems and I am not sure if the reversal would work ( how I would want it to) this is all life changing .

  4. I had an unplanned permanent ileostomy in 1999 due to a malignant rectal tumor. The removal of my colon and part of my small intestine at the time saved my life!

    22 years later I’m well, active and blessed to be here!

    • I was married when I got my colostomy and it caused no problems since then my husband died. I thought I would spend the rest of my life alone but I got introduced to a wonderful man. I told him before we had our first date he still wanted to date me. We fell in love and got married. The colostomy has been no problem for us. Like my husband says he married me for who I am the bag is part of me.

    • NOT AT ALL! My husband had a hard time initially dealing with it, he being a shy pooper (in the early days, I would literally have to leave the house so he could go). But, after a couple weeks, we got into a routine – he emptied the bag, I changed the bag when needed.

      We, now, just make sure to pack supplies when we left the house, just in case.

    • No. It didn’t affect any of my marriages. All 3 of them. Had it when I was 21 and now almost 70. You just have to be confident in yourself. Best of luck.

  5. I am happily married for thirty years. My husband met me two years after my surgery. It never bothered him. Good luck to you

  6. No my husband says it doesn’t bother him at all, but I feel self conscious about it, that’s just me, going in to get it reversed April 5th 2022, Ive had this since Aug 12 2021.

  7. I’m only 16 and recently had the surgery for an ileostomy and am scheduled for a takedown in a bit, I am having the hardest time with it and it’s not even permanent, you guys must be some of the strongest people like ever.

    • Wow Hayden your ostomy is not permanent!! I got mine after 15. I am 56 now, over 40 years. It is not easy but you deal with it. Good luck with your resection.

    • Katie, there are several people om TikTok who talk very openly about their ostomy journey. I think it would help anyone to check it out but especially a young person. I dont have an ostomy but they have gone a long ways to normalize the entire issue for me – where it is just a thang! NO BIG DEAL!.

    • I was the same Hayden, wanted nothing to do with it, couldn’t look at it. Nurses encouraged me to deal with it and eventually I did. Now it seems like nothing, just part of my life. I am active in sports and I keep on going- I play Pickleball now. You’ll be fine when you finally accept it and take care of yourself! I promise!

  8. Saved my life and there are a lot of positives.

    I can now shop till I drop without worrying about sitting on public loos, I can camp anywhere and generally life is a lot more hygienic.

    But above all the pain has stopped and it is great to be alive again.

    You have to make your own decisions and you do have to rely on people who care and understand at times.

    I find I like my own company more

  9. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in May 1985 after losing 1/3 of my bodyweight while working on an oil rig in the North Sea during the previous three weeks. I had been married for 2-1/2 years and had a six-month-old son.
    My bowel was removed on 1 June 1985, and I lived the following year (working offshore) with both the stoma and a mucous fistula, trying to keep my rear end alive for a reconnection. This was a failure and in June 1986 I had my rectum removed.
    Apart from those initial three weeks I did not have any symptoms and so I have little to no experience of living with the disease, but I have worked in Norway, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Angola, Nigeria, US, UK, and several other countries since the surgeries, and still less than a dozen people are aware of my condition.
    I eat and drink what I want, I exercise, ride my bike (including charity events of hundreds of miles), work in the garden/yard or on the roof (Habitat for Humanity), without a thought.
    Sometimes a bag is good for four or five days, and sometimes they are good for a matter of hours, it depends on what physical activities I have been doing. I have had leaks (particularly after long sweaty days of work, or in the days following swimming), but so what? It takes minutes to replace a bag.
    I have now been married for almost 40 years and have two sons and 2-1/2 grandchildren.
    Stay positive. Life (outside of politics) is good.

  10. My surgeon did colostomies all day long every day so there are many many people out there with their little designer bags, like myself..My surgeon is only one person, think of all the others across the country and then you will see that ostomies and iliostomy or whatever it’s called is quite common..I do not want mine reversed, as the rehab was the worst part for me. If I could do it over, I’d have a home health nurse. Too old now.

  11. I am 46 years old. I was in a pretty serious car accident. After all the repairs to my body, unaware of any issues, I got an infection and had my large intestine removed. Quite a SHOCK once I awoke and realized what had happened. Almost a surprise….. “We saved your life”. I am a very active person, and this was something I knew nothing about. So, to wake up with a new device attached to my body….. Took some time to get used to. It’s been a little over a year and life’s different but I’m alive. At least that the most common response to my new life.


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