Appearing this week on WYLDE‘s “By the Light of the Moon” podcast with host Holly Willoughby, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow opened up about her father Bruce Paltrow’s death from throat cancer in 2002.
“I lost my dad to cancer when I was 30. He was only 58,” she recalled. “It gets so abstract as the years go on. You are so far away from the last phone call, the last meal you had with them, the last embrace, your relationship with them is in another realm.
“When it first happened I never anticipated that it was possible to have a feeling like that. It was not in my lexicon of emotions. It was so physical it felt like it split me open.”
The grieving process took its toll on Paltrow.
“After the funeral I was living in London and I woke up one night in the middle of the night and I thought I was having a heart attack. The only reason I didn’t call the emergency services was because I didn’t know it was 999 in England!
“But I thought I was dying. It was really really tough, I don’t know how we got through it; it was really messed up,” Paltrow added. “It’s sad he’s not part of my life now.”
Her father’s illness and death did take Paltrow down a positive path, though, eventually leading to her founding lifestyle brand Goop in 2008.
“Starting Goop was after he died,” she said. “When he was diagnosed I started looking at environmental toxins and how food affects our health. That is what started me on this whole journey.”
Bruce Paltrow was a writer-director-producer who created the series “The White Shadow” in 1978, and directed episodes of “St. Elsewhere”, “Homicide: Life on the Street”, as well as the 2000 movie “Duets”, starring daughter Gwyneth.