Michael Richards Opens Up About Prostate Cancer Battle and New Memoir

Michael Richards, best known for his role as Kramer on the iconic television show “Seinfeld,” has largely stayed out of the public eye since his infamous outburst in 2006.

Michael Richards in May, 2024. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, MARCUS UBUNGEN)
Michael Richards in May, 2024. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, MARCUS UBUNGEN)

However, in a recent and rare appearance, Richards has revealed significant personal struggles, including a battle with prostate cancer that began in 2018.

This revelation comes as he prepares to release his memoir, “Entrances and Exits,” which delves into his private battles and reflections on his life and career.

Richards’ cancer diagnosis was a stark turning point. Speaking to People magazine, the 74-year-old actor recalled the moment he learned of his condition. “I thought, well, this is my time. I’m ready to go,” Richards confessed.

The diagnosis came during a routine checkup when doctors found his PSA levels were alarmingly high, leading to a stage 1 prostate cancer diagnosis.

The initial shock quickly gave way to a fierce will to live, especially when Richards thought of his young son. “I’ve got a nine-year-old, and I’d like to be around for him. Is there any way I can get a little more life going?” he remembered asking his doctor.

Michael Richards shared that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018. (PHOTO: VIA FOX NEWS, MATT WINKELMEYER/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES)
Michael Richards shared that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018. (PHOTO: VIA FOX NEWS, MATT WINKELMEYER/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES)

The answer was immediate and urgent—surgery to remove his prostate was necessary to contain the cancer swiftly. Richards underwent the procedure, acknowledging that without it, he likely wouldn’t have survived another eight months.

This health scare was a significant motivator for Richards to publish his memoir. “I had over 40 journals I’d kept over the years and wanted to do a full review of my life,” he shared.

“I’m turning 75, so maybe wanting to do that is something that comes with being my age.” The memoir serves as a conduit for Richards to connect with his past experiences, memories, and emotions, which he found surprisingly vivid upon reflection.

“Entrances and Exits” not only covers his career highlights and the evolution of his beloved character, Kramer, but also addresses the lowest point of his public life—the 2006 incident at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles.

During a stand-up performance, Richards launched into a racist tirade against hecklers, an episode that brought immense backlash and significantly marred his reputation.

According to his publisher, Permuted Press, the memoir discusses Richards’ ongoing spiritual journey prompted by this incident.

“The situation drove him to a lifelong spiritual quest, one that would help him move forward from apology and accountability to a greater appreciation for our shared humanity,” the publisher notes. This quest is one that Richards continues to this day, nearly two decades later.

Richards’ return to the red carpet earlier this month marked his first public appearance in eight years, supporting his former co-star Jerry Seinfeld at the premiere of Seinfeld’s new movie.

This rare appearance was a precursor to the release of his memoir, signaling Richards’ readiness to re-engage with the public on his own terms, sharing his deeply personal journey and reflections.

Michael Richards shared that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018. (PHOTO: VIA FOX NEWS, MATT WINKELMEYER/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES)
Michael Richards shared that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018. (PHOTO: VIA FOX NEWS, MATT WINKELMEYER/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES)

The release of “Entrances and Exits” is anticipated not just for its candid look at Richards’ life but also for the behind-the-scenes stories it promises from his time on “Seinfeld.”

The memoir offers anecdotes about the creation and development of Kramer, a character that became a cultural touchstone in the 1990s.

Richards’ career, though shadowed by the 2006 incident, remains a testament to his talent and the impact of his work on television comedy.

His return to the public eye with a memoir that lays bare his struggles and growth reflects a desire to reconcile with his past and perhaps find a new place in the public’s consciousness.

In his conversations with Fox News Digital, Richards expressed that his journey with cancer and his reflections in his memoir are part of a broader process of understanding and coming to terms with his life’s path.

“I wanted to connect with feelings and memory. I’m surprised at how much I was able to remember,” he said, underscoring the depth and introspection that characterize his recent endeavors.

“Entrances and Exits” is set to provide readers with an unvarnished look at Michael Richards’ life, his battle with cancer, and his quest for redemption and understanding.

As he shares his story, Richards offers a poignant reminder of the complexities of personal growth and the enduring impact of one’s actions and choices.

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