Popular Sitcom Star Has Rare Disorder

Dec 19, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A popular television and film actress has revealed that she has been diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder. People magazine reports that “The Exes” star Kristen Johnston was diagnosed with lupus myelitis, a rare form of the autoimmune disease lupus.

Johnston is best known for her long run as Sally Solomon on the NBC hit "3rd Rock from the Sun," which aired from 1996-2001. She currently plays Holly Franklin on TV Land’s "The Exes."

Johnston revealed Tuesday on her Facebook page that she had been diagnosed with “a rare autoimmune disorder” that had left her “almost completely unable to move,” the story notes. The actress, 46, wrote that she had been very sick since early September.

“Lying down I’m fine, which is great for writing or killing time on social media," she wrote, “but it’s kind of disastrous when you’re in a sitcom that requires tons of physical comedy."

She took a two-episode break from the TV Land comedy, and actress Leah Remini was brought in to help fill in during her absence, the story notes.

While Johnston didn’t at first name the autoimmune disorder, she later addressed her specific diagnosis after word spread, the story adds.

"I’m not trying to be ‘coy,’ ‘relevant’ or ‘get attention,’" she wrote. "I just was diagnosed two days ago with a rare form of Lupus called ‘Lupus Myelitis’ — Google it. I’m not on my death bed … far from it. I’m gonna be fine."

She added, “I just wanted to have a few weeks of privacy to navigate it and receive treatment. The only reason I said anything is because I won’t be in a few episodes.”

Johnston has also appeared in feature films, including "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas."

kristen johnston.jpgKristen Johnston


  1. Why is this anyone’s business, let alone considered as news? Who is this person? Never heard of her.

  2. Jim, many millions of TV watchers, including myself, saw her in literally hundreds of episodes of various shows. Since “TV Week” posted this, it is relevant.
    The actress obviously wanted to do damage control on her career by saying the illness that is keeping her off the air is treatable.

  3. Jim, I assume you’re not in the business or never watch television. Ever hear of John Lithgow, Jane Curtin; those two geniuses, along with Kristen and French Stewart, was responsible for “3rd Rock From the Sun” receiving a minimum of two golden globes, 35 other award wins and 64 more television award nominations during their five year run.
    I am in the business and also suffer from an autoimmune disease, so yes, I am interested.

  4. Why are you even here, reading a website about the TV business that deals with all sorts of things television-related?
    Why are you further revealing your ignorance by claiming not to know who Kristen Johnson is, when she’s well-known to people who are involved, even tangentially, with TV?
    Who are you, that you feel free to make stupid, uniformed comments? Why should anyone care what you think?

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