Barry Watson, renowned for his role as ‘Matt Camden’ on The WB television series ‘7th Heaven,’ drew attention as the oldest Camden sibling. The show’s popularity skyrocketed, earning him a legion of fans. However, just as his star was shining brightest, an unforeseen diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease in 2002 altered his life.
He transitioned from being a full-time regular after the sixth season, primarily due to his battle with cancer. The actor knew all was not well within his body before his diagnosis. He recalled that period with the following words in a 2014 interview with Coping Magazine:
“I just remember being so tired. I was kind of certain that something was going on with my body.”
Months later, his concerns were validated when he discovered a lump on his neck. Following a visit to the hospital, the diagnosis was revealed: stage II B Hodgkin lymphoma. Watson told People in 2021, expressing his feelings after the diagnosis:
“It was a huge shock, but I’m a stubborn guy, so I was like, I’m going to fight like hell.”
The path to recovery involved rigorous treatment, as Watson underwent chemotherapy sessions every two weeks for six months. Thankfully, his hard work paid off. Watson finished his treatment in October 2002, and he’s been free of cancer ever since, spanning more than two decades. However, it’s not entirely in the past for the actor, as he said in a 2021 chat with ABC News:
“[Cancer is] still such a big part of my life because I still think about it, but also time has passed where it’s almost like, ‘Did that really happen? Did I really go through all that?’ And now, having this whole other life with my wife and my kids that they weren’t even a part of that time, it feels like a lifetime ago.”
After his illness, Barry’s connection with ‘7th Heaven’ remained strong as he embraced recurring and guest star roles up to its tenth season. His later works included the television series ‘What About Brian?’ ‘Samantha Who?’ ‘Masters of Sex,’ and ‘The Loudest Voice.’
Presently, Watson is wed to Natasha Gregson Wagner, and they share three children. Among them is Clover Clementyne, aged 9, born to his current wife. Additionally, he has two more children, Felix and Oliver, from his previous marriage to Tracy Hutson.