BBC Two Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy – actor’s loss of taste in cancer battle and tragic grief for first wife

Stanley Tucci stars in his own BBC food show where he travels across Italy to discover the country’s regional cuisines.

In the first episode on Sunday, the actor begins his journey for the six-part series in Naples, and ends on the beautiful Amalfi Coast.

While the 61-year-old was born in New York, he is of Italian descent, with roots in Calabria.

Stanley, who has won four Emmy Awards, rose to TV stardom in the series Murder One as the mysterious Richard Cross in the late ’90s.

He’s gone on to perform in hit films including The Devil Wears Prada alongside Meryl Streep, Burlesque, Easy A, Captain America: The First Avenger, and the Hunger Games series.

The actor has been married twice, first to Kathryn Spath, who died of breast cancer in 2009, and later to Felicity Blunt, whom he married in 2012.

Stanley and Kate married in 1995 and shared three children – daughter Camilla and twins Nicolo and Isabel.

Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy – enjoying the beaches of Rimini.

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning last year, the father opened up about his family’s loss and admitted he still struggles to come to terms with Kate’s death, Daily Express reports.

“You never stop grieving,” the actor revealed. “It’s still hard after 11 years. And it will always be hard.

“But you can’t let it… and she would never want any of us to ever wallow in that grief and let it take over our lives. She would never want that. She wasn’t like that.”

He found love again whilst working on Devil Wears Prada, where co-star Emily Blunt introduced him to her sister at her own wedding to John Krasinski in 2010.

Two years later, Stanley tied the knot with British literary agent Felicity and are parents to two young children – Matteo Oliver and Emilia Giovanna.

Stanley and wife Felicity

Stanley later admitted that he experienced feelings of guilt shortly after he proposed to Felicity, the Mirror reports.

“It was very hard to go on vacations at first, really hard to go with Felicity someplace,” he told The Times at the time. “I felt guilty. It’s horrible. You always feel guilty.

“There are photos [of Kate] around at home… not that many, but I would have difficulty. And especially when we first met it was only two years after Kate died. So…”

Meanwhile, the actor, who published a food memoir, Taste, last October, has also spoken of his own battle with cancer.

He announced he was diagnosed with a tumour found at the base of his tongue three years prior, and feared he would permanently lose his sense of taste.

Stanley alongside Cher in Burlesque

Speaking on the BBC’s The One Show, the foodie said he was ‘without question’ fearful of undergoing high-dose radiation, which directly targets the tumour to avoid damaging healthy tissue.

He said: “I was very afraid to do the treatments but I had no option. The treatments were high-dose radiation and chemotherapy.

“It was the high-dose radiation that completely damages your salivary glands, your taste buds. And they assured me that they would come back, and they did.

“Not everything is where it should be three years on.

“However, it gets progressively better year after year. The taste buds came back pretty quickly but I had to eat through a feeding tube for six months and lost a lot of weight.

“It has taken three years to really get back.”

Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy broadcasts on Sunday, February 27 on BBC Two at 7.20pm.

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