Christopher Kennedy Lawford, the first child of famed ‘Rat Pack’ actor Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy, was born and raised in southern California. As the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, Lawford grew up with U.S. presidents and movie stars as close relatives and personal friends. Today, he is an inspired writer and accomplished actor.
Lawford began his acting career in the 1980s playing a variety of parts, including roles in films like “Thirteen Days” and “The World’s Fastest Indian.” His acting repertoire also includes recognizable roles in the
daytime TV shows “All My Children” and “General Hospital.” In addition to acting, Lawford is also a celebrated author. His memoir, Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption, was on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Lawford is currently working on several other books and film projects, including a non-fiction book called Moments of Clarity, which will be available in January 2009. Lawford can also be seen in the 2007 film “Slipstream,” written and directed by Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Although he is immensely successful today, Lawford's early life was marked by the traumatic assassinations of his beloved uncles Jack and Bobby Kennedy. By the time he entered his teens, he had succumbed to the growing drug scene of the 1970s, and entered into a deep, long descent into near-fatal drug and alcohol addiction that stretched into the early 1980s. Lawford believes it was during this time that he contracted the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
It wasn’t until 2001 that Lawford was diagnosed with HCV. Although he experienced no symptoms, the disease had already begun to damage his liver. Today, six years after successfully completing treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, there is no detectable trace of HCV in his blood. During treatment, Chris kept a stubbornly positive outlook, and maintained a healthy lifestyle with yoga and regular exercise.
Today, Lawford is an advocate for HCV disease awareness and is dedicated to sharing his experience with HCV to help increase diagnosis and treatment of the virus. He encourages people to stop and consider their own potential exposures to the disease, get tested and, if necessary, speak with a doctor about available treatment options as early as possible.
Lawford has three children and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to starting his writing and acting career, he attended Tufts and Georgetown Universities, graduating from Boston College’s Law School in 1983. After his battle with addiction, Lawford set up a clinic to treat opiate dependency and served as a lecturer in psychiatry for Harvard Medical School.