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Christina Applegate stars on the new Netflix dark comedy Dead to Me, and her performance as the acerbic and brazen real estate agent Jen Harding is spectacular to watch as a fan of her work. The 47-year-old actress makes her return to acting in the series after taking a hiatus from TV (she last starred in the 2012 NBC comedy Up All Night) and pours her heart into the role; the show follows Jen as she grieves the loss of her husband with the help of her newfound friend Judy (played by Linda Cardellini) after he's killed in a hit-and-run accident. While it isn't clear if Christina is anything like the hot-headed Jen IRL, there is one element of the character's life that she identifies with — undergoing a double mastectomy.
In the series, Jen opens up to Judy about a recent health scare. After Judy complements her breasts, Jen retorts that they "aren't mine," and reveals that she underwent preventative surgery after finding out that she carried a mutation in the BRCA 1 gene, making her more susceptible to breast and ovarian cancers.
In April 2008, Christina herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in one of her breasts after discovering the same genetic mutation — her mother, Nancy Priddy, is also a survivor — and she had a bilateral mastectomy months later. Shortly after, Christina spoke to People about her decision: "I just wanted to kind of be rid of this whole thing for me. This was...
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