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Famous Faces of Type 2 Diabetes

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  • Celebrities with Type 2 Diabetes

    Celebrities with Type 2 Diabetes

    Type 2 diabetes, or non-insulin dependent diabetes, is the most common form of the disease. Although factors such as obesity, genetic predisposition, race, and age do make type 2 diabetes more likely in at-risk individuals, it is possible for those who lead seemingly healthy lives to be diagnosed with the disease. As these celebrities show, despite outward appearance, athleticism, money, or fame, type 2 diabetes can affect anyone.

    Click next to read about the famous faces of type 2 diabetes.

  • Larry King and Diabetes

    Larry King and Diabetes

    Journalist and television interviewer Larry King’s health has been volatile since a heart attack in 1987, which inspired him to quit smoking and improve his lifestyle. In 1998 he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which he controls to this day with a healthy diet, medication, and frequent doctor visits. 

  • Patti LaBelle and Diabetes

    Patti LaBelle and Diabetes

    Despite her mother’s death at age 58 due to type 2 diabetes, for years LaBelle ignored her symptoms and denied the fact that she herself was likely to have the disease. After passing out onstage during a concert, she finally took her health seriously and began eating healthy and exercising regularly. LaBelle has gone on to lose 20 pounds, become a diabetes spokesperson, and write a healthy cookbook called Patti LaBelle’s Lite Cuisine.

  • David Wells and Diabetes

    David Wells and Diabetes

    This debilitating disease can affect even professionally trained athletes. Major League Baseball pitcher David Wells, revealed his diagnosis to fans in 2007, nine years after pitching the 15thperfect game in baseball history. He immediately changed his lifestyle, eliminating starches, alcohol, sugar, and fast food in an attempt to control the disease. Although food and drink had been a big part of this pitcher’s life, he puts his health and family before his pleasures in order to live a fuller, happier life.

  • Drew Carey and Diabetes

    Drew Carey and Diabetes

    Comedian Drew Carey claims to have cured his type 2 diabetes, and the need to take medication, by losing 80 pounds through exercise and giving up carbohydrates. Doctors argue that diabetes cannot be cured, but that Carey is in remission, which could last indefinitely through maintaining his lowered weight. He credits the remission of his diabetes primarily to his low-carb lifestyle.

  • Paul Sorvino and Diabetes

    Paul Sorvino and Diabetes

    The GoodFellas actor was diagnosed in 2006 and has since become a spokesperson, along with his daughter, Oscar-winning actress Mira, for the awareness program called Diabetes Co-Stars. By adopting healthier eating and exercise habits, coupled with medications, Sorvino has succeeded in controlling his diabetes.


  • Dick Clark and Diabetes

    Dick Clark and Diabetes

    New Year’s Eve Grandmaster Clark kept his diagnosis concealed for 10 years until, at age 64, he publicized his illness by becoming a spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Clark didn’t take his diagnosis seriously for the first 10 years, but after learning that two-thirds of people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke, he began making big changes in his diet and exercise regime. Unfortunately, Clark did suffer a stroke at age 74.

  • B.B. King and Diabetes

    B.B. King and Diabetes

    Growing up on a cotton plantation in Mississippi, King’s parents, who also both suffered from type 2 diabetes, didn’t have the modern conveniences of medication and testing. So it took King years to learn of his risk for diabetes. But the blues musician has now learned to control his disease through oral medication and regular testing of his blood glucose levels. As a LifeScan spokesperson, King promotes diabetes education in the hopes of teaching others the dangers of the disease.

  • Halle Berry and Diabetes

    Halle Berry and Diabetes

    After suffering from a weeklong coma at age 22, Halle Berry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She claims to have eliminated her dependency on insulin, however doctors agree that Berry always had type 2 and was initially misdiagnosed. Insulin-dependent type 1 diabetics cannot successfully wean themselves off of insulin.

  • George Lucas and Diabetes

    George Lucas and Diabetes

    The Star Wars creator and Oscar-winning film director learned of his condition just after graduating from college. When Lucas was drafted into the Vietnam War, his physical exam revealed type 2 diabetes, exempting him from the draft.

  • Randy Jackson and Diabetes

    Randy Jackson and Diabetes

    When the American Idol judge received his diagnosis in ­­2001, he immediately fought back. Gastric bypass surgery, followed by a healthy diet and increased exercise, helped Jackson lower his weight and reduce his blood sugar to a healthy level. Despite his family history of diabetes, Jackson has improved his health and managed his disease.

  • More Resources

    More Resources

    Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, and anyone can successfully manage this disease. Through healthy lifestyle changes such as nutrition, exercise, and medications, it is possible to overcome the dangers of type 2 diabetes. 

    Learn more: