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Kevin Sorbo | Source: Paramount Pictures
Kevin Sorbo | Source: Paramount Pictures

'Hercules' Kevin Sorbo Suffered 3 Strokes & Was Blacklisted from Hollywood for 'Being a Christian' & a 'Conservative'

Taitirwa Sehliselwe Murape
Oct 06, 2023
09:30 P.M.
  • American actor Kevin Sorbo rose to stardom in the 90s for portraying the titular character in the series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys."
  • The actor is also a family man who has been married to his wife for 25 years, and they share three children.
  • Once, he suffered a series of strokes, and he also struggled to get jobs in Hollywood due to his beliefs.
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Kevin Sorbo at Hallmark's "Home & Family" event in Universal City, California on December 4, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Kevin Sorbo at Hallmark's "Home & Family" event in Universal City, California on December 4, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

American actor Kevin Sorbo, 65, is best known for his iconic portrayal as the titular character in the popular television series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys." He quickly rose to international fame with this role through six seasons, from 1995 to 1999.

Kevin Sorbo on an episode of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on August 15, 1997 | Source: Getty Images

Kevin Sorbo on an episode of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on August 15, 1997 | Source: Getty Images

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Outside of his acting career, Kevin is a loving husband and doting dad. He met his wife, Sam Sorbo, who also acts, on the set of the 90s show. At the time, Sam joined the cast with a recurring role, and the two worked alongside each other.

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The couple tied the knot in 1998, and during their relationship, they welcomed three children: Braeden, Shane, and Octavia Sorbo. At the beginning of this year, Kevin and Sam celebrated 25 years of marriage.

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A year prior to marrying Sam, Kevin faced a near-death experience during the height of his career's success, and it altered the course of his life.

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Kevin Sorbo Faced a Series of Health Challenges during the Pinnacle of His Career

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The same year the "Andromeda" star and Sam were engaged, while he was still starring in "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," and when he had just scored a role in his first action film, Kevin's world turned upside down. He experienced a series of health scares that nearly ended up being fatal.

Kevin had an aneurysm, which was then followed by three strokes. To make matters worse, he nearly lost an arm, and two of his sensory systems became adversely affected.

Kevin Sorbo at SiriusXM Studios in New York City on September 13, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Kevin Sorbo at SiriusXM Studios in New York City on September 13, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

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In addition to a constant ringing in his head, Kevin's vision and balance were severely impaired. According to a news outlet, it took years for the actor's health to improve.

Kevin Sorbo at SiriusXM Studios in New York City on October 7, 2019 | Source: Getty Images

Kevin Sorbo at SiriusXM Studios in New York City on October 7, 2019 | Source: Getty Images

Opening up about how his health ailments started, Kevin explained how he experienced tingling and cold sensations running down his left arm and fingers for months. After returning to America from filming his show in New Zealand, he went to the gym, where he felt a sharp shooting pain in his arm while doing bicep curls.

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Kevin then visited his chiropractor and had his neck cracked. However, three strokes followed shortly thereafter when he got back in his car:

"I had an aneurysm in my arm and I believe the crack of the neck accelerated the aneurysm...I believe, and a few other doctors believe, is that when he did that motion, it sent the blood clots that were going downstream to go upstream...and threw the clots into my brain..."

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After his vision and balance were impaired, and he could barely walk, Kevin admitted that he feared that he would die. He spoke about being mad in a calm way, which then catapulted thoughts that he would never get to marry Sam and have children.

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As a result of his severe health issues, Kevin's career schedule changed. His hours spent on set were reduced from 14 to 1 hour a day. He said it took a good three years for him to start feeling like his old self again and about two more years for the humming sound in his head to disappear.

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Being the devoted partner she is, Sam stayed by Kevin's side throughout his health woes. Interestingly enough, of his wife staying with him during his toughest time, the "Let There Be Light" talent revealed:

"...Actually, she said if I hadn't had the strokes, she doubted we would have stayed together. Because of my life — my work and the craziness involved. I was married to ["Hercules"] more than anything or anybody..."

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When it comes to his perception of what happened to him, Kevin said that his strokes made him stronger and spearheaded his efforts to toughen up his resilience both mentally and physically. Additionally, he described being more patient and having a better understanding of others who endure health ailments and disabilities.

After the show business industry cast him aside, Kevin and Sam decided to start their own production company.

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Another important factor that he touched on while opening up about his darkest hour was his faith. Although he admitted that initially he had been angry at God, asking why such horrible things were happening to him, especially in his prime, Kevin realized:

"...with God I finally got to a point where I was told by a couple of people that I had to look at it as a gift..."

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Kevin Sorbo Explained Why He Was Blacklisted from Hollywood

This year, as they promoted their upcoming film, Kevin and his wife sat down for an interview, where he opened up about being canceled in the entertainment industry.

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The 90s icon stated that at one point, Hollywood blacklisted him, and it had everything to do with his religious and political beliefs. According to the dad of three :

"It was sad to me, you know, my manager and agent for so many years said that we can't get you jobs anymore, work with you because of you being a Christian, being a conservative..."

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Kevin aired his grievances and inability to reconcile with the fact that his talent management team had dropped him for his personal choices. He found it laughable that an industry that claims to be forward-thinking, open-minded, tolerant, and inclusive had been so prejudiced against him.

Kevin Sorbo at the premiere of "The 15:17 To Paris" in Burbank, California on February 5, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Kevin Sorbo at the premiere of "The 15:17 To Paris" in Burbank, California on February 5, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Nonetheless, the "God's Not Dead" actor made peace with the situation, which in no way reduced his love for and interest in film and television. He believed Tinseltown's decision to cancel him was due to people not wanting to hear the truth and the vast divide among the population in the U.S., which stays in perpetuation as a result of the media.

Kevin Sorbo at the 9th Annual L.A. Golf Classic benefiting Emergency Assistance in Burbank, California on June 11, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Kevin Sorbo at the 9th Annual L.A. Golf Classic benefiting Emergency Assistance in Burbank, California on June 11, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

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After the show business industry cast him aside, Kevin and Sam decided to start their own production company, one that focuses on producing faith-based and family-friendly projects. On embarking in production and how entertainment has changed throughout the years, Sam mentioned:

"...in general, the whole of Hollywood has shifted. And that left an opening for the church people to come in and say, 'Well, we need some entertainment. Let's give this a shot.'..."

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Similar to how he and Sam discussed the change happening within showbiz, last month, Kevin shared more of his thoughts on the culture of Hollywood today, especially concerning men. He believes that society has a misunderstanding of the concept of masculinity.

Kevin Sorbo at Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con in Rosemont, Illinois on August 27, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Kevin Sorbo at Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con in Rosemont, Illinois on August 27, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

According to Kevin, there is an ongoing dissonance between people readily accepting two versions of men on screen opposing one another. He deemed the two prototypes as the macho man vs. the slightly more androgynous and softer man.

Kevin Sorbo at the 8th Annual Los Angeles Golf Classic event in Burbank, California on June 12, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Kevin Sorbo at the 8th Annual Los Angeles Golf Classic event in Burbank, California on June 12, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

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As a result of this conflict, Kevin is calling for more representation of men who lead as the patriarchs of their families, who protect, are responsible, and raise their children. However, he asserts that society can't have this type of man for so long as an addiction toward pleasure disorients them.

The sort of redemptive nature Kevin is referring to is one of the main themes in his and Sam's movie, which will appear in theatres later this month.

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