World Diabetes Day: Famous Celebrity Faces of Diabetes

Celebrities with Diabetes

Tom Hanks

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

In Oct. 2013, Hanks revealed he had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes after years of struggling with high blood sugar numbers.” Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, and some have speculated that Hanks's many dramatic weight fluctuations for various acting roles could have contributed to his illness.

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Ruben Studdard

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The American Idol season 2 champion was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes on an episode of The Biggest Loser in 2013.

Chaka Khan

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The Grammy-winning singer was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2011, a prognosis she decided to view as a “new beginning.” Chaka Khan adopted a vegan diet and began exercising more frequently, and she lost 75 pounds in one year. The singer says her diabetes is now under control.

Drew Carey

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the comedian decided to make a drastic change. Carey lost 80 pounds in 2010 and said he was able to stop taking his diabetes medication.

Randy Jackson

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

When the Grammy-winning producer and American Idol judge learned he had type 2 diabetes in 2001, he clocked in at 350 pounds. The diagnosis inspired him to change his lifestyle. “I’ve made a complete 180,” he toldPARADE. “I’m a much healthier eater and I’ve lost quite a bit of weight over the years. I’m very active now.” Now, Jackson is a devoted spokesperson for diabetes research. 

Salma Hayek

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

Salma Hayek revealed that she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that happens during pregnancy, while pregnant with her daughter, Valentina, in 2007.

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Nick Jonas

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The youngest Jonas brother went public with his type 1 diabetes in 2007. He has worked overtime to raise both money and awareness for diabetes-related research and treatment (especially in children). The rocker has learned to manage his diabetes despite his hectic touring schedule.

“I was never ashamed of having diabetes,” he told PARADE. “Instead, I was always very excited to tell people that I still could live out my dreams and live my life the way I wanted to.”

Read how about an controversial episode of Hannah Montana inspired by Jonas' diagnosis. 

Bret Michaels

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The former Poison frontman made headlines in 2010 when he survived an emergency appendectomy and a brain hemorrhage—all in the span of a couple of months. The rocker was also diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 6 years old. The rocker decided to go public with his disease and has been open and supportive of the cause ever since. He even earned $640,000 for the American Diabetes Association as a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice in 2010.

Halle Berry

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

While filming 1989’s Living Dolls TV show, Halle Berry went into a diabetic coma and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The Oscar-winning actress has been very candid about controlling her diabetes and works hard to donate her time to raise money for research for organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Association.

Delta Burke

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The actress was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the age of 41. Since then, her goal has been to get people talking about better management of diabetes.

Jay Cutler

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The Chicago Bears quarterback copes with Type 1 diabetes, which he was diagnosed with in 2008. He carefully monitors his blood sugar before games, opting for insulin injections rather than a pump that might interfere with his range of movement. “Diabetes is not easy,” he toldPARADE in 2009. “It’s with you every day—I wake up with, I have to manage it on the football field, and I go to sleep with it. I don't like pricking my finger to check my blood sugar or having to inject insulin four times a day. That’s where it gets personal, having to stick yourself with a needle. But now, it’s just something that I have to do, like millions of other people.”

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Elliott Yamin

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The American Idol veteran was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was a teen. The singer, who wears an insulin pump, has matured into a role model for young adults with diabetes. In an interview with PARADE, Yamin encouraged diabetes patients to “stay positive” and “don't let the disease hold you back.”

Patti LaBelle

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The singer has Type 2 diabetes. On her website, LaBelle recalls her diagnosis. “I passed out on stage … and the doctor came back to me and said, 'Did you know you were Type 2 diabetic?' and I said, 'I had no idea,'” states LaBelle, who has a family history of diabetes. She has since written healthy cookbooks, and she exercises regularly.

Larry King

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The late TV legend rarely spoke about his Type 2 diabetes, but in an interview with Diabetes Forecast, he opened up about it.

“I never liked to discuss my own. I’ve said it, that I have Type 2 diabetes, but never at length. If I’m a guest on another program, I’ll be happy to discuss it. I just think that on my own show, it’s irrelevant what I have. Now they have Twitter—you write, 'I got a toothache yesterday.'”

Sharon Stone

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The famous Hollywood actress who sizzled in films such as Basic Instinct and Assassins, also has Type 1 diabetes.

Victor Garber

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The Alias star was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 12-years-old. But Garber had no plans to let his focus subside. “There was a part of me that was determined to succeed at what I wanted to do, so I never let diabetes really get in the way,” he said.

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Vanessa Williams

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

Since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, the actress and her family have supported many diabetes charities.

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Sherri Shepherd

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

Former host of The View, Shepherd's mother died from the disease at age 41. She then drastically changed her diet and exercise regimen after her diagnosis with Type 2 diabetes. She lost 40 pounds and is outspoken about her experiences.

Paula Deen

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The celebrity chef announced her diagnosis with Type 2 diabetes in January. Since then, she has proudly dropped 40 pounds. “I always practice moderation,” Deen toldPARADE earlier this year. “I think people have a hard time understanding that because they see me two or three times a day on TV cooking these high-calorie, fabulous-tasting foods, but that's only 30 days out of a year that I'm doing that. Those other 335 days a year, I'm not eating that way.”

Tracy Morgan

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

Morgan is best known from his time on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, and was diagnosed with diabetes in 1996. He recieved a kidney transplant as a result of his diabetes diagnosis, and began to take controling it more seriously after that.

B.B. King

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The legendary blues guitarist lived with Type 2 diabetes for over twenty years and was a high-profile spokesman in the fight against the disease, appearing in advertisements for diabetes-management products. He passed away May 14, 2015 at the age of 89.

Mary Tyler Moore

Celebrities with type 2 diabetes

The legendary star was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 30 years old, when she was hospitalized after suffering a miscarriage. The actress was the international chairwoman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and even testified before Congress to call for an increase in funding for embryonic stem cell research. She was known for her diabetes prevention activism. She passed away on January 25, 2017 at the age of 80—see her life through the ages.

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About the Author: Tung Chi