December 15, 2020

Celebrities With Diabetes

Diabetes affects people from all walks of life. In this article we share which famous faces are living with diabetes and achieving great things. See how these celebrities manage their care while juggling busy careers.

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Celebs with diabetes

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About 34.2 million US adults live with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, with Type 2 being more common. While a number of risk factors have been implicated, including age, family history, weight, and lifestyle, diabetes spans all walks of life.

There are some famous faces out there with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes: TV hosts, actors, athletes, musicians, and politicians. Take a look at our list; some of these celebrities might surprise you.

Tom Hanks

In 2013, Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks revealed his diagnosis with Type 2 diabetes on the “Late Show” with David Letterman.

Years later, he reflected on how he should have taken better care of himself earlier. “I was a total idiot,” he told Radio Times. “I thought I could avoid it by removing the buns from my cheeseburgers.” He also mentioned that yo-yo dieting for film roles might have played a role in his diagnosis.

Happily, Hanks has gone on to adopt a healthier lifestyle and keeps a healthy weight.

Nick Jonas

Child actor and singer Nick Jonas was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 13.  At the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards, he mentioned that his diagnosis happened just at the moment of his life when his music career was about kicking off, and he had thought it would slow him down. According to him, “thankfully, it didn’t, and I’m in the healthiest place I’ve been since my diagnosis.”

On his 14th diabetes-diagnosis anniversary in 2019, Nick stated on Instagram: “This experience has shaped how I approach my health, working out, eating well, and always thinking about my blood sugar and insulin needs.”

Vanessa Williams

Williams is a celebrity singer with Type 1 diabetes. According to her, she  lost her grandmother to the disease. She is actively involved in charities for diabetes and has authored a diabetes-related book for children, “Healthy Child.”

In 2018, she performed at a Diabetes Foundation Gala in Guam, a diabetes-ravaged territory.

Larry King

American television and radio host Larry King was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1995. Having survived a heart attack and bypass surgery eight years prior, the diagnosis caught him by surprise. According to him, after his heart attack experience, he was already watching his diet, exercising, and had quit smoking.

With his diagnosis, he continued with his healthy lifestyle and made more lifestyle changes, like taking his medications and having regular checkups.

Famous-People-With-DiabetesPaula Deen

Celebrity chef Deen was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2009. It took her about a year and a half to come to terms with her diagnosis, but afterward she modified her diet and took weight loss seriously.

On “The Doctors’” TV show, she said she had gone into her kitchen and thrown every white food out, except cauliflower, which became her very good friend. She went on to say that she has been able to substitute vegetables for potatoes* in most of her meals. She had since lost around 40 pounds and moved on to live a healthier, more active life.

Drew Carey

Best known for “The Drew Carey Show” and “The Price is Right,” Drew Carey is an American television actor, comedian, and host. He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and, in less than one year, lost 80 pounds, and reversed his diagnosis.

In 2010, he told People magazine that the secret was a no-carb diet**. Addressing them, he mentioned he cut out almost all forms of carbs and focused on egg whites, Greek yogurt, and fruits. Also, he spends considerable time in the gym, performing at least 45 minutes of cardio workouts multiple times a week.

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone is a leading Hollywood actress with Type 1 diabetes. In 2013, when asked how she manages to look amazing, she replied, “My secret is no secret. I just do all the things you’re supposed to do. I eat right, I sleep, I work out, I’m happy. She ended with, “I choose the happy, healthy things. I don’t choose the bad, unhealthy, unhappy things.”

She hasn’t been very vocal about living with diabetes but has been involved in fund-raising projects towards finding a cure.

Delta Burke

Burke, the Emmy-nominated actress from Designing Women, told Eating Well magazine in 2018 that her weight gain during filming led to her type 2 diabetes diagnosis. She said she got better control of her condition when she commenced a stringent eating program and tested her blood more often.

Ever since she has been active in creating awareness and encouraging other diabetics to educate themselves and be open about the disease.

Halle Berry

Berry is one of the celebrities with diabetes. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 19-years old. Being optimistic about her diagnosis and her life afterward, she said in an interview, “Diabetes turned out to be a gift. It gave me strength and toughness because I had to face reality, no matter how uncomfortable or painful it was.”

However, in 2007, she came out to say she no longer had Type 1 but Type 2 diabetes.*** This got her some backlash from health professionals who said Type 1 diabetes was incurable. In 2018, she mentioned that strict adherence to a keto-lifestyle helped her in managing her diabetes.

Patti LaBelle

LaBelle, Grammy-winning American singer, actress, and author,  type 2 diabetes diagnosis came after she passed out on stage during a performance. She had a family history of diabetes, with her mum and uncle suffering from the disease. They had both had complications; her mum having to amputate her legs and her uncle going blind.

After her diagnosis, LaBelle had kept her diabetes in check by modifying how she cooked her meals, going as far as writing a cookbook titled “Patti LaBelle’s Lite Cuisine.” She also works out regularly. “You can take hold of the situation,” she told People in 2008. “I feel great now. I live the right way.”


As you can see, there’s no reason for diabetes to keep you from accomplishing great things in life. These celebrities with diabetes have lived with the condition for years and are still breaking grounds in their respective fields. We hope this provides inspiration and encouragement that with a healthy lifestyle, diabetes can be managed.

For more healthy diabetes tips and the highest quality medical equipment, visit the US MED blog and shop our products.


*Not all foods that are white are bad for you. For instance, potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fiber. Health benefits that have been linked to consuming potatoes include improved blood sugar control, reduced heart disease risk and boosting your immune system. The trick is moderation, portion control. A small baked potato with a hint of olive oil can certainly be your choice of carb for a meal. Avoid the loaded baked potatoes with toppings such as, cheese, bacon and sour cream.

**A no carb diet is certainly not a healthy approach even for a person with diabetes. Moderation is the key. Many people don’t realize that if they are consuming dairy (milk, yogurt), fruits and vegetables, these are also carbohydrate choices.

***Doctors say that Halle Berry had Type 2 diabetes all along, since there is no way to avoid using insulin if you have Type 1 diabetes.

Shirley DeLeon Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist

Medical Review by Shirley DeLeon, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

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