Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Celebrities with Type 2 Diabetes

Music was a huge part of my upbringing. My dad always had music on in the house. His taste was eclectic. He listened to country music but he loved jazz and some pop. I absorbed his love of music but for me, it was Motown. I grew up in Windsor, Ontario across the river from Detroit. I knew more about Motown artists than I ever did the British Invasion. I loved Aretha Franklin, still do, may she rest in peace. A few years back I recall reading that Aretha had diabetes. Most interviews stated she never labeled her diabetes by type. This amazing, successful woman never let diabetes hold her back.

I wondered how many other people in the spotlight had diabetes, specifically type 2. I was very surprised at how many do. I shouldn’t have been because it’s prevalent among all of us, not just those in the spotlight. Nonetheless, I found it interesting. These celebs have not hidden their diagnosis and some have used it to promote what diabetes is, how to prevent it and how to live better with it. Here’s the short list:

Celebrities living with type 2 diabetes

  • Tom Hanks (actor)
  • Delta Burke (actor)
  • Salma Hayek (actor), had gestational diabetes, at risk for type 2
  • Della Reese (actor), who is a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association
  • Paul Sorvino (actor)
  • Ben Vereen (actor), who also promotes ‘Start Taking Action Now For Diabetes’ (S.T.A.N.D.) an awareness campaign for living with diabetes
  • James Earl Jones (actor)
  • Halle Berry (actor), who has supported diabetes research for years
  • Drew Carey (actor)
  • Anthony Anderson (actor), who founded ‘Fearless African-Americans Connected and Empowered’ (F.A.C.E.), a public awareness program about type 2 diabetes and brought public awareness through an episode of his TV show ‘black-ish’
  • Paula Deen (cooking host)
  • Larry King (talk show host)
  • Sherri Shepherd, the View (talk show host)
  • J. Anthony Brown (comedian/radio host), who founded the ‘J. Anthony Brown Foundation’, an organization that provides information and funding for people in need of supplies
  • Randy Jackson, American Idol judge (athlete/judge)
  • Billie Jean King (athlete)
  • David ‘Boomer’ Wells, baseball (athlete)
  • Patti LaBelle (singer)
  • Chaka Khan (singer)
  • BB King (blues musician)
  • HG Wells (author/writer)
  • George Lucas (writer/director)

And last, but not least,
YOUR NAME (your occupation)

All of you in this community are the biggest celebrities of all because you live with diabetes without the fame and fortune but you teach others what diabetes is, how to live with it, how to live better with it and you advocate for change. You are the heroes, the celebrities. Thank you for being a part of this community, my community.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    5 months ago

    Add Dr. Phil to that list as well. I didn’t know about him having it before either until I read about it some place.

  • Shelley, TheLongPointGirl moderator author
    4 months ago

    Neither did I. He never came up on the search. Interesting!

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    4 months ago

    He had done an interview someplace and they were talking to him about it.

  • Erica Franklin moderator
    6 months ago
  • Shelley, TheLongPointGirl moderator author
    5 months ago

    Thank you!

  • Poll