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Mar 07

sorboKevin Sorbo is pleased with the real-life role he’s taken on – as an inspirational force and example of someone who’s come back from serious illness.  The actor who rose to fame as the mighty Hercules came out a couple of years ago with his frank memoir, True Strength: My Journey From Hercules To Mere Mortal And How Nearly Dying Saved My Life – disclosing the full extent of his battle back from three strokes and an aneurism that left him physically weak and with permanent blind spots in 1997.  The paperback version of the book came out a few months ago, and to his surprise, “I’ve actually gotten more attention from the paperback than I did when it originally came out,” Sorbo admits.

As a result, he finds himself being approached “not only by stroke survivors, but people who’ve battled cancer, come back from car crashes, whatever it may be.  People tell me that this book inspired them to really find their own true strength.”

Once having done his utmost to hide his condition from the public, he now concedes, “It was a fight to get back, I’ll tell you. I told my wife many times, you know, if it wasn’t for my support I don’t know how I would have done it, but I had great people around me and I also believed in myself and had a strong will.”

Sorbo is cohosting “‘The View’ Friday (3/8), “so I’m hoping we can talk about these things,” he says.

He will definitely be talking about his two latest projects — his March 23 “Shadow on the Mesa,” a Hallmark Movie Channel Original movie Western, and his newly-released on DVD “Abel’s Field” movie that he also produced.

“I love doing Westerns it’s my third Western with these guys,” he notes of the Hallmark project.  “It’s a great old classic Western, with two families fighting over some land — a Hatfields and McCoys type of situation.  Gail O’Grady plays my wife and she’s not so nice in this one.  She’s been having an affair with Greg Evigan, who is the bad guy who tries to take over my property.”  Meredith Baxter is also in the cast, and Wes Brown of “Deception” plays Sorbo’s son he knows nothing about, who’s tracking him down intent on killing him in revenge for his mother’s death.

“I wish I could do more Westerns,” he tells us.  “They used to play very well overseas, but that’s not so much the case anymore.  I don’t know what happened there.”

He has movies and how they play very much on his mind, with a slate of six film projects of his own in development.  As soon as Sorbo finishes his promotion tasks for “Shadow on the Mesa,” in fact, he says he’s heading to Arizona for huddles with potential investors.

His “Abel’s Field” movie, with Samuel Davis as a teen struggling to overcome a terrible home situation, was five years in the making, and Sorbo was aboard for two and a half of those years helping bring the film to fruition.

“We shot it in Texas, put some of it together, and Sony – who I did ‘Soul Surfer’ with – loved what they saw and picked it up for distribution, which was awesome.”

There is a mentoring aspect to the film, in that “the character I play is pretty much thrown in a situation with a teenage kid who’s thrown in a situation with me.  At first we don’t want to deal with each other at all, but eventually we become friends and mentors to each other and ultimately that helps lead him lead his own life.”

Mentoring, of course, is a subject close to the actor-producer’s heart, as Sorbo’s Fit for Kids program continues strong.  “The mentoring started back 15 years ago, in my ‘Hercules’ days,” he recalls.  “It was something I’ve always wanted to do, and we’ve created the Number One after school program in the States, with a 98 per cent graduation rate for kids in the program and we’re very proud of that.”

As far as his health these days, “Oh, I’m feeling good, yeah,” he says with a smile.  “The stroke happened in 1997, and it took six years for me to fully recover but I went on and did the last year of ‘Hercules.’  I did 110 episodes of ‘Andromeda,’ and I’ve done about 40 movies since then, so I think I’ve proven I’m back in good health.”

Not too surprisingly, Sorbo says he has another book percolating.  Write on.

 

One Response to “Kevin Sorbo Takes to Role as Inspirational Force”

  1. James H. Hall Says:

    I am very happy you’re getting better and have your strength back sir. I grew up in Malibu, CA and Santa Monica, surfing, playing tennis daily for years (My Passion) and using my body and mind to accomplish whatever I wanted to accomplish even in the US Army I became a Sergeant in just months VS years and reporting to General Alexander M Haig and Lt. General Charles P Otstott, Nato command for 3 years in Germany. Years later after using my G.I. Bill and studying International Bus., marketing, languages at UCLA and Woodbury I was off to Europe again but, this time as a Marketing Manager for John Deere Corp.. Years later after a very successful career internationally I ‘Broke my Neck’ in 1994 and needed 7 Spinal Surgeries to repair the damage. (I know what you’re saying about ‘Without my WIFE and Friends who loved me I don’t know what I would have done?’. Well, I DO! I thought about it daily for years while unable to FEEL my right arm and leg. Losing my ‘ability’ to ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING. It is too much! I learned Pain and Disability is different for ‘each person’. We all handle it differently. I helped raise two girls from birth too age 12 so that helped me too. Knowing that if I did something stupid they’d suffer so for life! After my last surgery (11 hours and FUSION C-2 thru 7) my Low-Back Collapsed from laying around for years healing from ‘Neck Surgery’. Another troubling year. Physical therapy, Bio-Feedback, Aquatic Therapy, Massage, Psychotherapy to deal with depression. etc. Then I was hit with ‘cancer’. (maybe stress caused it?) I worked with Dr. Wayne Grody, Director of UCLA Genetics for years and had 237 surgeries for a very rare carcinoma. 53 doctors later and ‘weekly treatments’ by various genetics specialists, dermatologists (Dr. Gary Lask, Dr. Gross, Dr. Ingrid Trenkle & many others. Dr. Janice Kim and USC and Oncology at USC. Dr. Bluming, Encino, CA., Oncology really helped me to ‘cope’). It seems when a ‘Major Event’ happens in one’s life it snow-balls if we do not stay ‘focused’ and understand it’ll take ‘Everything we have within us to Survive’. After 15 years of total loss of everything which meant anything to me I have to remember my ‘wife and friends and those two young girls who HELPED ME GET THROUGH IT ALL’. I have changed but, I am still here! Recently working on NCIS, Mike and Molly, NewsRoom TV/HBO, Scandal, Alex Pregar Films/Photography, ‘RAKE’ with Sam Raimi and from Bed all; those years I wrote a ‘Screenplay called Jimmy Halloway’ which the Rambaldi Family (creators of E.T., King Kong, Alien, etc.) Loved. My life story but, the events, characters, good, bad and ugly are ALL TRUE EVENTS. It helps to ‘Write’ as we are recovering. It’s therapeutic! In the end, ‘We cannot go through these events in life ALONE’. Reach out and they will be there. I saw too many give up and they are no longer with us. Sad. We CAN accomplish things even after great illness and pain. As YOU have pointed out sir…..Bless you. James & Family

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