Kevin Sorbo reveals he had three strokes during Hercules

Contributed by
Dec 15, 2012, 11:18 AM EST

We all loved Kevin Sorbo in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, but it turns out he was an even better actor than we thought—because he was still able to convince us he was a demigod even after suffering three strokes during the time his series was on the air.

Sorbo, who's talking about this issue now to promote his new book, True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life, explained to Neurology Now that back in 1997 (the series aired from '94-'99), he experienced dizziness, blurry vision, a pain in his shoulder, a buzzing in his head, slurred speech and other symptoms. So he checked himself into a hospital and was told that the blood flow to his lower arm had been disrupted by an aneurysm in an artery near his shoulder.

"Apparently, the aneurysm had been producing blood clots for some time. ... I had blockages all down my arm that were making my fingers cold, tingly, and numb."

To cope with Sorbo's transformation from "a youthful, carefree jock into someone who needed to grasp the backs of chairs and counters for an arduous five-yard trip to the bathroom," the producers rewrote scripts and brought in guest stars to cover for him.

We're glad Sorbo made a full (though difficult—he said "I went through two years of hell") recovery!

(via The Hollywood Reporter)