Celebrities With Diabetes

Diabetes is a common disease that affects many and is recognised as the world’s fastest-growing chronic condition. Around 1.8 million Australians have diabetes with more than 100,000 Australians becoming diabetic in the past year.

What does this mean? Well, for starters, it is important for diabetes awareness to increase to help improve the well being of the entire community. People with diabetes are a diverse group including the gamut from famous actors, singers, athletes, CEOs and even presidents and their stories help to bring awareness to all and encouragement to those suffering from the effects of diabetes.

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks
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Tom Hanks revealed he had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes on the “Late Show With David Letterman” in 2013. Three years later, he told British magazine Radio Times that he’d ignored symptoms and warning signs for years. “I’m part of the lazy American generation that has blindly kept dancing through the party. I was heavy,” he said. “I was a total idiot. I thought I could avoid it by removing the buns from my cheeseburgers.” Today, Hanks maintains a healthier lifestyle, has slimmed down, and maintains that he won’t take any roles that require him to gain weight.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry
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Halle Berry was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in her early 20s after becoming severely ill while filming the TV Show “Living Dolls,” even lapsing into a coma for several days. Since then, she has claimed she no longer needs insulin, and that her disease has evolved into the Type 2 category — a claim that angered doctors, who maintain that Type 1 diabetes is incurable. Last summer, Berry said her strict adherence to the ketogenic diet had helped her manage her ongoing diabetes.

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson
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Around the time he retired, Robinson, the first African-American to play — and win Most Valuable Player — in major league baseball, learned he had diabetes during a routine doctor visit. While he kept his diagnosis private, The New York Times noted after his 1972 death that the disease was a factor, writing, “The immediate cause of Jackie Robinson’s death last week at age 53 was apparently a heart attack. But to many doctors, a more fundamental process was involved: diabetes and its complications.”

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone
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Stone is another leading Hollywood actress who has Type 1 diabetes, though the disease hasn’t been the most debilitating of Stone’s illnesses — in 2001, she suffered a massive stroke resulting in a nine-day brain bleed. This year, she told Variety magazine it took her seven years to heal. Although she speaks rarely about living with diabetes, she has attended and presented at a Carousel of Hope Ball, which raises funds toward finding a cure.

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore
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Diagnosed in her 30s, beloved actress Moore didn’t speak publicly about her battle with the disease for quite some time but eventually became an outspoken advocate. She was the international chair of JRDF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) from 1984 to 2017, testified before congressional committees, and helmed public service campaigns to help promote more awareness, funding, and research about the disease.


Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash
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“The Man in Black” lived with Type 2 diabetes, and it was what ultimately forced him to stop touring in 1997 after he was diagnosed with autonomic neuropathy, a complication of his illness. After that, his health continued to decline for the next six years, and he died from diabetes complications in 2003.


Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall

Not much is known about when iconic actress and director Marshall was diagnosed with diabetes or even which type she had, but when she died in late 2018 at the age of 75, it was widely publicized that her cause of death was from “complications of diabetes.”

George Lucas

George Lucas
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Lucas’ diagnosis may have led to his fame. It came during a medical induction physical at the age of 23, after he was drafted into the Vietnam War. The diagnosis exempted him from service, and he went back to film school, got a graduate degree, and went on to “Star Wars” fame/infamy.

Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams
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Singer Williams is also a Type 1 diabetic and has said she lost her grandmother to the disease. She’s the author of “Healthy Child,” a book about diabetes for children, and is active in diabetes causes. In 2018, she performed at a Diabetes Foundation Gala in Guam, where the disease has reached epidemic proportions.


Dick Clark

Dick Clark
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Clark revealed his 1994 Type 2 diagnosis in 2004 as part of a campaign he launched with the American Association of Diabetes Educators called “Diabetes: Know the Heart Part.” The initiative aimed to educate Americans about the links between diabetes and heart disease. Clark died in 2012 after a heart attack.

Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor
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Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at a young age and recently relayed a story to NPR about being mistaken for a drug addict years ago after giving herself an insulin shot in a restaurant bathroom. Her response to the woman who falsely accused her: “Madam, I am not a drug addict. I am diabetic, and that injection you saw me give to myself is insulin. It’s the medicine that keeps me alive. If you don’t know why someone’s doing something, just ask them. Don’t assume the worst in people.”

David Crosby

David Crosby
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Crosby suffers from Type 2 diabetes. After appearing noticeably thinner at a concert in 2008, he announced his battle with the disease, although he noted in a 2019 Rolling Stone interview that he’d lived with the disease for 40 years. In addition to diabetes, Crosby suffers from cardiac disease and hepatitis C, and had a liver transplant in 1994.


Theresa May

Theresa May
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Initially diagnosed with Type 2 in 2013, former British prime minister May subsequently learned she actually has Type 1 diabetes. According to a UK-based site, May has been active in promoting education and awareness of the disease, even writing to local schools to ensure they understand the support required to help children with the diagnosis, and further supporting other work done by JRDF.

Bret Michaels

Bret Michaels
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Former Poison lead singer Michaels, now 55, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 6. He shared his fight with the disease publicly after collapsing on stage in 1987 due to insulin shock — an event many mistakenly attributed to drug use. Michaels is active in many diabetes charities and has helped establish a camp for kids with the disease. He has said of his lifelong battle, “It’s supposed to be a curse. It ends up being a blessing in some strange way.”


BB King

BB King
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The blues legend lived with Type 2 diabetes for much of his adult life, controlling it, he said, with a healthy diet and frequent blood tests (he was a spokesman for the OneTouch blood glucose meter). He died in 2015 at the age of 89, and had been hospitalized with a complication of the illness the month before.


Paula Deen

Paula Deen
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Chef Deen confirmed in 2012 that she’d been living with Type 2 diabetes for three years and had taken some time to come to terms with the diagnosis. On “The Doctors” TV show that same year, she said: “I went into my kitchen and I threw every white food out, except cauliflower. Cauliflower became my very good friend.” She’s since lost around 40 pounds and is living a healthier, more active life.


Nick Jonas

Nick Jonas
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Nick Jonas — of Jonas Brothers fame — was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of 13. It was his illness that inspired him to pen the band’s song “A Little Bit Longer.” He continues to be a role model within the diabetic community. In 2018, he wrote in an Instagram post that he maintains “full control of my day to day life with this disease, and I’m so grateful to my family and loved ones who have helped me every step of the way. Never let anything hold you back from living your best life.”


Wilford Brimley

Wilford Brimley
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The 85-year-old “Cocoon” actor is well-known within the diabetes community largely due to the commercials he’s done for education and awareness, and for his folksy way of pronouncing “diabetes,” which has spawned a litany of online memes. He’s been open about his 1979 Type 2 diagnosis, and in 2008 the American Diabetes Association bestowed its Lifetime of Service Award on him.


Larry King

Larry King
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This three-pack-a-day former smoker says it was a heart attack and bypass surgery that drove him to eat better, exercise, and just generally focus on healthier habits — which is why his 1995 Type 2 diagnosis came as a surprise. Though he doesn’t discuss his own diagnosis in much detail, he’s interviewed other diabetic celebrities on his former show, “Larry King Live,” including Nick Jonas and Jay Cutler.


Delta Burke

Delta Burke
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Burke told Eating Well magazine that her weight gain while filming “Designing Women” triggered her Type 2 diagnosis. A “stringent eating program” and testing her blood more frequently has helped her have better control over the disease, she says. She’s also been active in the awareness arena, helping launch the “Let’s Talk” campaign to encourage diabetics to educate themselves and speak openly about their illness.


Anne Rice

Anne Rice
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

Like others, author Rice found out she had Type 1 diabetes after becoming increasingly ill and lapsing into a coma due to ketoacidosis. In 2004, she wrote for The New York Times about the events leading up to her diagnosis, saying: “I came so close to dying from this disease that it takes my breath away.”


Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler
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Former NFL quarterback Cutler was diagnosed in 2008 after losing 35 pounds and feeling continuously fatigued during his workouts with the Denver Broncos. He has since founded the Jay Cutler Foundation, an organization that focuses on underprivileged youth and children with Type 1 diabetes.


Drew Carey

Drew Carey
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Type 2 diabetic and comedian Carey told Parade in 2015 that, while filming “The Drew Carey Show” he was drinking too much and eating “a lot of garbage.” Since then, he’s lost a dramatic 100 pounds due to a lifestyle overhaul and claims to have reversed his diagnosis.


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Bryce - Disability Traineeship
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Wear Parts Australia

Bryce was diagnosed with mild Intellectual Disability as well as speech impairment. Our skilled Career Coach successfully matched Bryce with a wonderful and supportive local employer – Wear Parts Australia. Bryce was offered a school based traineeship in Warehousing and Logistics. 

Since the very beginning of the traineeship, our service has been proactively anticipating the training and support needs from both the employer and the employee. 

Today, Bryce has been well on his way to achieve his qualification and also been one step closer to his dream career.


Riviera Luxury Motor Yachts

Jemma was referred by her high school to our employment program with the hopes to better engage her both in and out of the school system. Jemma was diagnosed with Autism, and had displayed behaviour issues in the classroom setting. 

The team at Prestige Employment Solutions identified training and support needs Jemma required in the areas of work readiness.  Jemma’s Career Coach was able to develop a positive rapport with her straight away and continued supporting her during the uncertainty of the pandemic. Jemma’s Career Coach helped Jemma to navigate through challenging personal circumstances while working with her extensively to address several barriers to employment. 

In early 2021, Prestige Employment Solutions developed a partnership with Riviera Australia in supporting their apprenticeship program. Jemma was one of the candidates being put forward for the opportunity.  Our Career Coach supported Jemma every step of the way during her application process. The team at Riviera were supportive and understanding of Jemma’s circumstances during the recruitment.  Jemma was offered a school-based apprenticeship in Polymer Processing.  Our Career Coach continues providing tailored coaching and support to Jemma in both personal and professional areas of her life. 

The amazing team at Riviera continues to provide Jemma with ongoing mentoring and assistance to ensure her success in the role. Jemma has been well supported by her workplace mentor and Jemma has grown in confidence in her role.  Jemma was offered a full-time apprenticeship role with Riviera when she graduated from high school. Thanks to the supportive work environment Riviera provides, Jemma is thriving in all aspects of her life and gaining a great level of independence. 

Jemma’s transformation has been an encouragement and inspiration to all those involved in her journey to success. 

Jemma Autism Employee
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Intercontiental Sanctuary Cove


Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove

Brayden joined Prestige Employment Solutions (PES)  in year 11 with the goal of pursuing a school based traineeship. Brayden had career aspirations to work in hospitality, however due to industry shutdowns as a result of Covid this was a very limited option. Our team therefore assisted him to explore other work opportunities.

Brayden was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and an Intellectual Disability.  PES worked with Brayden extensively during the work readiness program before the team secured him a school based traineeship in a retail setting.  Our dedicated service approach enabled the same Career Coach to remain with him throughout the entire process and continued to work on developing necessary workplace skills allowing Brayden to succeed in his work environment.

Brayden successfully completed his traineeship and with the hospitality industry recovering he was able to pursue his original career goal. With the assistance of his Career Coach, Brayden secured a role as a pool attendant with Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove ( IHG ), where he has proven himself a valuable member of the team. Thanks to the hard work of both Brayden and his Career Coach Brayden is now thriving and hopes to continue his career with IHG with the goal of branching into more departments. With the support of the great team at IHG and Brayden’s determination, we at PES look forward to supporting him through this next step in his career development.



Ryan joined Prestige Employment Solutions service when in high school and has remained with the service through a variety of roles and training opportunities.

Ryan lives with Autism and experiences social anxiety.  Ryan has previously experienced several negative work related occurrences throughout his employment history, and these circumstances contributed towards demotivating Ryan to work, negatively impacting his confidence in employment.

With Ryan working alongside his career coach at Prestige Employment Solutions, he was supported in identifying a work environment that better compliments his abilities.

Ryan began as a wash bay attendant with Cookers Bulk Oil on a part-time basis and has quickly progressed to a full-time role on the depot floor.

The team at Cookers has been amazingly supportive and embraced Ryan helping him to develop a sense of pride and confidence in his work not previously experienced. Prestige Employment Solutions’ career coach has continued working with Ryan through this process, to continually develop his independence and communication skills.

Ryan recently achieved and exceeded his employment milestones and is now very much a part of the Cookers family.

Ryan Cookers Employment
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Disability Work
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Garmisch Fabrications

Marcus approached our service after struggling to maintain long term employment since leaving school. After going through a work readiness training program with our Career Coach, Marcus was identified to have an interest in pursuing a career in a trade.  

Our service helped source a pre-apprenticeship course for Marcus. The training was conducted in a practical setting which allowed Marcus to develop the skills he needed to enter the workforce.

Upon completion of the course, Marcus has secured an apprenticeship with a local business Garmisch Fabrications where he is undertaking a Cert 3 in Engineering. Marcus has been embracing his first-year apprenticeship since day one through his hard work and determination.

Marcus’ ongoing success was made possible by the great support of his employer and the continuous mentorship and development of his Career Coach. 



Caitlin approached our service after struggling to secure employment for a long period of time. Caitlin was diagnosed with Intellectual Disability along with other health challenges at a young age. After meeting with Caitlin our career coach was quickly able to identify her passion and interest in working in a retail environment. 

After the completion of the work readiness training program, our service created an employment opportunity for Caitlin at Officeworks Nerang.  

During her employment with the store, our career coach offered tailored on the job training and support to help Caitlin to navigate through some significant employment and training challenges during the pandemic. 

Caitlin has now become a valuable member to the store and has been receiving ongoing praise and recognition for her teamwork and customer service. This is thanks not only to the great support from the team at the Nerang store and our service’s ongoing workplace coaching but the self determination Caitlin has shown throughout her employment.

Caitlin Officeworks Employee
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Angus AAA Trimming


AAA Soft Tops

Angus’ employment journey has once again demonstrated PES’ service commitment to ensure the best possible job- participant match. 

Angus was first referred to Prestige Employment Solutions when he was struggling to maintain employment as an apprentice sign writer. Our Career Coach provided extensive ongoing mentoring and support to Angus and the employer in an effort to keep him in the place of employment. However, after substantial service support effort, our Career Coach and Angus determined that the job placement did not meet Angus strengths and existing skill set. PES team then supported Angus to commence a new program with our service. 

Angus was diagnosed with Autism with social communication disorder (pragmatic). The same Career Coach was able to work with Angus and his speech pathologist extensively to determine a more appropriate career path for him. Our team then created a role with a local business taking into consideration Angus’ communication barriers as well. 

The local business AAA Soft Tops and its owner have been great supporters of Angus and our programs. Angus has since regained his confidence and excelled in his new role. 



Cruz is a motivated young man and has an Intellectual Disability that affects comprehension and communication skills.

After Cruz joined our service, his Career Coach immediately identified his passion in the health and fitness industry and managed to create a traineeship opportunity for Cruz at Snap Fitness Runaway Bay.

Since day one of his employment, Cruz was fully embraced by the Runaway Bay team to excel in his role.

Our service has been working closely with all relevant stakeholders involved in Cruz’s traineeship to ensure appropriate training and support is in place.

Cruz Intellectual Disability Employment
Snap Fitness
Arundel Hills Country Club

Cameron - Part 1

Arundel Hills Country Club

Cameron has Attention Deficit Disorder and struggles with social interaction and communication as a result. Cameron joined our service in Year 12 to begin developing necessary skills to assist him to transit into future workplace. 

Prior to coming to our service, Cameron suffered from some level of anxiety as a consequence of a negative workplace experience. 

Since being in our service, Cameron’s confidence and self esteem has grown so much. 

After successfully completing his work readiness training, our service matched Cameron with a very supportive local employer who completely changed Cameron’s experience at the workplace.

Cameron - Part 2


Cameron’s employment journey is one of the many examples demonstrating  PES’ service commitment to create tailored employment pathways for each individual.  When Cameron graduated from  year 12, the PES team continued assisting him to source an apprenticeship in an area of his great interest.  

Cameron always wanted to become a carpenter when he grew up. Throughout his employment with AHCC, our career coach intentionally developed his transferable skills in order to assist him to transition  into his dream career.  

When Cameron was offered a 1st year apprentice cabinet maker with FPRR , everyone involved was so over the moon for him. Since then Cameron has been receiving great mentorship from the owner while supported by our career coach.  Our continuous service involvement is critical to ensure Cameron excels in his new role and meets the requirements of his apprenticeship. 

Cameron Job 2


Arundel Hills Country Club

Zak was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. 

After going through much needed work readiness training, our service created a school based traineeship opportunity for Zak at a community minded business – Arundel Hills Country Club. 

With the support from both the employer and our service, Zak has developed into a reliable and dedicated employee.

Zak Autism Employment
Arundel Hills Country Club


City Venue Management (CVM)

Samuel was diagnosed with Aspergers and a Speech impairment. He joined our Service in Year 11 in an attempt to search for a school based traineeship that would be in line with his interest in sports.

After being approached by our Service, City Venue Management (CVM) decided to come on board to support Samuel to make his dream job become a reality.

With the support of the CVM team and his Career Coach, Samuel has excelled in many aspects of his traineeship. He is now more determined than ever to pursue a career with the company upon the completion of his traineeship. 

Samuel School Leaver Employment - City Venue Management
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Sorchell intellectual disability employment



Sorchell joined our service in year 11 with the hopes of securing a School Based Traineeship. Sorchell was diagnosed with Intellectual Disability and Speech Impairment however, he has a passion for hands on work and was very motivated to enter into the workforce. 
Very soon our Career Coach identified that Warehousing and Logistics would be a suitable employment pathway for Sorchell, After a successful work trial at  Atomic Fashion Marketing, Sorchell was offered a traineeship . Our service has remained involved in every step of the traineeship to ensure all involved parties are supported throughout the program. 
With the amazing support from the Atomic team and our skilled Career Coach, Sorchell has achieved every single employment milestone along the way and looks forward to pursuing a career in the Warehousing industry after the graduation. 



Jayden joined our service during his final year of schooling. Jayden was diagnosed with ADHD and Mild Intellectual Disability, which made traditional schooling difficult for him.

Through our holistic service approach, we have helped Jayden to overcome significant vocational and personal barriers. Upon completion of his job readiness training, our Career Coach sourced employment for Jayden at a local Coles store.

Through great support from Coles team and his Career Coach,  Jayden has shown determination and made significant progress in both his professional and personal life. Jayden has been recognised for his hard work and been offered a permanent part time role with Coles. 

Jayden Disability Employment Coles
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Robert Autism Employment
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Rebel Sport

Robert was diagnosed with Autism spectrum Disorder.

Our service began working with him in high school to build necessary workplace skills. Our service also took Robert’s passion and interest into account when creating a sustainable employment opportunity for him at Rebel Sport Oxenford.

Since his employment, our service has developed tailored on the job training and support for both Robert and the employer to address any barriers.

Today Robert has become a valuable member of the Rebel Oxenford team and is looking forward to celebrating his one year anniversary with the company.



David was diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability and joined our service while in school to help him to develop necessary skills and prepare for the post school transition. 

Our service nurtured David’s passion for food and cultivated a traineeship opportunity for him with a local restaurant. With the support and assistance from the employer and our service, David not only overcame all his personal and professional obstacles during his traineeship but exceeded expectations to achieve his Cert III in Hospitality in a timely manner.

Upon achieving his year 12 certificate, David remained determined to pursue his career goal as a chef. Through our service’s tireless effort working with multiple industry partners, David was offered a full time chef apprenticeship role with Surfers Pavilion, one of the portfolio restaurant brands under Artesian Hospitality. Since the commencement of his apprenticeship, our service has remained a strong advocate for David to help him overcome any employment and training related barriers.  Under the mentorship of head chef David Thompson and tailored training support from trainer Christopher Dave (CTA), David has been reaching every milestone during his apprenticeship. David’s success story illustrates the impact like-minded community partners can have when they work together to help a young person achieve their dreams. 

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