Celebrities | Pop Culture

Decades Later We Wonder If Kevin Sorbo Can Really Go The Distance

Do you remember watching Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Andromeda in the 90s?

While playing the son of a god, the actor did 85% of of his own stunts and looked totally badass on camera.

While Kevin Sorbo captured our hearts with the beloved hero of our childhood, it seems that the actor never seemed to make it onto the A-list path. He has however, giving himself a full career and personal life off camera.

So what has he been up to since we remember watching him as a kid?

He suffered three strokes and then reevaluated his life

While Hercules: The Legendary Journeys aired from 1994-1999, you may remember that there was a shift away from the title character and more of a focus of the other stars as the series went on. No one knew why there was a sudden flood of guest stars on the show, until Sorbo revealed the truth in his 2012 book.

In 1997, Sorbo suffered three strokes as a result of an aneurysm. In the middle of a promotional tour for Kull the Conqueror when he started to feel an odd sensation in his left hand and arm. Doctors brushed off the incident until the pain got worse during a workout. Doctors discovered and removed the aneurysm that was blocking blood flow to his arm.

When returning back to the set of Hercules, Sorbo was experiencing the after effects of fatigue, depression and anxiety attacks.

"I felt like I had been transformed overnight 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," he admitted.

Years later, Sorbo still suffers from nerve damage, residual pain, occasional migraines and ten percent vision loss. He said the experience made him realize what was really important to him, his wife and his faith.

He got to reprise his role as Hercules

Fans of the show may have not caught it, but Sorbo got to relive his role as the son of Zeus in Sony's video game, God of War 3.

This particular take on Hercules was much different than the show, however.

"This is a whole different look, I didn't quite have that look. [...] I didn't weigh 4,000 pounds. This guy's, what, 12 feet tall?"

Doing voiceover work for the actor was a new experience, admitting that it wasn't easy on his voice.

"It was a darker, more sinister person, a more evil person to deal with and play, but you know, from my standpoint it was a lot of fun."

He's being doing religious films

Sorbo is a devout Christian and he has poured his beliefs into his career by turning his attention to faith-based films.

In 2014 he played an atheist professor who challenges his students' views on the existence of God in God's Not Dead. In the same year he was in Revelation Road: The Black Rider and Let the Lion Roar.

In 2015 you could find Sorbo in The Sparrows: Nesting and Confessions of a Prodigal Son. In both films the actor played a pastor. In 2016, he played the role of Joseph in Joseph and Mary.

With obviously more religious movies that he has lent his talent to, he spoke about how they are effecting his life and his fans.

"I think that most people would agree that faith-based movies back in the '70s, '80s, and even the '90s were very cheesy, poorly written, and poorly acted," admitted Sorbo. "A lot of people were turned off by them, because they were also too preachy. We live in a world where people don't want to be told what to believe in and what not to believe in. You have to walk a fine line [...] and there is now talent on both sides of the camera. More people are coming out and not being afraid to say they're a Christian."

Sorbo is showing no sign of slowing down or changing gears in the roles he has been choosing.

He claims to have been blacklisted for his religious beliefs

Ever since exploring Christian films, Sorbo believes that the offers for other roles in Hollywood have diminished.

"I did Hercules for seven years, it was the most watched show for a good number of years. But then, for me to get called in to read for anything—it just dropped drastically when I came out of that conservative Christian closet, so to speak. I used to read for a lot of pilots and TV shows, and it's very rare now."

Most of the work Sorbo is doing are independent films, which has been hugely lucrative for him. However, some faith-based films have gone mainstream including Russell Crowe's Noah.

"I think being a conservative in Hollywood and being a Christian in Hollywood, you get attacked," he said.

He's been involved in serious charity work

Since 1997, Sorbo has found his passion for a charity called A World Fit For Kids! As a celebrity spokesperson, he has shared his concern over nationwide drop-out rates, childhood obesity and other epidemics that children face in America.

Sorbo has also headed up fundraisers including the Kevin Sorbo Celebrity Gold Tournament.

In 2005, he added to his charity work by becoming the spokesperson for the Afterschool Alliance, which helps to provide safe and educational programs for students.

"Just off Hercules alone, I received thousands of letters over the seven years I shot that series from schools and kids and foster homes," Sorbo later recalled. "Obviously, the writers did a wonderful job of creating a character that was heroic, was very thoughtful. Fighting was always the last option for him. Humor was always the sort of way Hercules operated. I think he was a wonderful role model just based off what people tell me on a day-to-day basis."

Well Kevin, you will always be Hercules to us!

Source: Looper