Kevin Sorbo

KevinSorbo   CBN Interviewer: I recently interviewed Kevin at his home in Southern California. Kevin Sorbo was born in Mound, Minnesota, on September 24, 1958. He is of Norwegian descent. He was raised in a Lutheran family, attended Minnesota State University Moorhead where he double majored in marketing and advertising. To help pay for tuition, he began to work as a model for print and television advertising.

   Kevin dropped out of the university and started his acting career in Minnesota in the late 80’s and eventually moved to Hollywood. In 1994, he got his breakthrough leading role as the Ancient Greek mythical demigod Hercules in a series of five television films which aired as part of Universal Television's Action Pack. Hercules was filmed in New Zealand, and his eighteen-hour a day schedule included a grueling workout to keep him in shape. Kevin prided himself in doing most of his own stunts. The series ran for 6 seasons. It became one of the highest-rated syndicated television programs in the world. Mr. Sorbo also played the lead in the fantasy film "Kull the Conqueror" and starred in Gene Roddenberry’s TV series, "Andromeda".   Most recently, he appeared in the movie, "Soul Surfer".

   Kevin: I’m an actor. I’m not saving people’s lives with hoping I give them some escape from reality for a while and give them a good laugh and a good cry.

   Interview: When you were thirteen years old you went to a Billy Graham crusade and responded to the altar call.

   Kevin: It was a very happy emotional night for me and I just always remembered it.

   Interviewer: So, do you think that that was the moment that was the day that you said, “Okay, I’m going to live for you, Jesus?”

   Kevin: I guess, in a way, I felt like that was the day because it’s such a marked day in my life.

   Interviewer: Like all boys growing up, Kevin loved playtime. Were you like a little young Hercules and didn’t know it?

   Kevin: I was a young Hercules and I knew it. I remember in the back yard playing and running around and pretending even by myself, that I was slaying dragons and all this kind of stuff.

   Interviewer: In 1997, while filming a season three episode called, Prince Hercules, he met leading lady, Sam Jenkins.

Jenkins: I can’t deny it. I was intensely attracted to him right away.

   Kevin: The very first scene is us outside the castle walls saying good-bye and kissing.

   Interviewer: Were you nervous?

   Kevin: I was. I rarely forget my lines. But my first scene with her, I couldn’t remember my lines.

   Interviewer: Kevin and Jenkins started dating and soon got engaged.

   Kevin: I started thinking about picket fences and kids.

   Jenkins: He brought up the fact that he was going to have boy, boy, girl when he got married and had kids. And I was like, "That’s so weird". That’s what I’m having.

   Interviewer: Kevin was on top of the world. He was engaged to the woman of his dreams. Hercules had become the most-watched TV show on the planet. He was promoting his first motion picture, and he was being groomed to become the next action hero. Then his life took a radical turn.

   Kevin: My shoulder was just killing me. I was getting these pains, it was driving me nuts. There was numbness in my arm. These three fingers were getting colder and colder by the week.

   Interviewer: Kevin went to the doctor who looked at his shoulder and thought it was just a pinched nerve. When his symptoms didn’t clear up, Kevin went to his chiropractor.

   Kevin: He’s working on me, I’m on my back and I hear a voice say, “Don’t let him crack your neck.”

   Interviewer: The chiropractic cracked his neck, and when Kevin left the office everything went haywire.

   Kevin: I felt and heard two very loud pops in the back of my head. It felt like fingers jabbing in there, and my vision is all over the place.

   Interviewer: You said in your book that it was as if an 8.9 earthquake had struck your head and you were feeling the aftershocks of that.

   Kevin: Oh, it was unbelievable. The buzzing, vibration, humming felt like my head was erupting. I just looked up at the sky and I said, "I’m going to die today."

   Interviewer: Over the course of a couple of days, Kevin’s condition grew worse. His eyesight began to fail, his balance was gone, and his speech was slurred. When he went to the hospital doctors admitted him into ICU where they ran tests and found an aneurysm in his left arm.

   Kevin: The lump was an aneurysm in the left side of my clavicle and had developed into thousands of clots in my arm. The doctors thought they might have to amputate.

   Interviewer: In addition, Kevin had suffered three strokes. The invincible “Hercules” was now incapacitated. He had a talk with God.

   Kevin: I just broke down and cried. I felt like there was a death in the family. I felt like somebody had died and it was me.

   Interviewer: What did you ask Him to do for you on that day?

   Kevin: I said, “Help me to find the acceptance in this. If this is the best I’m going to be, then help me fight through this every day because it was tough.

   Interviewer: You’re going through all of these health challenges. You met your wife when you were at the peak of your career. Were you kind of scared that she was going to bail out on you and say perhaps, “No I didn’t sign up for all of this.”

   Kevin: I was scared. I was scared for my future, my career, my life, and my imminent kids. I was scared for a lot of different reasons. We were four months away from saying for better or worse, and she gets worse before she gets to say those lines.

   Jenkins: I wasn’t scared. I did not think that this was going to change our lives. I had for some reason, a great deal of faith.

   Interviewer: Kevin started rehabilitation to learn how to walk again. As his speech and vision got better he thought the best thing for him to do was to keep filming.

   Jenkins: As he healed, the healing brought him more faith.

   Interviewer: After its sixth season, the Hercules series ended. Although Kevin still had a 10% loss of vision in both eyes he continued acting in movies and television series.

   Kevin: I’ve done forty movies since then. I’m shooting one now and I’ve got another one after this, so knock on wood, thank God I’m still working.

   Interviewer: Kevin and Sam married and, by the way, they had two boys and a girl in that order just as they said they would.

   Jenkins: He is the best man that I know and this has only made him better. He’s a good guy. He’s a great dad. He’s a great husband. And he’s a great man.

   Kevin: Faith is not tangible, you can’t touch it. It’s something that’s a belief, something that’s inside of you. And I needed hope and faith to keep pushing myself past every single day of what I was going through and what I felt. My true strength comes from God and certainly from my family right after that. They’re the most important things in my life.

The Sorbo Family 

 sorboFamily

 

Kevin's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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