Famous People With Diabetes

| Dec 17, 2008

We originally published this list in 2000. In the years since, many more celebrities, stars, athletes, and movers and shakers have joined the ranks of people with diabetes. Here is an updated list of the more prominent ones, divided between the living and the dead.

If you know of any celebrities with diabetes whom we have missed, please let us know in the comments section below.



Halle Berry, Oscar-winning actress

Wilford Brimley, of television and films, “Cocoon” and “The Firm”

J. Anthony Brown, actor (“Drumline”), comedian

Delta Burke, of television’s “Designing Women”

Nell Carter, of the television show “Gimme a Break”

Dick Clark, television emcee, producer

Stephen Furst, actor on the television shows “St. Elsewhere” and “Babylon 5”

Victor Garber, actor (“Alias,” “Titanic,” “Sleepless in Seattle”)

Dorian Gregory, actor (“Charmed,” “The Other half”)

Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999

Zippora Karz, former New York City Ballet soloist, ballet teacher

Larry King, talk show host

Jerry Lewis, comedian, telethon host

Jerry Mathers, actor of “Leave It To Beaver” fame

Mary Tyler Moore, actress and star of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”

Park Overall, actress (“Empty Nest”)

Della Reese, singer, actress (“Touched by an Angel”)

Sir Harry Secombe, Welsh singer, former president of the British Diabetic Association

Jean Smart, actress on “Designing Women”

Elaine Stritch, comedian

Elizabeth Taylor, actress (“National Velvet,” “Cleopatra,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”)

Aida Tuturro, actress (“The Sopranos”)

Political Leaders

Hafez al-Assad, dictator of Syria

Menachem Begin, Israeli prime minister

Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, D.C.

Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet premier

Mike Huckabee, governor of Arkansas

Janet Jagan, president of Guyana

Bill Janklow, former governor and congressman, South Dakota

Wei Jengsheng, Chinese dissident

James Lloyd, congressman, California

Winnie Mandela, South African anti-apartheid leader

Buddy Roemer, governor, Louisiana

Business Leaders

Damon Dash, entrepreneur


Ray Anderson, jazz trombonist

Carol Channing, Tony Award-winning singer/actress in “Hello Dolly”

Mark Collie, contemporary country star

David Crosby, member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Phife Dawg, rapper, (“A Tribe Called Quest”)

Mick Fleetwood, singer in rock band Fleetwood Mac

Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul

Shirley Horn, Grammy-winning jazz singer

Marvin Isley, singer, The Isley Brothers

Waylon Jennings, country singer

Nick Jonas, lead singer, the Jonas Brothers

B.B. King, rhythm and blues star

Patti LaBelle, pop singer

Tommy Lee, of heavy metal band Motley Crue

Meat Loaf, singer

Bret Michaels, lead singer of the rock group Poison

The Pump Girls

Jessica Stone, actress and singer

Elliott Yamin, singer

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Broadway composer

Neil Young, rock singer and guitarist

Norman Whitfield, Grammy-winning R&B producer and songwriter


Cynthia Ice, developer of Lotus software

Lois Jovanovic-Peterson, scientist, endocrinologist, author of “Diabetic Women”


Wasim Akrim, Pakistani cricket bowler

Sarah Bina, champion clogger

Nick Boynton, hockey player

Ayden Byle, runner

Bobby Clarke, hockey player for the Philadelphia Flyers

Scott Coleman, first man with diabetes to swim the English Channel

Chris Dudley, New York Knicks basketball player

Rick Dudley, hockey

Scott Dunton, world-ranked competitive surfer

Mike Echols, NFL

Curt Frasier, hockey player for the Chicago Black Hawks

“Smokin’ Joe” Frazier, heavyweight boxing champ

Walt Frazier, NBA, New York Knicks

Kris Freeman, Olympic cross-country skier

Joe Gibbs, NFL coach

Bill Gullickson, pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds

Gary Hall, Olympic gold medalist in swimming

Jonathon Hayes, tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs

Chuck Henderich, skier

Chris Jarvis, champion Canadian rower

Jason Johnson, pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles

Billie Jean King, tennis player

Ed Kranepool, baseball player with the New York Mets

Kelli Kuehne, LPGA golfer who wears a pump on the golf course

Jay Leeuwenburg, offensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals

Michelle McGann, LPGA golfer

Calvin Muhammed, football player for the Washington Redskins

David Pembler, baseball player, Milwaukee Brewers

Sir Steven Redgrave, rower, winner of five consecutive Olympic gold medals

Ron Santo, third basemen for the Chicago Cubs

Art Shell, NFL player and coach

Kendall Simmons, NFL

Michael Sinclair, NFL defensive end

Hank Stram, NFL coach

Bradley Suttle, major League second baseman

Sherri Turner, LPGA golfer

Scott Verplank, PGA golfer

Jo Ann Washam, LPGA golfer

David “Boomer” Wells, major league pitcher

Wade Wilson, NFL quarterback


Richard Bartlett, film

June Bierman, author of books on diabetes

Fran Carpentier, editor of Parade magazine

Sylvia Chase, ABC News Reporter

Rodolfo Garcia, AP reporter

Linda Goodman, horoscope book author

Anne Rice, “Interview With a Vampire” author

Famous Diabetics in Heaven


Jack Benny, ’50s television host

James Cagney, producer, director and actor

Alvin Childress, actor (“Amos & Andy)

James Doohan, actor (Scotty on “Star Trek”)

Dale Evans, actress, singer and wife of Roy Rogers

Jackie Gleason, actor and comedian, star of “The Honeymooners”

Dana Hill, actress (“Shoot the Moon”)

Gordon Jump, actor on “WKRP in Cincinnati”

Mabel King, actress who played Mama on “What’s Happening”

Al Lewis, actor (“The Munsters”)

Marcello Mastroianni, actor who appeared in 142 films

Richard Mulligan, actor on the television show “Empty Nest”

Carroll O’Connor, actor (“All in the Family,” “In the Heat of the Night”)

Minnie Pearl, entertainer, actress on the variety show “Hee Haw”

Esther Rolle, actress on the TV Show “Good Times”

George C. Scott, Academy Award-winning actor

Kate Smith, singer who sang classic “God Bless America” rendition

Spencer Tracy, famous leading man of Hollywood movies

Mae West, actress (“She Done Him Wrong,” “My Little Chickadee”)

Jane Wyman, actress on “Falcon Crest”

Political Leaders

Yuri Andropov, former premier of the Soviet Union

Samuel Block, civil rights activist

Ralph Bunche, Nobel Peace Prize winner, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Lucille B. Chapman, a five-time Menominee Indian tribal chairwoman

Paddy Devlin, co-founder of the Social Democrat and Labor Party in Northern Ireland

King Fahd, king of Saudi Arabia

James Farmer, civil rights pioneer

Anwar Sadat, Egyptian leader

Business Leaders

James Conkling, founder of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences

Bill and John Davidson, founders of Harley Davidson motorcycles

Tom Foster, former head of Foster Poultry Farms

W.L. Gherra, of Payless Drugs

Howard Hughes, industrialist, eccentric billionaire

Ray Kroc, entrepreneur who bought and built McDonald’s restaurants into the world’s largest fast food chain


Nat Adderley, jazz trumpeter

Hoyt Axton, folksy baritone, songwriter and actor

Syd Barrett, of the rock group Pink Floyd

Danny Joe Brown, singer (Molly Hatchet)

James Brown, The Godfather of Soul

Johnny Cash, legendary country singer, known as “the man in black”

Johnny Darrell, country music singer

Miles Davis, legendary jazz great

Mama Cass Elliott, singer, Mamas and the Papas

Freddy Fender, actor and country singer

Ella Fitzgerald, jazz vocalist

Jerry Garcia, lead singer of The Grateful Dead

Dizzy Gillespie, jazz trumpeter

Mahalia Jackson, singer

Rick James, singer (“Super Freak”)

Herbert Kahury (“Tiny Tim”), singer (of sorts)

Peggy Lee, ’50s songster

Curtis Mayfield, soul singer

Elvis Presley, The King

Luther Vandross, singer


Morris Braunstein, scientist

Thomas Edison, inventor

Albert Ellis, psychologist, rational emotive therapy

George Minot, first person with diabetes to receive Nobel Prize in medicine


Arthur Ashe, tennis legend

Walter Barnes, former Philadelphia Eagle turned actor

Ty Cobb, baseball player for the Detroit Tigers

Buster Douglas, boxer

Kenny Duckett, football player for the New Orleans Saints

Del Ennis, baseball player

Catfish Hunter, pitcher for the Oakland A’s and the New York Yankees

Ham Richardson, tennis pro

Jackie Robinson, baseball star who broke the color barrier in the Major Leagues

Sugar Ray Robinson, boxer

Jersey Joe Walcott, boxer

David “Boomer” Wells, major league pitcher

Wade Wilson, NFL quarterback


Ernest Hemingway, 20th-century novelist

Ken Kesey, novelist (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”)

Walt Kelly, animator and cartoonist (“Pogo”)

Mario Puzo, author of “The Godfather”

Carl Rowan, syndicated editorial columnist

H.G. Wells, writer, “The Invisible Man”

Laura Ingalls Wilder, author

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Related Article

Famous People With Diabetes

Jun 1, 2000

Categories: Beginners, Celebrities, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Nick Jonas

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Posted by Elijah M on 14 March 2008

It really bothers me that none of these lists ever differentiates between type 1 and type 2.

Posted by Anonymous on 14 March 2008

I, too, wish they'd indicate type 1 vs type 2. Also, they've left off a number of names I've read about: Carol Channing, Howard Hughes, Jack Benny, Nick Jonas (type 1), George Lucas, H.D. Wells (type 1), Sharon Stone, Paul Cezanne, and I'm sure more.

Posted by cgentry@dirtware.net on 14 March 2008

What bothered me about this list, is how many of the wonderful people are NOT with us.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 March 2008

Left out Tom Hallion major league umpire

Posted by Anonymous on 15 March 2008

I'd also like to see which are type 1 and which are type 2. Maybe next time...?

Posted by Anonymous on 15 March 2008

Why did you not mention Billy Talbot (Type 1), who brought back the Davis cup in tennis twice? He was my childhood hero as I was gowing up with Type 1 since age 4.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 March 2008

Yes! Please ID whether they have type 1 or 2. It DOES make a difference, to those of us that have it too.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 March 2008

I agree with Elijah M. There should be two lists -- one listing the Type 1's and one listing the Type 2's.

Posted by Anonymous on 17 March 2008

Add Carlos Saúl Menem, two times President of Argentina (Type 1)

Posted by Anonymous on 18 March 2008

I think this list is pretty cool, but i gotta agree with what most other people have said, it would be nice to see who has type 1 and type 2!!

Posted by Anonymous on 23 March 2008

It just lets me know that this disease whether type 1 or type 2 needs to be eridicated. Many of those people are dead and judging from the names, diabetes has been killing people for far too long. It is time to start harvesting islets, putting them in seaweed or something that stop the body from rejecting the islets and then placing the protected islets in the liver. That seems to be the way to go.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 March 2008

You forgot my son's favorite celebrity with type 1....Adam Morrison who plays in the NBA.

Posted by Anonymous on 28 March 2008

most of you that are writing in this page have no clue about diabetes is a daily medical condition that puts your life at risk of manythings a ask you if you know nothing about diabetes dont say anithing remember dibetes comes o ani one it does not discriminate againts color or race you can be a baby or 15-40-100 years old if your onna become dibetec you will no matter wat

Posted by Anonymous on 11 April 2008

Mick Fleetwood is not a "singer" in the band Fleetwood Mac--He's the drummer. I suspect he doesn't have much of a voice.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 April 2008

being a diabetic, this sort of makes me feel a little bit more "accepted." it's really sort of comforting to know that your not alone.

Posted by Anonymous on 11 May 2008

I too would like the list broken down into who has type1 and who has type2.

Posted by Anonymous on 9 June 2008

Nell Carter belongs in the "in Heaven" category. She passed away five years ago.

Posted by Anonymous on 11 June 2008

I think there is only one company which can really help diabetic people i know their product for diabetes can not cure diabetes but can definitely makes your life better and that too without any side effect i tried it you can also try it if you wish to. hope this will help you all.

Posted by Anonymous on 4 August 2008

all of these articles really inspire me....i have type 1 diabetes and live in lawrence MA

Posted by Anonymous on 27 August 2008

wow i learned alot today

Posted by Anonymous on 25 September 2008

The actual type-1 or 2 really is only a matter of detail. The most interesting thing about this list is to prove that they have endured this senseless disease and against all odds made a very successful life for themselves, thus giving the rest like us with the disease, a sense of hope and a constancy of purpose to continue to work in our chosen paths to make this disease not so deadly and to show many that we can overcome what the disease throws in our face.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 November 2008

Jay Cutler, QB - Denver Broncos

Posted by Anonymous on 17 December 2008

It's interesting to see that only one person says differentiating between type 1 and 2 is just details. How very wrong, there is a huge huge huge difference. Due to the media and even the biggest diabetic charity in the UK not differentiating type 1 children are getting bullied on a daily basis ie you've got diabetes because you are fat, you've got diabetes because you ate too many sweets. These types of sentences can only be related to type 2 (I know lots of type 2 diabetics cannot blame diet and obesity)but these sentences cannot ever never no-way be related to type 1 diabetes. So by not differentiating the poor children who suddenly become diabetic through no fault of their own, nothing they did, nothing their parents did or their school, it just happened, are suffering because people don't differentiate. So please remember it is not a matter of just details, it is very important to always differentiate. This is aside from the fact that the pancreas is acting doing different things in a type 1 diabetic than a type 2 diabetic, which again is not 'just details'.
So Diabetes Health, please please please I urge you and beg you, always differentiate between the two. Do not be like the biggest charity in the UK who generally don't differentiate !!! Thanks.

Posted by krissyd67 on 18 December 2008

Yes, I couldn't agree more. You'd think that at least a diabetes journal, such as Diabetes Health would at least differentiate between the two diseases since they are so vastly different. If even they lump us all in one category, then it's no wonder the rest of the mainstream does as well.

Posted by krissyd67 on 18 December 2008

And just a note to comment on what Anonymous said on Sept 25th about type 1 or 2 only being a matter of detail...but speaking just for myself, I find it interesting/reassuring to know who is going through the same type of trials and tribulations as me. It gives me something to identify myself with...knowing that I'm not alone in my struggle/fight.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 December 2008

Sadly, Harry Secombe is now dead. The new President of Diabetes UK (the new name of the British Diabetic Association) is Richard Lane, some who had his life transformed by islet cell transplant - you can read about him at http://www.diabetes.org.uk/en/About_us/News_Landing_Page/Richard-Lane-is-new-President-of-Diabetes-UK/

Posted by Anonymous on 24 December 2008

Listing Type-1 from Type-2 makes a HUGE difference since, except for some very rare cases, Type-2 folks brought this on themselves with their dietary and exercise habits. My daughter is Type-1 there is absolutely a monumental difference between people sentenced to a life of this disease because of no fault of their own, and people who did it to themselves. You all know better than this, these diseases should have completely different names.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 February 2009

Thanks for the list of diabetics. I am a diabetic, plus I am doing a report on diabetes, so this really helps. =)

Posted by Anonymous on 7 February 2009

you forgot jay cutler of the denver broncos

Posted by Anonymous on 14 March 2009

I totally disagree about some of the comments made about type 2 being that much different than 1. I have type 2,I have had some attacks of hypoglycemia and the fact that I could die from this disease makes me no different than those that have type 1. I inherited this disease from my grandparents. I think for anyone to think that there is a difference between 1&2 is crazy. Just because I have type 2 diabetes doesn't mean that my life is any less valuable than some one that has type 1 diabetes.

Posted by Anonymous on 14 March 2009

I 100% disagree with those of you that say type 2 diabetes is different than type 1. Yes there are some differences, but there are so many more symptoms, and side effects that make this disease the same. We that are diagnosed could all die from this disease, how does that make the disease any different? Those of you that don't know about diabetes, should not say anything. You don't have a clue as to what I go through every day, I have had episodes of hypoglycemia, and it's not fun! We all that are diagnosed with type 2 didn't just get this from being overweight, I got mine from my family. I inherited it. I also have to check my blood every day, and it affects my pancreas also. Learn something!

Posted by Anonymous on 15 March 2009

For those of you that feel diabetes type 1 should be considered a disease set apart from diabetes type 2, let me ask you this.. Does type 1 have any different outcome than type 2? Does it only affect type 1 patients with liver failure/damage, kidney failure/
damage, nerve damage, heart disease, blindness, coma, and possibly lead to death? I think not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is the same for those of us that you claim is fat. So, because we are alittle over weight or alot, we have no right to be in the same category with type 1 ? Your right to a degree, type 1 is different, and I do feel for those of you that have children ridiculed because some ignorant person doesn't have enough human compassion in their hearts to feel sympathy for another human being that has a life threating disease. Just as I am ashamed of those of you ridiculing those of us that has type 2. So if a person that has Cancer and was dying from it and you didn't know what type of form it was, does it matter? Cancer is Cancer, just as Diabetes is Diabetes. There really isn't that big of a difference!!! Some of you can be such hypocrites!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 9 April 2009

this is a great site, i just used the list for my project!

Posted by Anonymous on 26 April 2009

Type I and Type II SHOULD be separated. I have been living with Type I Diabetes for 13 years and I wish that I could control my diabetes with diet, pills and exercise alone, without mandatory insulin injections from the beginning. Pills are not an option for us. People living with Type II should count their blessings. Hate to break it to you guys but we are different. I'd be glad to trade.

Posted by Anonymous on 14 May 2009

Manmohan Singh, prime minister of India
Narsimha Rao, Prime minister of India
Swami Vivekananda

Posted by Anonymous on 19 May 2009

A little light on the ground. I was under the impresssion their are many other people such as Gary Mabbut Tottehnam football club and a famed rowing ace of olympic glory also emmited isn't it hell and not heaven to find such likes missing and is it in action.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 May 2009

no way.. elvis had diabetes.. wow now him and nick jonas are both my hero's... that s toally cool.. HOWQ DID THEY DO IT??????????? living iwth a disease must be hard especially if your famous.. the busy schedule must be hard for thier body's(especially with diabetes)

Posted by Anonymous on 26 May 2009

George Lucas also had diabetes!!

Posted by Anonymous on 16 June 2009

im overwieght and i have type one diabetes and the way i get treated for it some times its horrible. If it runs in the family how can i help it. yes im overwieght some what but that has to due with the insulin. i gained forty pounds sence they put me on insulin a little over a year ago and its not my fault. im very active to and i dont eat alot but i still get picked on for me weight which is really hurtful. Type one and Type Two and completly different and y should i be punished for something thats hereditary.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 June 2009

I dislike the judgemental statement on Dec. 24th that "except for some very rare cases, Type-2 folks brought this on themselves." It would be like my saying type 1 diabetics are causing their own diabetes because their immune systems are attacking their pancreases! HOGWASH! You can't tell by looking what's a person's genetic predisposition for diabetes, obesity, alcoholism, cancer or any other disorder. Some races and ethnic groups are at much greater risk for diabetes, type 1 or 2. Also, many type 2 diabetics are on insulin and not just pills, diet and exercise. We need to educate others that NEITHER TYPE of diabetic should be bullied. I like what March 15th said about cancer, but some of you might disagree and say "Oh, yes, well those smokers certainly deserved to died!" Perhaps Diabetic Health wisely left out the types to prevent those who want to judge. What do you say about a type 1 and 1/2 (yes, it exists!) Please become more informed.
FYI: I'm a type 2 scientist and diabetes educator.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 July 2009

I just came from the hospital where my 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1. After hearing a days worth of bad news that will surely affect my daughter for the rest of her life. It was comforting to my family to read through the above list regardless of type.

Posted by Anonymous on 11 October 2009

You guys left out Jay Cutler. Former QB of the Broncos, now playing for the Chicago Bears. He was even in the Pro Bowl and yet you forget him. And he was even diagnosed before 2008 so he should be on here, but no he isn't. Such a shame............

Posted by Anonymous on 28 December 2011

You forgot Vinnie Politan a talk show host news reporter of H. L. N. t. v..

Posted by Anonymous on 10 January 2012

As a diabetes educator, type 1- type 2, as well as gestational diabetes are all very serious diseases. I was scanning the internet looking for ways to encourage my patients when I stumbled upon this website. As I continued and scanned the comments page I began to get a birdseye view of what patients really feel. First I would like to say no matter how diabetes came to you (I have many type 2 patients who are not obese) I would like to say to each one of you though I am not a diabetic but at the age of 61 I do recognize many of the names on the deceased list and many of those people lived very long lives (some over 80 & 90 yrs old). I didn't even know most of them were diabetics. They were probably the ones who had the Patti Labelle idea...."I have diabetes...diabetes doesn't have me"! I want to encourage you all. Be the best diabetic you can be, encourage first yourself and don't tare down one another and educate the people that you know and even those you don't know. This does not have to be a death sentence!!! May God bless you all!!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 20 February 2012

The lady who plays zaniab masood in eastenders is type 1 and so is dominic littlewood :-)

Posted by Anonymous on 20 June 2014

Tom Hanks

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