On television, as the star of the popular Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Kevin Sorbo portrayed an invincible demi god. He relished living the part—putting in 14-hour days on set, doing his own stunts, and relentlessly working out at the gym. Until one day, it all came to an abrupt end.
Now, for the first time, Sorbo shares what viewers didn’t know: he suffered three strokes from an aneurysm in his shoulder that had been radiating blood clots throughout his body, likely for months. He was left partially blind and entirely incapacitated at just 38 years old. Appearances are everything in Hollywood, so Sorbo and the production studio hid the full details of his condition from the media. After all, how could the strongest man in the world be… fragile?
To continue filming Hercules, the number-one worldwide syndicated TV series at the time, they frantically reworked scripts and revamped production to allow for the star’s severely limited involvement. But as the effects of the strokes persisted—with painful, mysterious, debilitating symptoms—and physicians could offer few answers, Sorbo grew increasingly despondent. What happens when your entire identity vanishes? True Strength is the story of how one man faced the unimaginable and ultimately found the real measure of success.
With tongue-in-cheek humor and an unfailingly candid voice, Sorbo reflects on his childhood in Minnesota, his early modeling and acting days, and his hard-charging charmed life in television. He recounts the onset of his stroke symptoms, the frightening hospitalizations, his battle with depression, and fighting for a recovery that defied medical expectations. And how, through it all, love conspired to save him from missing out on what matters.
With this refreshingly honest account of celebrity, personal tragedy, and the power of letting go, Sorbo aims to blaze a trail for anyone who may have suffered a serious setback in life and is struggling to find their way forward.
"Sorbo is candid about the hopelessness and resentment that characterized his slow recovery, his frustration with contradictory medical advice and holistic therapies of varying effectiveness and the stress his condition placed on his new marriage." (Kirkus Reviews)
"[A] compelling memoir…. Throughout his chatty tale, [Sorbo] drops enough Hollywood names to make any Us Weekly reader happy." (Booklist)
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I Loved It
I already have plans to listen to this book a second time because there was so much detail, so much information that Kevin and Sam openly shared about everything that took place in a way that left them naked to criticism. They held nothing back when they described everything that happened and that helped me through such horrible memories of a family member who was very dear to me that suffered a stroke. Of course I loved all the little stories about what happened on the various shows where Kevin and Sam were performing. They were places where I laughed - lots of those, and places where I cried as well.
My knee-jerk response would be to say why Kevin of course - the book is his autobiography after all. But in reality I can't separate Kevin from Sam, I see them as a single unit and therefore I say both are my favorite character
The closing chapter because it shows true growth and closure. I won't elaborate to be certain I don't give anything away.
To see something that at first seems to be a negative may actually be a gift.
I knew Kevin and Sam from the years I was an avid Hercules and Andromeda fan. After hearing this book in their own voices I feel I have glimpsed behind the screen to see two genuine loving people who have struggled with what life throws at us all. And somehow seeing how they came through it gives me hope that I can come through the problems that face me also.
- Richard Piatt