Celebrities with Type 1 Diabetes
You are not alone. The following is a list of famous people with type 1 diabetes. You’ll quickly see that this list of famous diabetics encompasses actors, actresses, athletes, musicians and more. It is a disease that does not discriminate. It affects the young, the old, and people from all walks of life. As you read, you’ll realize that after being diagnosed, nearly all of these individuals went on to achieve success as they continued to conquer their aspirations. If you come to learn of any other celebrities with type 1 diabetes who are not on our list, please inform us through our Contact Us page so that they can be confirmed and added.
Crystal Bowersox was the runner-up on the ninth season of American Idol. Born in 1985, Bowersox was diagnosed when she was 6. Her diabetes came into the public spotlight when she suffered Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) while the show was in full swing. Her blood sugars had been in the 400s and the FOX network wanted to kick her off the show. Instead, they switched her performance date and hired a nurse to be with her 24/7.
Sean Busby, a professional snowboarder, was diagnosed in 2004 at 19 years old and has devoted part of his time to hosting Riding on Insulin Ski and Snowboard Camps for diabetic kids.
Bobby Clarke is a Hall of Fame NHL hockey player who played for the Philadelphia Flyers and was diagnosed when he was 13 years old.
Carling Coffing is an Ohio native and professional golfer who was diagnosed with type 1 in 1991 at the age of 5. In 2010 she won the Golf Channel’s Survivor-esque reality show Big Break Sandals Resorts.
Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears quarterback (and current boyfriend of The Hills star Kristin Cavallari), was diagnosed in 2008 at the age of 25.
Chris Dudley is a former NBA basketball player who was diagnosed at the age of 16. In 2010, he ran for governor of Oregon but was defeated in a closely contested race.
Kris Freeman is a U.S. Olympic cross-country skier who was diagnosed at age 19. He competed in his fourth Olympics in 2014. “The way to not be terrified was to learn as much as I could about [diabetes],” says Kris. (visit his website)
Victor Garber of Alias and Titanic was diagnosed when he was 12 years old.
Dorian Gregory of Baywatch Nights and Charmed was diagnosed at age 9.
Gary Hall Jr. is an American Olympic swimmer with 10 medals from the games. He was diagnosed in 1999 after he had already won four but was able to pick up six more after the diagnosis.
Dana Hill, the actress who played Audrey Griswald in National Lampoon’s European Vacation, was diagnosed at the age of 10. She died at the age of 32 after falling into a diabetic coma and suffering a stroke.
Nicole Johnson was crowned Miss America in 1999, six years after she was diagnosed. She has written several books, including her autobiography, Living with Diabetes: Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999, which is available through the link.
Nick Jonas of the band the Jonas Brothers was diagnosed in 2005. Nick recorded the song A Little Bit Longer (watch the video) which was inspired by his struggle with Type 1 diabetes.
Charlie Kimball is a Formula One racecar driver who was diagnosed with type 1 in 2007 at the age of 22. He is now sponsored by Novo Norodisk, makers of the insulin that he uses. Charlie mounts a continuous glucose monitor to his steering wheel when he’s racing and he has a drink tube attached to his helmet that allows him to sip juice when his blood glucose goes too low.
Bret Michaels of the band Poison, reality show Rock of Love and Celebrity Apprentice winner was diagnosed at 6. Bret manages his diabetes with an insulin regimen that includes shots of NPH and Humalog.
Mary Tyler Moore was diagnosed in her early 30’s after a trip to the hospital due to a miscarriage brought about a routine blood sugar test that revealed her blood sugar was over 700. She has since become an International Chairwoman for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and wrote the memoir, Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes, which focuses on her experiences living with type 1 diabetes.
Adam Morrison was diagnosed in eighth grade and has played basketball for the Charlotte Bobcats and Los Angeles Lakers.
Elizabeth Perkins who is best known for her roles in the 1988 movie BIG and on the Showtime series Weeds, was diagnosed with type 1 in 2005 at age 44.
Steve Redgrave is a British rowing Olympian who has won a gold medal at five consecutive Olympic Games. He achieved his fifth gold medal at the 2000 Olympics, three years after being diagnosed.
Anne Rice, author of The Vampire Chronicles including Interview with the Vampire and The Queen of the Damned was diagnosed in 1998 after slipping into a diabetic coma with a sugar level over 800.
Jean Smart who was diagnosed at 13 is known for playing Charlene on Designing Women and most recently a cast member of Hawaii Five-0 and $#*! My Dad Says.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor was 8 years old when she was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes.
Jim Turner is a comedian and actor who played Kirby Carlisle in the HBO series Arli$$.
Stephen Wallem is an American actor who is best known for playing the character Thor on the Showtime TV series Nurse Jackie. Like Stephen, his character is an insulin dependent diabetic as well. This has allowed Stephen to convey some of his own experiences through the character, including losing his vision in one eye due to diabetic retinopathy. Stephen was diagnosed with type 1 in 1979 at the age of 10.
We are constantly updating our list of famous diabetics with type 1. Should you come across celebrities with type 1 diabetes who are not on our list, please let us know via our Contact Us form. Once confirmed, we will add those individuals. Please be aware that there is a lot of misinformation and unconfirmed speculation with regard to celebs and their diabetic status. We only include famous people with diabetes who we can verify through research and their own public statements.