TV hunk Kevin Sorbo has opened up about a secret health battle he faced while shooting hit show Hercules - the actor suffered a series of strokes.
Sorbo suffered severe aches and pains during and immediately after intense work-outs as he was fighting to maintain his impressive physique for the show in the late 1990s, but doctors he visited on a press tour insisted his ailments were nothing to worry about.
Sorbo tells Neurology Now magazine, "At the time, I was promoting the feature film Kull the Conqueror. I had several doctors on my publicity tour check me out, but they didn't believe it was anything serious. I even had what seemed like a rational explanation, having recently injured my ulnar nerve - the funny bone."
But then one day, he began to suffer blurry vision and dizziness as he drove home from a visit to his chiropractor after suffering a spinal pain during a weightlifting session. He woke up the following morning with slurred speech and headed for a nearby hospital, where doctors discovered he had suffered an aneurysm in an artery near his shoulder.
Sorbo recalls, "Apparently, the aneurysm had been producing blood clots for some time. I had blockages all down my arm that were making my fingers cold, tingly, and numb."
Opening up about the health crisis in his new book True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life, Sorbo reveals TV network bosses covered for him and writers were commissioned to rewrite scripts to allow the star time to recover as he underwent treatment, during which the actor discovered he had suffered three strokes.
He admits the scare made him take a long, hard look at his life: "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.
"I went through two years of hell before I began to feel like myself again. I was depressed and frustrated and had a bad attitude."