Famous people with diabetes face challenges like everyone else 

Extend Nutrition snacks help manage disease

Ryan Reed with Extend logoWhen NASCAR driver Ryan Reed was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two years ago, he was told his career as a professional racecar driver was over.

Doctors, he told espn.com, said racing was too dangerous because of his need for continuous blood sugar monitoring and blood sugar irregularities. Reed has Type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is necessary for energy and life.

(In additon to Type 1 Diabetes, other types include: Type 2, Gestational and Pre-Diabetes.)

Reed sought other opinions and is now a spokesperson for the disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin. He is one of the nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes. 

The most important strategy for people with diabetes to stay healthy is to keep the blood sugar as close to "normal" as possible. Put simply: blood sugar that is too high or too low causes health problems.

Extend Nutrition snacks, created by Dr. Francine Kaufman, are the only snacks clinically proven to help control blood sugar for up to 9 hours. 

They have been used by celebrities such as Bret Michaels, NASCAR driver Ryan Reed, PGA golfer Vance Veazey, LPGA golfer Carri Wood, and country singer Carrie Underwood.

Famous people with diabetes:  

Actors / Directors:

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”)

Tom Hanks, actor

Tom Hanks: Diabetes is not going to kill me.

Diabetic Profile: Tom Hanks

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”

Mary Tyler Moore tells how she took control of diabetes

Park Overall, actress (“Empty Nest”)

Elizabeth Perkins, Golden Globe and Emmy award-nominated actress.

Actress Elizabeth Perkins discusses life with diabetes.

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

Jean Smart, actress on “Designing Women”

Elaine Stritch, comedian

Elizabeth Taylor, actress 


Arthur Ashe, tennis legend

Walter Barnes, former Philadelphia Eagle turned actor

Jake Byrne, NFL pro football player, TE for the Houston Texans (as of 2013 season)

NFL Player Reaches Out to Inspire, Empower Young Type 1

Ty Cobb, baseball player for the Detroit Tigers

B.J. Crombeen, NHL hockey player

Jay Cutler, football quarterback for the Chicago Bears

Buster Douglas, boxer

Kenny Duckett, football player for the New Orleans Saints

Del Ennis, baseball player

Missy Foy, marathon runner

“Smokin’” Joe  Frazier, boxer

Kris Freeman, Cross-country skier

Gary Hall Jr., Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer

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

Charlie Kimball, Indy Car driver

Sugar Ray Leonard, boxer

Adam Morrison, NBA basketball player

Brandon Morrow, MLB baseball player

Ryan Reed, NASCAR

DriverRyan was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 17, he is now (as of October 2013) 19 years old and racing on the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Roush Fenway Racing. Visit: DriveToStopDiabetes.org

NASCAR driver races to stop diabetes

Ham Richardson, tennis pro

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

Sugar Ray Robinson, boxer

Ron Santo, MLB baseball player

Jerry Stackhouse, NBA Player

Vance Veazay, PGA Golfer:

Vance Veazay PGA“I recently began to struggle with episodes of hypoglycemia.  And in my profession that's a killer! I tried many different products to keep me from going low, but Extend Bar works better than the rest--by far.  These days I always carry one in my pocket.”

Vance currently plays on the Web.com PGA Tour.

Scott Verplank, PGA golfer

Jersey Joe Walcott, boxer

David “Boomer” Wells, major league pitcher

Dominique Wilkins, basketball player

Carri Wood, LPGA golfer:

Carri Wood LPGA “I have found that Extend Bar has helped me out tremendously on the golf course in controlling my sugar level and not allowing me to get too high or too low at times during the round.”

“Also, having celiac sprue, Extend Bar is a great product that I can eat and not have to worry about it affecting my diet. It's a wonderful product that I think all professional athletes could benefit from in any sport.”

Carri played throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia from 1994 through 2012.

Wade Wilson, NFL quarterback



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

Jessica Stone, actress and singer

Political Leaders:

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



Do you know a name that should be added? Leave us a comment below! 


1) Diabeteshealth.com: Mulry, Connors and Trecroci. “Famous People with Diabetes.”  Diabetes Health. Dec 17, 2008. Web, June 1, 2013.

2) ESPN.com: James. “Ryan Reed’s race against diabetes.” ESPN.com. Apr. 24, 2013. 

3) http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/