Tom Hanks

During an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show With David Letterman,” Tom Hanks made the surprise announcement that he’s been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

“I went to the doctor and he said, ‘You know those high blood sugar numbers you’ve been dealing with since you were 36? Well, you’ve graduated. You’ve got Type 2 diabetes, young man,'” Hanks said.

“My doctor said, ‘Look, if you can weigh as much as you weighed in high school, you will essentially be completely healthy. You will not have Type 2 diabetes.’ And then I said to her, ‘Well, then, I’m gonna have Type 2 diabetes, because there is no way I can weigh as much as I did in high school.'”

The “Captain Phillips” star said he weighed just 96 pounds as a teenager. “You know, most of that was that big white afro that I wore back in the ‘70s,” he joked.

The experts are “weighing” in on what might have caused the disease. CBS News medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips said Hanks’ frequent weight losses and gains for movie roles may play a part. In 1992’s “A League of Their Own,” he gained 30 pounds to play baseball coach Jimmy Dugan. For 2000’s “Cast Away,” he dropped from 225 pounds to 170 pounds to get into character as a man stranded on a deserted island. He also got scary skinny for 1993’s “Philadelphia,” in which he played an AIDS patient.

“He’ll have to watch what he eats very closely, he’ll need to exercise regularly, but there’s no reason he can’t live a perfectly normal life,” said Phillips. “In dramatic weight gain and dramatic weight loss, the equilibrium of the body is just completely off. So that might predispose him to developing Type 2 diabetes later.”

Other celebrities living with Type 2 diabetes include Larry King, Paula Deen, Patti LaBelle, Drew Carey, Sherri Shepherd and Randy Jackson.

I’m guessing Hanks, 57, will be the new poster boy for this disease, reminding all of us out here who gain and lose weight on a regular basis that it’s not a good idea. (My doc says I’m headed that way if I don’t lose a few pounds, so big wake-up call for me too.)

Catch Hanks on the big screen in “Captain Phillips,” in theaters Oct. 11, 2013, and “Saving Mr. Banks,” in theaters Dec. 20, 2013.


  1. It is sad to see anyone diagnosed with Diabetes, and this was certainly my first reaction when I heard about Tom Hanks.

    There are so many factors that we could discuss here, yo-yo dieting never benefits anyone, but Tom’s diagnoses highlights that this is a condition which can strike any socio-ecomomic group, and that we all ignore proper diet and healthy lifestyle choices at our peril

  2. Being diagnosed with diabetes is not the end of the world. In fact, having it is the start of a new journey – a wake up call – to start striving to have a healthier, more active, disease-free life.

  3. Tom Hanks looks to be in great shape, you could not guess he is diabetic. Most of us think one has to have weight issues to develop diabetes. A number of other celebrities have been diagnosed with diabetes, Some of them have succeeded in managing the condition through diet and exercise.

    Here are a few of them:
    1. Halle Berry
    Actress. Weaned off insulin.
    2. Mike Huckabee
    Fox news presenter and politician. Reversed all diabetes signs with
    diet and exercise.
    3. Paul Sorvino
    Actor. Had roles in Goodfellas and Law & Order.
    4. David “Boomer” Wells
    Former baseball star.


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