In the mid 1990s, two television series, "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and "Xena: Warrior Princess", which were filmed in New Zealand and syndicated by Universal Studios, became a national ratings success and a world wide phenomena. A blend of action adventure, drama and comedy, both series had a wide range of fans from children to adults. At that time, the internet was starting to become popular, and many tech savvy fans of both series created message boards and web sites dedicated to the shows and other fans wrote articles for fanzines and had viewing parties.
On July 10, 1997, I experienced a once in a lifetime event at Universal Studios, Florida. I, among many thousands of fans attended the opening of a new attraction entitled "Hercules and Xena: Wizards of the Screen". In attendance were the half-god and Warrior Princess themselves - Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless. Throughout the day, Kevin Sorbo was out and about enjoying the attractions in between his appearances for the studio, always smiling and waving at the crowds of people when he walked past. During "The Terminator 2 Ride", I thought I heard his voice and looked back to find him sitting directly behind me. Later that day, I was able to attend an outdoor press conference, where Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless spoke about the opening of the attraction and their respective television series.
A few months later, Universal Studios announced that Kevin Sorbo suffered an aneurysm in his shoulder, which kept him from filming "Hercules" for a while. During that time, the studio wrote around his character and had several guest stars fill in. Kevin Sorbo then made a triumph return to the series, which lasted five seasons. It was not made public until many years later that not only did Kevin Sorbo have an aneurysm in his shoulder, but he also suffered a series a of strokes as a result, which nearly cost him his life at the age of 37. In 2011, Kevin Sorbo wrote about his health ordeal and how he overcame it in his autobiography, "True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life."
A year after "Hercules" finished its run, Kevin Sorbo returned to television as Captain Dylan Hunt on "Andromeda", which was a series that was based on a concept by the late Gene Roddenberry that his wife, Majel Barrett Roddenberry helped to produce. "Andromeda" had a successful five year run both in syndication and later on the Sci-Fi Channel. Since then, Kevin Sorbo has acted in over forty films from comedies like "Meet the Spartans" to heart-felt dramas like "Soul Surfer". In 2011, he has even guest starred as himself in Felicia Day's web series, "The Guild", as a guest at a Game Convention. He is currently filming a series of fantasy movies entitled "Mythica".
Off screen, Kevin Sorbo created a charity organization, "A World Fit For Kids", which encourages children to be active, eat healthy, and to graduate from high school. He is also an avid golfer and has organized an annual golf tournament to benefit his charity. He has also been a keynote speaker at the National Stroke Association.
Kevin Sorbo will be a guest for the upcoming "Away Mission" in Tampa, from April 11 -13, 2014.