There’s a fine balance between being selfish and serving others, and for the actor Kevin Sorbo, his life teetered on that balance at a certain juncture. His autobiography True Strength examines the process he went through to finding that balance and moving onto having the life which would give him joy.
Most readers would expect Sorbo’s book to concentrate on the modeling contracts he secured as a body builder through most of his twenties and early thirties, and later, his acting roles from small parts on TV shows like Murder, She Wrote to major roles like television series Hercules and the movie Kull. It was surprising and very gratifying to see that a bulk of his story is devoted to the physical challenges and mental struggles he went through during the highest point of his career, playing Hercules in the TV show Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. It also made the read insightful and rewarding concluding with a happy close.
From bachelorhood to married man and father, Sorbo moves through the evolving stages of his life. From male model to sideline actor and then major star, he gives readers a taste of the amount of determination and stubbornness it takes to hold onto one’s dream before it comes to fruition. From high school athlete to body builder and then physically impaired, he provides a broad account of how life can change rapidly and spiral out of control.
Sorbo’s recollection of his health crisis is detailed to a point where the scientific terms he uses go over the reader’s head, but the symptoms described are one hundred percent translatable to real life situations. He discusses human struggles like the material side of life vs. spiritual satisfaction and the perseverance it takes to survive physical hardships. Burdened by a physical change to his body that had him dealing with blood clots, strokes, and vertigo at a point when he portrayed one of the strongest men in Greek Mythology, Hercules, Sorbo became as physically robust as a toddler. Oddly, the language doesn’t garner sympathy from the reader but rather connects Sorbo and his infirmity to the reader on a metaphysical plane.
As the reader can expect, Sorbo discloses his relationship with the cast and crew of Hercules, his break-through role, and glosses over his other acting stints in Kull and Andromeda. His admission of having a past that seemed to have vanished, a future that felt uncertain, and no end to the physical pain he was enduring, is relatable to the human condition. It’s his struggle that is identifiable to the reader and earns him a place as a hero, somebody to learn from and admire for something other than being an actor.