While celebrity marriages built on appearance and media hype come and go with alarming frequency, one marriage has stuck because of the commitment behind it.
Actor Kevin Sorbo, who rose to fame for his role in the hit TV show “Hercules” (1995–1999) and “Andromeda” (2000–2005) and his wife, Sam Jenkins Sorbo, who met Kevin on the set during the former series, have been married for over 21 years and plan to be together until death do them part.
While the two had plenty of opportunities for their careers to diverge and let them drift apart, as Sam Sorbo told PureTalk, “we chose to grow together.”
When Kevin Sorbo and Sam Jenkins met on the set of “Hercules,” sparks flew right away. For Sam, though, the prospect of marriage to her co-star wasn’t a given. As she shared with PureTalk, “I don’t date actors, I don’t date guys with long hair, and I don’t date long distance.” While all of this should have put a stop to Kevin’s pursuit, he knew there was something special about her and made his vows to her in January 1998.
But the reality of those early years was difficult. Kevin was in New Zealand filming “Hercules” on location, whereas Sam was based in Los Angeles. What really made the couple different than others in Hollywood was the way they responded to adversity. For Sorbo, this meant three strokes that threatened to derail his successful run with the show.
“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,” he told Neurology Now. For Sam, this changed everything. “It was very obvious to me that I had to make a choice,” she told PureTalk. “I actually booked a job when he was in ICU […] I said ‘Do you want me not to go?’”
Kevin confessed that he needed his wife by his side and asked her to forgo the acting job. That was the moment when Sam realized that she needed to sacrifice her budding career in order to take care of her husband. “To the outside world, it seemed like it was a sacrifice. To me, it was just the obvious,” she explained. This was a scenario that Sam would have repeated when her youngest child, Braedon, urged her to give up her acting career so she could get rid of the nanny and spend more time with him.
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In an industry that is anything but family friendly, the couple have kept their relationship with each other and their children the priority. As Sam explained to PureTalk, “Our culture encourages both parents to have a career and […] in Hollywood, careers tend to diverge.”
Besides homeschooling their three children, Sam has also joined forces with her husband to co-star in the film “Hope Bridge” (2015), about a counselor who tries to persuade a troubled teen to give his life a second chance.
They also co-wrote and co-starred in the successful film “Let There Be Light” (2017), an inspirational story of a skeptical doctor who finds faith in the midst of the loss of his son. With the film released in October 2017 during the height of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Sam told Fox Business that this project was the “antithesis” of what Hollywood represented.
“This is a film that Hollywood used to produce, the uplifting film, the film with godly characters,” Sam said. Kevin Sorbo chimed in to talk about the changes in the industry. “Prior to the 60s, Hollywood produced character-driven movies and now it’s changed,” he said. “They celebrate the anti-hero. They celebrate the negativity in life.”
While other couples appear and disappear, the Sorbos seemed to have found the secret to long and happy marriage. “I call it priorities,” Sam told Pure Talk. “We never spent more than two weeks apart.” As Sam told Fox Business, the goal of their film and the co-authored devotional book Share the Light is to show the options that couple have. “You can walk alone or you can walk it with a higher power, and you see the difference,” she said.
Kevin Sorbo told Fox News, “There’s an audience out there that wants movies that have inspiration.”
People going to the cinema “want the uplift, they want the positive, hopeful message,” adds Sam.
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