health The Most Successful Obese Americans  

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The most successful obese Americans include men and women who despite being overweight, have found mainstream success. These actors, actresses, musicians, politicians, pundits, and even athletes are all household names who either became famous despite being obese or packed on the pounds after they rose to fame.

If Hollywood has an obsession with being stick thin, it definitely didn't tell some of the most well known large actors, actresses, and other personalities who have reached legendary status despite their size. Oprah Winfrey is just one of many celebrities who has battled weight in a very public forum but never let it stop her from becoming an entertainment mogul.

Who are some successful fat people? For some, being obese has caused the public to question if they were fit for their individual professions. Fans have criticized professional athletes like John Daly and Babe Ruth for their weight, despite leading other athletes at the same games. Pundits have trashed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his weight, with some even claiming he's too fat to hold public office.

Sadly, for a few of these favorite obese celebrities, their overindulgence contributed to their death. Though other factors were at play, the likes of John Candy, Chris Farley, and even the great Elvis Presley are just a few celebrities who enjoyed gluttony and eventually, in part, died because of it. This list of celebrity fat guys includes male and female, tall and short, young and old overweight movie stars. 

But for all of the sad stories of obesity, there's also many celebrities who have proudly overcome their weight issues. Television personalities Drew Carey and Al Roker both shed extra pounds and became inspirational tales that others can use for their own benefit.

Some stories are definitely more inspirational than others just like some of these famous obese people are more successful than others. Tell us which obese person you think is the most successful by voting for that person, re-ranking this list your way or adding someone we've missed below.

Steve Ballmer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Successful Obese Americans
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Steven Anthony "Steve" Ballmer is an American businessman who was the chief executive officer of Microsoft from January 2000 to February 2014, and is the current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. As of January 22, 2015, his personal wealth is estimated at US$20.6 billion, ranking number 23 on the ...more

Age: 61

Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America

Profession: Businessperson

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Dick Cheney is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Successful Obese Americans
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Richard Bruce Cheney (born January 30, 1941) served as the 46th Vice President of the United States from 2001 to 2009 in the administration of George W. Bush. Cheney was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, but soon moved with his family to Casper, Wyoming, where he grew up. He began his political career as ...more

Age: 76

Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States of America

Profession: Businessperson, Politician, Author

Credits: Gasland, Special Report with Bret Baier, Rush to War

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#71 on The Most Influential Politicians in American History

#82 on Famous Politicians You'd Want to Have a Beer With

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Kevin James is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Successful Obese Americans
Photo:  Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Kevin George Knipfing, better known by his stage name, Kevin James, is an American comedian, actor, writer, and producer. Kevin James is widely known for playing Doug Heffernan on the hit CBS sitcom The King of Queens. He is also known for his lead roles in the comedy films I Now Pronounce You Chuck ...more

Age: 51

Birthplace: Mineola, New York, United States of America

Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, + more

Credits: The King of Queens, Here Comes the Boom, Hitch, Paul Blart: Mall Cop

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#94 on The Funniest Stand Up Comedians of All Time

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Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Successful Obese Americans
Photo:  Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Kathleen Doyle "Kathy" Bates is an American actress and film director. After appearing in several minor roles in film and television during the 1970s and the 1980s, Bates rose to prominence with her performance in Misery, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress; she also received a ...more

Age: 68

Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America

Profession: Film Score Composer, Television director, Actor, Voice acting, Singer, + more

Credits: Titanic, Misery, About Schmidt, Fried Green Tomatoes

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#2 on The Best American Actresses Working Today

#11 on The Best Actresses in Film History

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#8 on The Greatest American Actresses of All Time

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