Kevin Sorbo

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Kevin Sorbo
Kevin Sorbo by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Sorbo speaking at Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest in December 2015
BornKevin David Sorbo
(1958-09-24) September 24, 1958 (age 60)
Mound, Minnesota, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1984–present
Spouse(s)
Sam Jenkins (m. 1998)
Children3
Websitekevinsorbo.net

Kevin David Sorbo[1] (born September 24, 1958) is an American actor. He is best known for his starring roles in two television series: as Hercules in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and as Captain Dylan Hunt in Andromeda.

Early life and education[edit]

Sorbo was born in Mound, Minnesota, where he attended Mound Westonka High School. He is the son of Ardis, a nurse, and Lynn Sorbo, a junior high school mathematics and biology teacher.[1] He is of Norwegian descent.[2] He was raised in a Lutheran family. Sorbo attended Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he double majored in marketing and advertising. To help make tuition, he began to work as a model for print and television advertising.

Career[edit]

In the mid 1980s, Sorbo travelled around Europe and Australia working in television commercials and worked in over 150 commercials by the early 1990s. One of the popular commercials he appeared in was for Jim Beam bourbon whiskey, known for Sorbo's repeated catchphrase "This ain't Jim Beam".[3] He made his acting debut in 1986 appearing in an episode of the soap opera Santa Barbara. This was followed by guest appearances in television series such as 1st & Ten, Murder She Wrote and The Commish. In 1992, he starred in an unsuccessful pilot for a medical drama series titled Condition: Critical which was not picked up but aired as a television film on CBS. He was considered for and lost out to Dean Cain as Superman in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and was a possible contender for the role of Agent Mulder in The X Files which went to David Duchovny.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

In 1993, he made his film debut playing a supporting role in Slaughter of the Innocents. In 1994, he got his breakthrough leading role as the Ancient Greek cultural hero Hercules in the television film Hercules and the Amazon Women which aired in April of that year as part of Universal Television's Action Pack. This was the first of five television films which aired that year [11] with the fifth and final film Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur airing in November 1994. The ratings success of these films paved the way for the commissioning of the television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys which started airing in syndication from January 1995 and ran for six seasons. The series made Sorbo an international star and was one of the highest rated syndicated television shows at the time.[12] Sorbo also directed two episodes of the series during its run and co-wrote one episode.

The success of the show spawned the popular spin-off series Xena: Warrior Princess starring Lucy Lawless, who had first appeared as Xena in three Season One episodes of Hercules. Sorbo made his first of two appearances on Xena guest-starring in the 1995 Season One episode "Prometheus". In 1998, a spin-off direct-to-video animated film featuring both Hercules and Xena titled Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus was released with both Sorbo and Lawless voicing the characters.[13]

Hercules was cancelled midway through the filming of Season Six of which only eight episodes were produced and the final episode aired in November 1999.[14] This was reportedly due to Sorbo declining to extend his contract to continue starring in the series for a further three years.[12] Sorbo would go on to make his final appearance as Hercules in the Xena: Warrior Princess Season Five episode "God Fearing Child" which aired in February 2000.

In between the years playing Hercules, he played his first leading film role in Kull the Conqueror (1997).[15] After Hercules came to an end, Sorbo played the starring role of Captain Dylan Hunt in the science-fiction drama series Andromeda from 2000 to 2005. In 2006, he played a recurring role on the final season of The O.C. and guest-starred in the sitcom Two and a Half Men. In 2007, he starred in the direct-to-video film Walking Tall: The Payback, which was a sequel to the 2004 film Walking Tall. He reprised his role in the second sequel, Walking Tall: Lone Justice which released later that year. He also starred in the Lifetime Channel film Last Chance Café, the Hallmark Channel film Avenging Angel, co-starring his real life wife Sam Jenkins and guest starred as a bounty hunter in the season-two episode "Bounty Hunters!" of the series Psych. He appeared in the 2008 spoof film Meet the Spartans, which was a box office success[16] despite being universally negatively reviewed by critics.[17] He starred in the Albert Pyun directed science fiction vampire film Tales of an Ancient Empire.[18]

Sorbo in 2013

He served as executive producer and star of the movie Abel's Field in 2012.[19] In 2012, Sorbo appeared in an episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories to recount an experience he had while in Minnesota shortly after he graduated from college. He and his girlfriend claimed to have seen the ghost of the "Bride of White Rock Lake" – a woman who supposedly died on her wedding day, murdered by a former lover.[20]

Sorbo voiced one of the main protagonists, Prometheus, in the Wii video game The Conduit.[21] Sorbo returned to the role of Hercules in a more sinister portrayal, in the video game God of War III, which was released for the PlayStation 3 in March 2010.[22]

In July 2013, Sorbo, along with his wife, Sam, provided voice over for characters in the video game Cloudberry Kingdom.[23] In 2014, Sorbo co-starred in God's Not Dead, a Christian film in which he portrayed an atheist college professor who requires his students to disown their religions on the first day of his class.[24] He also voiced Crusher in the Skylanders franchise and Retro Hercules in Smite.

In 2017, Sorbo played the ill-fated King Lar Gand of Daxam on the CW series Supergirl. He appeared opposite Teri Hatcher as his wife Queen Rhea—24 years earlier, they were almost cast opposite each other in Lois and Clark before Sorbo lost out to Dean Cain.[25] Cain also appeared in the same series but did not share any scenes with them.

Kevin Sorbo’s career also includes voice over work (or voice acting) with Breathe Bible.[26]

Personal life[edit]

In late 1997 while on a publicity tour for Kull the Conqueror and between the fourth and fifth seasons of Hercules, the newly engaged Sorbo experienced an aneurysm in his shoulder which caused four strokes.[27][28] As a result, he was weakened for the next several years, a condition kept secret from the public while he recovered. During the last two seasons of Hercules (the fifth and sixth, which aired in 1998 and 1999), Sorbo had a reduced filming schedule to accommodate his condition, and more guest stars were featured in the show in order to reduce Sorbo's duties.[29] The strokes, thought to be triggered when chiropractic manipulation of his shoulder released blood clots from the aneurysm, left Sorbo with a permanent 10 percent vision loss, weakness, impaired balance, and migraines.[30] In his 2011 autobiography True Strength, Sorbo revealed the details of his injury and how his wife Sam helped him recover.[31]

On January 5, 1998, Sorbo married actress Sam Jenkins, whom he met the previous year when she had a guest role on Hercules. They have three children: Braedon Cooper (born 2001), Shane Haaken (born 2004), and Octavia Flynn (born 2005).[32] Sorbo is the spokesman and chair of A World Fit for Kids! (AWFFK!), a non-profit organization that trains teenagers to become mentors to younger children.[33]

In 2001, Sorbo was featured on a Celebrity Edition of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, winning $32,000 after giving Regis Philbin the wrong answer at the $125,000 question; the money was donated to his charity, A World Fit For Kids.

Religious and political beliefs[edit]

Sorbo is a Christian and attends a nondenominational church.[34] Sorbo believes his religious views have caused Hollywood to limit his career, stating "There's a negativity towards Christians in Hollywood, and a negativity towards people who believe in God."[35] Sorbo considers himself politically independent.[36] As a guest on Stossel, Sorbo said he voted for Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Sorbo endorsed Donald Trump for President, claiming that "Jesus would have voted for Trump."[37]

Filmography[edit]

Actor[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1992 Condition: Critical Dr. Thaddeus Kocinski
1994 Slaughter of the Innocents John Willison
1994 Hercules and the Amazon Women Hercules
1994 Hercules and the Lost Kingdom Hercules
1994 Hercules and the Circle of Fire Hercules
1994 Hercules in the Underworld Hercules
1994 Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur Hercules
1995–1999 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Hercules 111 episodes
1997 Kull the Conqueror Kull
1998 Hercules and Xena - The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus Hercules Voice only
2000–2005 Andromeda Captain Dylan Hunt 110 episodes
2004 Clipping Adam Father Dan
2007 Walking Tall: The Payback Nick Prescott
2007 Walking Tall: Lone Justice Nick Prescott
2007 Something Beneath Father Douglas Middleton
2007 Avenging Angel Preacher
2007 Last Chance Café Chance Coulter
2008 Meet the Spartans Captain
2008 Prairie Fever Preston Biggs
2008 An American Carol George Mulrooney
2008 Never Cry Werewolf Redd Tucker
2009 Fire From Below Jake Denning
2009 Bitch Slap Mr. Phoenix
2009 Paradox Sean Nault
2009 Lightning Strikes Ted Bradly
2009 Wolf Canyon Rick / Sheriff Wolf
2010 What If... Ben Walker
2010 Tales of an Ancient Empire Aedan
2010 The Santa Suit Drake Hunter / Santa Claus
2010 Pool Boy: Drowning Out the Fury Sal Bando
2011 Wog Boy 2: Kings of Mykonos Pierluigi
2011 Soul Surfer Holt Blanchard
2011 What If... Ben Walker
2011 Julia X The Stranger
2011 Coffin
2012 Christmas Angel Dr. Nathan Davis
2012 Abel's Field Abel Executive Producer[38][39]
2012 Sorority Party Massacre Captain Dan Fanning
2013 Paranormal Movie Security Guy
2013 Shadow on the Mesa Ray Eastman
2013 Storm Rider Sam Fielding
2013 Alone for Christmas Quentin
2014 Alongside Night Dr. Martin Vreeland
2014 Survivor Captain Hunter
2014 Coffee Shop Produzent
2014 God's Not Dead Professor Radison
2014 Gallows Road Frank
2014 The Black Rider Revelation Road Honcho
2015 Mythica: A Quest for Heroes Gojun Pye
2015 Mythica: The Darkspore Gojun Pye
2015 Mythica: The Necromancer Gojun Pye
2015 Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! Colonel Tony Saracen
2015 Confessions of a Prodigal Son Father
2015 Hope Bridge Pastor
2016 Caged No More Richard / Jack
2016 Mythica: The Iron Crown Gojun Pye
2016 Rodeo Girl Duke Williams[40]
2016 Mythica: The Godslayer Gojun Pye
2016 Spirit of the Game Parley Condie
2017 Let There Be Light Dr. Sol Harkins

Guest star[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988 1st & Ten Barry "...The Clock Runs Out"
1991 Santa Barbara Delivery man
1992 Cheers Uncredited "License to Hill"
1993 Murder, She Wrote Michael Burke "A Virtual Murder"
1993 The Commish Mark "Dying Affection"
1995 Cybill Rick "The Last Temptation of Cybill"
1995 Xena: Warrior Princess Hercules "Prometheus"
1996 The Rosie O'Donnell Show Himself
1998 Sin City Spectacular Himself
1998 Late Night with Conan O'Brien Himself
1998 Mad TV Himself
1999 Just Shoot Me! Scott "An Axe to Grind"
2000 Xena: Warrior Princess Hercules "God Fearing Child"
2000 Celebrity Profile Himself "Kevin Sorbo"
2000 The Howard Stern Radio Show Himself
2001 Dharma & Greg Charlie "Educating Dharma: Part 1 & 2"
2001 The Howard Stern Radio Show Himself
2001 Dharma & Greg Charlie "The End of the Innocence: Parts 1 & 2"
2001 The Big Breakfast Himself
2003 According to Jim Darryl Buckner "The Pass"
2004 Hope & Faith Kenny "Mismatch"
2004 Live with Regis and Kelly Himself
2005 Love, Inc. Father John "Amen"
2006 Two and a Half Men Andy "Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Burro"
2007 The O.C. Frank Atwood "The Earth Girls Are Easy", "The My Two Dads", "The Groundhog Day",
"The Case Of The Franks", "The Shake-Up", "The Night Moves",
"The End's Not Near, It's Here"
2007 Psych Byrd Tatums "Bounty Hunters!"
2008 The Middleman 1969 middleman / Guy Goddard "The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown"
2009 Gary Unmarried Larry "Seven"
2010 Super Hero Squad Show Ka-Zar Voice only
2010 Hawaii Five-0 Carlton Bass "Ko'olauloa"
2011 The Guild Himself "Social Traumas"
2012 Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 Himself "The Wedding"
2012 Key & Peele Brad Episode #2.6[41]
2015 The Sparrow Pastor Dave
2017 Supergirl Lar Gand, King of Daxam "Exodus", "Star-Crossed", "Distant Sun"

Producer[edit]

Year Title Notes
2001–2005 Andromeda Executive producer
2009 Wolf Canyon
2014 Alongside Night

Director[edit]

Year Title
1995 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
2017 Let There Be Light

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Conduit Prometheus Voice only
2010 God of War III Hercules Voice only
2012 Skylanders: Giants Crusher Voice only
2013 Skylanders: Swap Force Crusher Voice only
Cloudberry Kingdom Bob Voice only
2014 Skylanders: Trap Team Crusher Voice only
2015 Smite Hercules (Retro Skin) Voice only
Skylanders: SuperChargers Crusher Voice only
2016 Skylanders: Imaginators Crusher Voice only

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Kevin Sorbo Biography (1958–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  2. ^ "Once a kid... always a kid". KSJAA - Kevin Sorbo bio 1958-77. Russia: narod.ru.
  3. ^ Mendoza, N.F. (November 6, 1994). "With an Eye On: Kevin Sorbo's Hercules is strong stuff but not exactly his serious side". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  4. ^ "Filed Away (Features)". The Mirror. London, England. September 29, 1997. Retrieved September 24, 2018. Hercules hunk Kevin Sorbo has revealed that he nearly played Fox Mulder in The X Files. The 6ft 3in muscleman was beaten to the role by 5ft 7in David Duchovny after the two auditioned for creator Chris Carter.
  5. ^ Yamato, Jen (September 28, 2011). "Fantastic Fest: Kevin Sorbo on the Twisted Julia X 3D, Christian Films, and Hollywood Snobbery". Movieline. Retrieved September 24, 2018. You were previously up to play roles like Superman and Mulder in The X-Files before your Hercules days.
  6. ^ Garcia, Frank; Phillips, Mark (2013). Science Fiction Television Series, 1990–2004: Histories, Casts and Credits for 58 Shows. McFarland. p. 370. Retrieved September 24, 2018 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Abbie (March 21, 2016). "Kevin Sorbo – Interview". The Junction. WordPress. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  8. ^ "Winston-Salem Journal". August 29, 1997. Retrieved September 24, 2018. People make too big a deal out of me getting the Agent Mulder role in that, he said with a laugh. I got in to read twice for that part. Nowhere near getting it. How would he be different if I played him? Mulder would be taller.
  9. ^ "Australia TV Week". Australia. July 7, 1997. Retrieved September 24, 2018. Before Hercules, you were up for David Duchovny's role in 'The X-Files'. What would you have brought to Fox Mulder that Duchovny hasn't?
  10. ^ "Calgary Sun". Canada. August 24, 1997. Retrieved September 24, 2018. I was one of many who were being considered for Fox Mulder, so that wasn't such a disappointment.
  11. ^ MENDOZA, N. F. (November 6, 1994). "WITH AN EYE ON . . . : Kevin Sorbo's Hercules is strong stuff but not exactly his serious side" – via LA Times.
  12. ^ a b "Kevin Sorbo", The sci-fi world (interview).
  13. ^ "Biography" (official website). Kevin Sorbo. Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  14. ^ "Entertainment", The Los Angeles times, 1999-11-27.
  15. ^ "Kull the Conqueror (1997)". New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  16. ^ "Weekend Box Office Chart for January 25th, 2008". The Numbers. January 25, 2008. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  17. ^ "Meet the Spartans". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  18. ^ Woman, The (March 26, 2010). "Pre-Order Tales of an Ancient Empire; Work-in-Progress Screengrab & Behind-the-Scenes Clip | Horror Movie, DVD, & Book Reviews, News, Interviews at Dread Central". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  19. ^ "Abel's Field with Kevin Sorbo and Samuel Davis an Inspiring Movie – Christian Activities". christianactivities.com. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  20. ^ "Celebrity Ghost Stories - Kevin Sorbo - Ghostly Bride". Bio.com. Youtube. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  21. ^ "The Conduit Gets Hollywood Voice Talent". cinema blend. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  22. ^ "God of War III Kevin Sorbo voice of Hercules". youtube.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  23. ^ Conditt, Jessica (October 3, 2012). "Kevin Sorbo, Sam Sorbo, Martin Olson star in Cloudberry Kingdom". Joystiq. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  24. ^ "'God's Not Dead' Actor Says Hollywood Is 'Waking Up' to Christian Films". christianpost.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  25. ^ "Kevin Sorbo Talks About His Role on "Supergirl"". February 8, 2017.
  26. ^ Kevin Sorbo, The Voice of God BreatheBible.com Retrieved September 18, 2017
  27. ^ "Hercules Actor Kevin Sorbo's Miracle Healing – CBN TV – Video". Cbn.com. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  28. ^ Gostin, Nicki (October 19, 2011). "Kevin Sorbo's 'True Strength': 'Hercules' Star Says Strokes Were Blessings In Disguise". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  29. ^ Hammel, Sara (October 2, 2011). "Hercules Star Kevin Sorbo Reveals He's Had Several Strokes". People.com. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  30. ^ Symons, Jane (February 28, 2012). "Kevin Sorbo: Three strokes left me fighting for my life". Daily Express. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  31. ^ Sorbo, Kevin (October 11, 2011). "True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal--and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life". Boston, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  32. ^ "Sam Sorbo talks hubby Kevin Sorbo & True Strength: He truly is my hero". sorbowriter.wordpress.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  33. ^ Graham, Efrem (August 27, 2015). "Kevin Sorbo Uses Faith to Make 'World Fit for Kids'". cbn.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  34. ^ Vivaldo, Josephine (March 8, 2011). "Kevin Sorbo – Christian Hercules in Hollywood". Christian Post. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  35. ^ Savitsky, Sasha (March 20, 2014). "Kevin Sorbo: Why is Hollywood so afraid of God?". Fox News. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  36. ^ Hallowell, Billy (February 6, 2013). "Hercules' Actor Kevin Sorbo Bashes Hollywood's Liberal Hypocrisy and Rips Obama: 'One of the Worst Records' in American History". TheBlaze.com. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  37. ^ "Kevin Sorbo On Why He Thinks Jesus Would Vote For Donald Trump". Fox News Insider. August 27, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  38. ^ Abel's Field (DVD). 2012. Event occurs at Closing credits.
  39. ^ Rolfe, Donna. "Abel's Field – Review". Dove Family Foundation. Retrieved 2015-04-20.
  40. ^ "Local OHS Grad Produces Hollywood Feature Film". Brian Harrington. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  41. ^ ""Key and Peele" Episode #2.6 (TV Episode 2012)". Retrieved February 3, 2017.

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