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Kevin Sorbo

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Kevin Sorbo
Sorbo in 2022
Kevin David Sorbo

(1958-09-24) September 24, 1958 (age 65)
Alma materMinnesota State University Moorhead (BA)
  • Actor
  • producer
  • director
Years active1984–present
(m. 1998)
Children3, including Braeden Sorbo

Kevin David Sorbo (born September 24, 1958) is an American actor and producer. He has had starring roles in two television series: as Hercules in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995–1999) and as Captain Dylan Hunt in Andromeda (2000–2005). In between his years playing Hercules, Sorbo played his first leading film role in the 1997 fantasy film Kull the Conqueror.

Sorbo is also known for acting in Christian films such as God's Not Dead (2014) and Let There Be Light (2017).

Early life and education


Sorbo was born in Mound, Minnesota, on September 24, 1958.[1] He is of Norwegian descent.[2] He was raised in a Lutheran family.[3] Sorbo attended Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he double majored in marketing and advertising.[4] To help pay for tuition, he began to work as a model for print and television advertising.[5]



Early work


In the mid-1980s, Sorbo traveled around Europe and Australia working in television commercials and also modeling for print advertisements. During this period, he made his acting debut in an episode of the soap opera Santa Barbara in 1986. He continued working in advertising and by the early 1990s, he had appeared in over 150 commercials. 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".[6]

He made guest appearances in television series such as 1st & Ten, Murder She Wrote, and The Commish. In 1992, he played his first leading role in an unsuccessful television pilot for a medical drama series titled Condition: Critical, which was not picked up, but aired as a television film on ABC. He was considered for and lost out to Dean Cain as Superman in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and was one of the possible contenders for the role of Fox Mulder in The X-Files, which went to David Duchovny.[7][8][9][10] In 1993, he made his film debut in Slaughter of the Innocents.[11]

Professional breakthrough with Hercules


In 1993, Sorbo received his breakthrough leading role as the ancient greek demigod Hercules in a series of five television films that aired as part of Universal Television's Action Pack.[12] The first film to premiere was Hercules and the Amazon Women, which aired in April 1994, the others following later in the year. The ratings success of the films paved the way for the commission 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.[13][better source needed]

The success of the show spawned the popular spin-off series Xena: Warrior Princess starring Lucy Lawless, who was introduced in a three-episode arc in the first season of Hercules. This allowed several characters from both shows to make crossover appearances. In 1998, a spin-off direct-to-video, animated film titled Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus was released with both Sorbo and Lawless voicing the characters.[14]

Hercules was canceled midway through the filming of Season Six, of which only eight episodes were produced. The final episode aired in November 1999.[15] Although it was not revealed at the time, health issues reduced Sorbo's abilities to perform the physically demanding role during the later seasons.[16] Sorbo made his final appearance as Hercules on Xena, in the Season Five episode "God Fearing Child", which aired in February 2000.

In between his years playing Hercules, Sorbo played his first leading film role in the 1997 film Kull the Conqueror. In a mostly negative review, The New York Times writes, "Mr. Sorbo provides the requisite oiled torso, a hint of humor and the professionalism and good grace to act as if Kull the Conqueror mattered."[17]

Post-Hercules work


After Hercules ended, 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.

In 2007, he starred in two direct-to-video sequels to Walking Tall, Walking Tall: The Payback and Walking Tall: Lone Justice. In the Hallmark Channel film Avenging Angel, he co-starred with his real wife, Sam Jenkins.

In the 2008, he appeared in the spoof film titled Meet the Spartans, which was a box office success despite poor reviews.[18][19]

Sorbo in 2013

In the first of what would be several voice acting jobs, Sorbo performed one of the main protagonists, Prometheus, in the video game The Conduit.[20] He also reprised the role of Hercules in the video game God of War III and worked together with his wife on the game Cloudberry Kingdom.[21]

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.[22] Although heavily panned by critics, it was a commercial success and the first of a sequence of Christian films that Sorbo would produce or perform.[23][24][25]

Sorbo appeared in the 2015 romantic comedy Single in South Beach, starring Haley Webb. On Twitter, in 2019, she accused Sorbo of sexual advances and of sexually harassing her on the set. However, Webb did not elaborate on any of her accusations, and he did not respond to her tweet.[26][27]

In 2017, Sorbo directed and starred in the Christian drama film Let There Be Light, which featured conservative pundit Sean Hannity, who was also an executive producer. It was described by the New Yorker as "a cynical, xenophobic morality tale, as bitter as it is saccharine" that closes with "a dénouement of bald Islamophobia".[28][29] The Los Angeles Times, although critical, says that it provides "an involving bonanza" for its intended Christian audience. Sorbo is described as bringing "puckish charm and credible warmth to his role".[30]

In 2023, he is set to appear in the Ronald Reagan biopic opposite Dennis Quaid who plays the title role.[31]

Personal life


Sorbo is a Christian. Although he grew up Lutheran, he attends a nondenominational church.[32]

On January 5, 1998, Sorbo married actress Sam Sorbo (née Jenkins), whom he met the previous year when she had a small recurring role on Hercules (Season 3, Episode 8 "Prince Hercules"). They have three children, including Braeden Sorbo.[33][34] 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.[35]

In 2001, Sorbo was featured on a celebrity edition of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, winning $32,000. The money was donated to his charity, A World Fit For Kids.[36]



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 three strokes.[37][38] 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.[39] In his 2011 autobiography True Strength, Sorbo revealed the details of his injury and how his wife Sam helped him recover.[40]

In 2013, Sorbo received the Public Leadership in Neurology Award from the American Academy of Neurology and the American Brain Foundation for his efforts raising awareness about stroke.[41] He also received the 2013 Inspiration Honors Award from the Invisible Disabilities Association.[42]


Sorbo in 2020 at an event hosted by Turning Point USA

In 2014, during an interview with Jerry Newcombe on the radio show Vocal Point, Sorbo defended Mel Gibson against allegations that his 2004 film The Passion of the Christ was anti-Semitic with the words: "News bulletin: you did kill Jesus!"[43] Sorbo later stated he could have rephrased his statements, but defended his stance.[44]

Facebook removed him from the platform during the COVID-19 pandemic claiming "We removed Kevin Sorbo's page for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines." Sorbo responded that he posts things that doctors say and that Facebook had been shadow banning him for a year prior. He stated, "I [would have been] more than happy to take them [down], whatever offensive posts that Facebook deemed that I should not be posting, So I question their statements… that they gave me."[45][46][better source needed]

After Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, Sorbo repeatedly made remarks defending Trump's claims of election fraud.[47][48] Although he initially supported the protestors as loyal defenders of Trump and enjoined them to respect the police, Sorbo subsequently backtracked and blamed the violence on antifa.[49] This led to a widely reported Twitter exchange between former co-stars Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless, who have exchanged conflicting views on personal and political matters throughout the past 20 years.[50][51][52][53] According to The Mary Sue, apart from audiences of his Christian films, Sorbo's relevance today is otherwise limited to those who follow his political commentary on Twitter.[54]

In 2022, Sorbo was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He wore a suit lined with his own tweets.[55][56]

In 2023, Sorbo published a children's book entitled The Test of Lionhood, which explores the theme of masculinity from a Christian perspective for young boys,[57] as part of a larger fight in defense of the virtues of masculinity, which he says are being eroded in Hollywood and in society at large.[58][59]




Year Title Role Notes
1993 Slaughter of the Innocents John Willison
1997 Kull the Conqueror Kull
2004 Clipping Adam Father Dan
2007 Walking Tall: The Payback Nick Prescott Direct-to-video
Walking Tall: Lone Justice
2008 Meet the Spartans Captain
Prairie Fever Preston Biggs Direct-to-video
An American Carol George Mulrooney
2009 Fire from Below Jake Denning
Bitch Slap Mr. Phoenix
2010 What If... Ben Walker
Wog Boy 2: Kings of Mykonos Pierluigi
Tales of an Ancient Empire Aedan
Pool Boy: Drowning Out the Fury Sal Bando
Paradox Sean Nault
2011 Soul Surfer Holt Blanchard
Julia X The Stranger
2012 Abel's Field Abel Executive producer[60][61]
Black Box James
Sorority Party Massacre Captain Dan Fanning
FDR: American Badass! Abraham Lincoln
2013 Paranormal Movie Security Guy
Storm Rider Sam Fielding
Alone for Christmas Quentin Direct-to-video
2014 One Shot Commander Gibson
Alongside Night Dr. Martin Vreeland Executive producer
Survivor Captain Hunter
The Black Rider: Revelation Road Honcho
Coffee Shop Produzent
God's Not Dead Professor Jeffrey Radisson
Mythica: A Quest for Heroes Gojun Pye
2015 Confessions of a Prodigal Son Father
The Sparrows: Nesting Pastor Dave
Single in South Beach Sam
Hope Bridge Pastor
Mythica: The Darkspore Gojun Pye
One More Round Billy Jack Taylor
Gallows Road Frank
Mythica: The Necromancer Gojun Pye
2016 Caged No More Richard / Jack
Forgiven Lieutenant Morgan
Mythica: The Iron Crown Gojun Pye
Rodeo Girl Duke Williams[62]
Mythica: The Godslayer Gojun Pye
Joseph & Mary Joseph
Spirit of the Game Parley Condie
2017 Let There Be Light Dr. Sol Harkins Director
2018 Bernie the Dolphin Winston Mills
2019 The Reliant [63]
Miracle in East Texas Doc Boyd Director[64]
2020 The Penitent Thief King Herod[65]
Against the tide Himself
2021 The Girl Who Believes in Miracles Dr. David Riley
Trail Blazers Ethan Post-production
2023 Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist Rayford Steele Also director
Alien Storm President of the U.S.
2024 The Firing Squad Pastor Lynbrook
Reagan TBA Post-production[66]


Year Title Role Notes
1986 Santa Barbara Lars 1 episode
1988 1st & Ten Barry Episode: "...The Clock Runs Out"
1992 Cheers Uncredited Episode: "License to Hill"
Condition: Critical Dr. Thaddeus Kocinski Television film
1993 Murder, She Wrote Michael Burke Episode: "A Virtual Murder"
The Commish Mark Episode: "Dying Affection"
1994 Hercules and the Amazon Women Hercules Television film
Hercules and the Lost Kingdom
Hercules and the Circle of Fire
Hercules in the Underworld
Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur
1995–1999 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 111 episodes; also Director for episodes #2.17 & #3.20
1995 Cybill Rick Episode: "The Last Temptation of Cybill"
1995–2000 Xena: Warrior Princess Hercules 2 episodes
1998 Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus Voice
1999 Just Shoot Me! Scott Episode: "An Axe to Grind"
2000–2005 Andromeda Captain Dylan Hunt 110 episodes; executive producer
2001 Dharma & Greg Charlie 4 episodes
2003 According to Jim Darryl Buckner Episode: "The Pass"
2004 Hope & Faith Kenny Episode: "Mismatch"
2005 Love, Inc. Father John Episode: "Amen"
2006 Two and a Half Men Andy Episode: "Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Burro"
Last Chance Café Chance Coulter Television film
2006–2007 The O.C. Frank Atwood 7 episodes
2007 Avenging Angel Preacher Television film
Psych Byrd Tatums Episode: "Bounty Hunters!"
Something Beneath Father Douglas Middleton Television film
2008 Never Cry Werewolf Redd Tucker Television film
The Middleman 1969 middleman / Guy Goddard Episode: "The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown"
2009 Gary Unmarried Larry "Seven"
Lightning Strikes Ted Bradly Television film
2009–2010 The Super Hero Squad Show Ka-Zar Voice, 2 episodes
2009 Wolf Canyon Rick / Sheriff Wolf Television film; also executive producer
2010 Hawaii Five-0 Carlton Bass Episode: "Ko'olauloa"
The Santa Suit Drake Hunter / Santa Claus Television film
2011 Flesh Wounds Lt. Tyler Television film
The Guild Himself Episode: "Social Traumas"
2012 Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 Himself Episode: "The Wedding"
Key & Peele Brad Episode #2.6[67]
Christmas Angel Dr. Nathan Davis Television film
The Eric André Show Himself Episode: "The Eric André New Year's Eve Spooktacular"
2013 Shadow on the Mesa Ray Eastman Television film
2017 Supergirl Lar Gand 3 episodes

Video games

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


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