Kevin Sorbo

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Kevin Sorbo
Kevin Sorbo by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Sorbo in 2012
Kevin David Sorbo

(1958-09-24) September 24, 1958 (age 64)
Occupation(s)Actor, Producer, Director
Years active1984–present
(m. 1998)

Kevin David Sorbo (born September 24, 1958[1]) is an American actor. He had starring roles in two television series: as Hercules in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and as Captain Dylan Hunt in Andromeda. Sorbo is also known for acting in Christian films such as God's Not Dead and Let There Be Light.

Early life and education[edit]

Sorbo was born in Mound, Minnesota, on September 24, 1958. 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]


In the mid 1980s, Sorbo traveled around Europe and Australia working in television commercials and also modeled for print advertisements. 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 occasionally landed acting roles during this period and made his acting debut in an episode of the soap opera Santa Barbara in 1986. 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 ABC. 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 Fox Mulder in The X-Files which went to David Duchovny.[7][8][9][10][11][12] In 1993, he made his film debut playing a supporting role in Slaughter of the Innocents.[13]

In 1993, he received his breakthrough leading role as the Ancient Greek mythical demigod Hercules in a series of five television films which aired in 1994 as part of Universal Television's Action Pack.[14] The first film to premiere was Hercules and the Amazon Women which aired in April 1994 and the subsequent films aired later in the year. The ratings success of the 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.[15] 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 was introduced in a three episode arc in the first season of Hercules. This allowed several characters from both shows to make crossover appearances. Sorbo made his first of two appearances on Xena in the Season One episode "Prometheus" in 1995. 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.[16]

Hercules was canceled midway through the filming of Season Six of which only eight episodes were produced and the final episode aired in November 1999.[17] This was reportedly due to Sorbo declining to extend his contract to continue starring in the series for a further three years.[15] Although it was not revealed at the time, health issues reduced his abilities to perform the physically demanding role during the later seasons. Sorbo made his final appearance as Hercules on Xena in the Season Five episode "God Fearing Child" which aired in February 2000.

In between the years playing Hercules, Sorbo played his first leading film role in Kull the Conqueror (1997).[18] 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[19] despite being universally negatively reviewed by critics.[20] He starred in the Albert Pyun directed science fiction vampire film Tales of an Ancient Empire.[21]

Sorbo in 2013

Sorbo was executive producer and star of the movie Abel's Field in 2012.[22]

Sorbo voiced one of the main protagonists, Prometheus, in the Wii video game The Conduit.[23] 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.[24]

Sorbo had a prominent role in the film Soul Surfer released in 2011.[25]

In July 2013, Sorbo, along with his wife Sam, provided voice over for characters in the video game Cloudberry Kingdom.[26] 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.[27] He also voiced Crusher in the Skylanders franchise and Retro Hercules in Smite.[28]

In 2014 to 2016, Sorbo played wizard Gojun Pye in a series of five Mythica sword-and-sorcery fantasy movies.[29]

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.[30] Cain also appeared in the same series but did not share any scenes with them. That same year, he also directed and starred in the Christian drama film Let There Be Light.[31]

Personal life[edit]

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.[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; the money was donated to his charity, A World Fit For Kids.[34]

In 2015, Sorbo provided the foreword to Stan Holden's book Giving Candy to Strangers.[35]


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.[36][37] 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.[38] 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.[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

Sorbo is a Christian and attends a nondenominational church, though he grew up as a Lutheran. Sorbo claims that his religious views have caused certain restrictions in Hollywood productions, stating that "there's a negativity towards Christians in Hollywood, and a negativity towards people who believe in God."[43]

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!"[44] Sorbo later stated he could have rephrased his statements, but defended his stance.[45]



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[46][47]
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 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[48]
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
2019 The Reliant [49]
Miracle in East Texas Doc Boyd Director[50]
2021 The Girl Who Believes in Miracles Dr. David Riley
Trail Blazers Ethan Post-production
2023 Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist Rayford Steele Director
Reagan Post-production[51]


Year Title Role Notes
1986 Santa Barbara Lars 1 episode
1988 1st & Ten Barry "...The Clock Runs Out"
1992 Cheers Uncredited "License to Hill"
Condition: Critical Dr. Thaddeus Kocinski Television movie
1993 Murder, She Wrote Michael Burke "A Virtual Murder"
The Commish Mark "Dying Affection"
1994 Hercules and the Amazon Women Hercules Television movies
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 "The Last Temptation of Cybill"
1995–2000 Xena: Warrior Princess Hercules 2 episodes (#1.8 "Prometheus", #5.12 "God Fearing Child")
1998 Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus Voice
1999 Just Shoot Me! Scott "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 "The Pass"
2004 Hope & Faith Kenny "Mismatch"
2005 Love, Inc. Father John "Amen"
2006 Two and a Half Men Andy "Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Burro"
Last Chance Café Chance Coulter Television movie
2006–2007 The O.C. Frank Atwood 7 episodes
2007 Avenging Angel Preacher Television movie
Psych Byrd Tatums "Bounty Hunters!"
Something Beneath Father Douglas Middleton Television movie
2008 Never Cry Werewolf Redd Tucker Television movie
The Middleman 1969 middleman / Guy Goddard "The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown"
2009 Gary Unmarried Larry "Seven"
Lightning Strikes Ted Bradly Television movie
2009–2010 Super Hero Squad Show Ka-Zar 2 episodes; Voice only
2009 Wolf Canyon Rick / Sheriff Wolf Television movie; Executive producer
2010 Hawaii Five-0 Carlton Bass "Ko'olauloa"
The Santa Suit Drake Hunter / Santa Claus Television movie
2011 Flesh Wounds Lt. Tyler Television movie
The Guild Himself "Social Traumas"
2012 Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 Himself "The Wedding"
Key & Peele Brad Episode #2.6[52]
Christmas Angel Dr. Nathan Davis Television movie
The Eric André Show Himself "The Eric André New Year's Eve Spooktacular"
2013 Shadow on the Mesa Ray Eastman Television movie
2017 Supergirl Lar Gand "Exodus", "Star-Crossed", "Distant Sun"

Video games[edit]

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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