Stelio Savante

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Stelio Savante
Stelio Savante.jpg
Born (1970-04-24) 24 April 1970 (age 48)
Cape Town, South Africa
Residence Los Angeles, California
Occupation Actor, Writer, Producer
Years active 1996–present

Stelio Savante (born April 24, 1970) is a South African born New York actor, producer, and writer living in the United States. He is a native English-speaker (Anglo-South African) and fluent in Afrikaans and Greek. In 2007 he became the first male South African born Screen Actors Guild nominee for his recurring role on Ugly Betty.

Early life[edit]

Savante was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. He graduated from Camps Bay High School in 1988 and relocated from South Africa to the United States when he was offered an international tennis scholarship by the University of West Alabama.[1] He relocated to New York City in 1992 to pursue an acting career.[2]

New York[edit]

His prime-time debut came in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as a BosnianMuslim fundamentalist. Directed by Academy Award winner Juan Jose Campanella the episode was also nominated for an Emmy.[3] Further television credits include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, a supporting role on The Sopranos, recurring roles on Guiding Light and All My Children, the role of Dan 'Schaffy' Schaffner in Jim Breuer's pilot for Pulp Comics on Comedy Central and the recurring role of Antonio on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Film credits include the comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend, a scene in Ron Howard's Academy Award winner A Beautiful Mind, and a supporting role in the independent Greek-American film Astoria, which won awards at the RiverRun International Film Festival and Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where it premiered.[citation needed]

In 2004, he was cast in the lead role of Ecuadorian photographer Bolivar Arellano in Sarah Tuft's 9/11 celebrity benefit performances of 110 Stories at the Joseph Papp Public Theater. Savante considers this one of his breakthrough roles.[4][5] To commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the tragedy Stelio also produced and performed 110 Stories Celebrity Benefit Performances with Samuel L. Jackson and Melissa Leo.[5] at the Skirball Center for The Performing Arts at NYU. It was directed by Gregory Mosher.[6][7] Savante describes 110 Stories as a chance to give people closure about the attacks;[8] he was in New York City at the time of the attacks, and cites that as a reason why he produces the play.[9]

Theater credits also include lead roles in the American premiers of Arnie Sieren's award winning Belgian play, My Blackie, Belgian playwright Jean-Yves Picq's The Case Of Kaspar Meyer, German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig's Arabian Night directed by Trip Cullman, Dan Gordon's Murder in the First directed by American Theatre Wing alumni Michael Parva, Jonathan Leaf's Pushkin, Worm Day directed by Actors Studio member Nick Efteriades at the celebrated Actors Studio and Mortal Coils directed by Actors Studio lifetime member Ed Setrakian.

Los Angeles[edit]

In 2006, he relocated to Los Angeles for recurring role of Steve (see List of Ugly Betty characters) on the prime-time network series, Ugly Betty, produced by Salma Hayek.[4] Stelio appeared in eight episodes and received a Screen Actor's Guild nomination along with the lead ensemble cast in 2007.[10]

Los Angeles television credits also include a recurring role on My Own Worst Enemy, guest star lead roles in J. J. Abrams' Undercovers, The Suite Life on Deck, Person of Interest, Without a Trace, Breakout Kings, and NCIS. He portrayed Joe Masseria in the eight part mini-series The Making of the Mob: New York for AMC and David Sarnoff in American Genius for National Geographic.[11]

He received positive reviews for his role in the feature A Million Colours,[12][13][14] which played at the Montreal World Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, Atlantic Film Festival, AFI: New African Films Festival and became the first foreign film to ever open the Hollywood Black Film Festival in 2011, and was also awarded two South African Film and Television Awards.

Film credits include an ensemble lead role in Sony Pictures Entertainment Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, and Corrado, Finding Hope Now, a supporting role in Mark Freiburger's drama Jimmy, a supporting role in Movieguide award winner What If, and a lead role in Rudolf Buitendach's Where The Road Runs Out, the first feature to ever be filmed in Equatorial Guinea.[15] Where The Road Runs Out won awards for Best Narrative Feature, the U-T San Diego Award at the 2014 San Diego Film Festival and a Black Reel Award for Outstanding World Cinema in 2017.[16]

In 2010, he also produced and performed the Los Angeles theater debut of 110 Stories Celebrity Benefit Performances at the Geffen Playhouse,[7] with John Hawkes and Ed Asner directed by Mark Freiburger.[17] All proceeds were donated to the Red Cross Los Angeles as aid to Haiti in the aftermath of their earthquake. In 2013, he produced and performed 110 Stories at Ebony Rep in Los Angeles.[18] The proceeds were donated to Operation Gratitude. And again he produced and performed 110 Stories opposite Robert Forster and Mira Sorvino directed by his acting teacher Bill Alderson in 2016.[citation needed]

Stelio also starred in Peter Greenaway's new film Eisenstein in Guanajuato nominated for the Golden Bear at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival ,[8] the independent film Pacific Standard Time, the new HBO series Togetherness directed by Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass, and co starred and produced the sex trafficking film Selling Isobel' winner of the 'Indie Award' at the 2016 Raindance Film Festival

Additional Credits[edit]

His screenplay Trust in Her, co written with Nick Efteriades, is currently in development. Stelio also serves as producer and star. Trust in Her follows the lives of three very different men, whose respective relationships are coming undone, and find their destinies converging on one fateful night in New York City.[19] As playwright, his one-act play Venom was produced Off Broadway and nominated as a finalist for Samuel French's Love Creek festival.[20]

Video game credits include: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Mass Effect 2, Army of Two: The 40th Day, a role in the live-action simulated video game Red Alert 3, and Midnight Club.

Personal life[edit]

Savante was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2010 and has become a vocal advocate for other sufferers. He stated that the disease attacked his organs, including his liver.[21]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Work Outcome
2007 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Ugly Betty Nominated
2014 San Diego Film Festival Best Narrative Feature (shared with Rudolf Buitendach) Where The Road Runs Out Won
2015 The Short Film Awards SOFIE Award Best Actor in a Short Film Once We Were Slaves Won
2015 American Movie Award Best Actor Once We Were Slaves Won
2015 Indie Fest Leading Actor Merit Award Once We Were Slaves Won
2015 Bare Bones International Film Festival Best Actor in a Short Film Once We Were Slaves Nominated

Selected filmography[edit]

Project Role Year Notes
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Shoreline Mercenary 2017 Video Game
Windsor Pierre Gandy 2015
American Genius David Sarnoff 2015
Togetherness Yanni 2015 Episode
Eisenstein in Guanajuato Hunter S. Kimbrough 2015
The Making of the Mob: New York Joe Masseria 2015 2 episodes
Once We Were Slaves Demas 2014
Pacific Standard Time Marius Roos 2014
Person Of Interest Aris Zappo 2014 1 Episode
Jimmy Mr. Laney 2013
Selling Isobel Alfonso 2013
The Secret Village Joe 2013
Awakened Benny 2013
Where the Road Runs Out Martin 2012
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Nigerian Mercenary, Additional Voices 2012 Video Game
Breakout Kings Malko 2012 1 Episode: "Double Down"
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Indian Ocean Pirates, Various 2011 Video Game
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Russian Conscript 2011 Video Game
A Million Colours Major Shawn Dixon 2011
Undercovers Hollis Kruger 2010 1 Episode: "Instructions"
Mass Effect 2 Kasumi 2010 Video Game
Stolen Memory DLC
Army of Two: The 40th Day Russian Elite, Russian Grunt, SA Guard, SA Elite, SA Grunt 2010 Video Game
A Million Colours Major Shawn Dixon 2010 Worldwide Release
The Suite Life on Deck Stefan 2010 1 episode: "Breakup In Paris"
What If... Joel 2010 Worldwide Release
Finding Hope Now Rueben 2010
Red Alert 3: Uprising Sergei 2009 Video Game
Without a Trace Dimitri Melvychenko 2009 1 Episode: "Heartbeats"
My Own Worst Enemy: Conspiracy Theory Oliver Chelovich/John Bentley 2008 2 Episodes
Corrado Antonio 2008 Worldwide Release
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Sergei 2008 Video Game
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Bull Brittles 2008 Video
NCIS Danny Coyle 2007 1 Episode: "Requiem"
Ugly Betty Steve 2007 Recurring
8 Episodes
My Super Ex Girlfriend Leo 2006 Worldwide Release
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Phil Bartoli 2005 1 Episode: "Unchained"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Milan Zergin 2005 1 Episode: "Night"
All My Children Guard Berger 2003 7 Episodes
Midnight Club II Primo 2003 Video Game
A Beautiful Mind Lab Technician 2001 Worldwide Release
Astoria Nick 2000 US & Greece Theatrical
The Sopranos Gaetano Giarizzio 2000 1 Episode: "Full Leather Jacket"
Guiding Light Mr Black 2000 2 Episodes
Pulp Comics: The Jim Breuer Show Dan Schaffner 1998 1 Episode
Close Up Frankie 1996
Late Night with Conan O'Brien Antonio 1995-1996 2 Episodes


  1. ^ "Savante Stelio's himself for big break . . .(Entertainment)". Daily News. Durban. 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2014-07-20.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  2. ^ "SA-born actor Savante having a smashing time in Tinseltown". The Star. Gauteng. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2014-07-20.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  3. ^ Molosankwe, Botho (2012-02-21). "Actor courts a career on big screen". Independent Online. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  4. ^ a b Ottermann, Birgit (2007-07-17). "Ugly Betty with a Stelio twist". News24. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  5. ^ a b Gans, Andrew (2011-09-08). "Benefit Reading of 110 Stories, With Billy Crudup, Samuel L. Jackson, Kathleen Turner, Presented Sept. 8-9". Playbill. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  6. ^ Gans, Andrew (2011-09-08). "Benefit Reading of 110 Stories, With Billy Crudup, Samuel L. Jackson, Kathleen Turner, Presented Sept. 8-9". Playbill. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  7. ^ a b Fleming, Mike (2011-07-22). "Stars Turn Out For 9/11 Reading". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  8. ^ a b "The HeyUGuys Interview: Stelio Savante on Peter Greenaway's Eisenstein, and his career". 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  9. ^ "110 Stories' Steven Bauer, Stelio Savante, Diane Venora, Rudolf Buitendach, Sarah Tuft Reflect on September 11". Playbill. 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  10. ^ "The 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  11. ^ Gary, Collinson (2015-05-29). "FLICKERING MYTH INTERVIEW: Interview: Stelio Savante talks about The Making of the Mob and American Genius". [1]. Retrieved 2015-06-20.  External link in |work= (help)
  12. ^ "SPL!NG Movie Review: A Million Colours". Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  13. ^ "Hey You Guys Movie Review: A Million Colours Review". Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  14. ^ "True Colours Movie Review: A Million Colours Review". Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  15. ^ "Capetonian Actor Headlines History-Making African Film". Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  16. ^ "Equatorial Guinea-Set 'Where The Road Runs Out' Dominates San Diego Film Festival Awards". Retrieved 2014-09-29. 
  17. ^ "110 Stories Commemorates the 10th Anniversary of 9/11". Yahoo! Shine. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  18. ^ "110 Stories' Steven Bauer, Stelio Savante, Diane Venora, Rudolf Buitendach, Sarah Tuft Reflect on September 11". Playbill. 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  19. ^ "Stelio Savante to shoot A Million Colours". 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  20. ^ "SA actor signs with Hollywood manager". 2014-06-14. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  21. ^ "An Interview with Stelio Savante". GlutenFreeAmerica. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 

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