Stelio Savante

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Stelio Savante
Stelio Savante.jpg
Born (1970-04-24) 24 April 1970 (age 48)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
OccupationActor, Writer, Producer
Years active1996–present

Stelio Savante (born April 24, 1970) is a South African born New York actor. In 2007 he became the first male South African born Screen Actors Guild award nominee for his recurring role on Ugly Betty and also won best actor at the American Movie Awards in 2015 for his lead role in The Two Thieves.

Early life[edit]

Savante was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa to a Greek father and a South African born Scottish-Irish and English-Lithuanian mother. His grandfather was a racing driver who placed and won medals at the 1955 Monte Carlo Rally. [1]Fluent in Afrikaans and Greek, he graduated from Camps Bay High School, immigrated from South Africa to the United States when he was offered an international tennis scholarship by the University of West Alabama[2] and relocated again to New York City in 1992 to pursue an acting career.[3]

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.[4] Further television credits include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Sopranos, Guiding Light, All My Children, as Dan 'Schaffy' Schaffner in Jim Breuer's pilot for Pulp Comics on Comedy Central and recurring as Antonio on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Film credits include the comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Ron Howard's Academy Award winner A Beautiful Mind, and 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.[5][6] 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.[6] at the Skirball Center for The Performing Arts at NYU. It was directed by Gregory Mosher.[7][8] Savante describes 110 Stories as a chance to give people closure about the attacks;[9] he was in New York City at the time of the attacks, and cites that as a reason why he produces the play.[10]

Theater credits include lead roles in the American and New York 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, and Mortal Coils directed by Actors Studio lifetime member Ed Setrakian.

Los Angeles[edit]

Relocated to Los Angeles in 2006 for recurring role of Steve (see List of Ugly Betty characters) on Ugly Betty, produced by Salma Hayek.[5] Received a Screen Actor's Guild nomination along with the lead ensemble cast in 2007.[11]

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. 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.[12]

Received positive reviews for his role in the feature A Million Colours,[13][14][15] which screened at the Montreal World Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, Atlantic Film Festival, AFI: New African Films Festival, and was also awarded two South African Film and Television Awards.

Film credits include Sony Pictures Entertainment Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, Corrado, Finding Hope Now, 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.[16] 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.[17]

In 2010, he also produced and performed the Los Angeles theater debut of 110 Stories Celebrity Benefit Performances at the Geffen Playhouse,[8] with John Hawkes and Ed Asner directed by Mark Freiburger.[18] 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.[19] 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]

Starred in Peter Greenaway's Eisenstein in Guanajuato nominated for the Golden Bear at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival ,[9] the independent film Pacific Standard Time, 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. Recently starred directly opposite Matt Dillon in Running for Grace directed by David L. Cunningham, and opposite Michael Beach in the romantic comedy No Postage Necessary. Voiced the role of Ajax in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Additional Credits[edit]

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. He was later also diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. [21] [22]

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
2018 Manhattan Film Festival Best Comedic Drama Feature Avalanche Won
2016 Philadelphia Independent Film Festival Best Actor Once We Were Slaves Nominated
2015 Berlin International Film Festival Teddy Ballot Volkswagen Audience Award Eisenstein in Guanajuato 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 Bare Bones International Film Festival Best Actor in a Short Film Once We Were Slaves Nominated

Selected filmography[edit]

Project Role Year Notes
Running for Grace Mayor 2018
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Ajax 2018 Video Game
No Postage Necessary Agent Ames 2018
Arrested Development Gator 2018 Episode
Death House Dr Roos 2018
The Haves and the Have Nots Dino Malone 2018 Episode
Odious Eddie 2017
Blood In The Water Marius Roos 2017
Army Dog Sheriff Bill 2017
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Shoreline Mercenary 2017 Video Game
Windsor Pierre Gandy 2017
Cassidy Way Truck Driver 2016
Apartment 407 Alfonso 2016
Pronoia Jeff 2016
Media Howard Boston 2016 Television Movie
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Shoreline Mercenary 2016 Video Game
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Villain Sniper 2016 Video Game
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. ^
  2. ^ "Savante Stelio's himself for big break . . .(Entertainment)". Daily News. Durban. 2010-04-08. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2014-07-20. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  3. ^ "SA-born actor Savante having a smashing time in Tinseltown". The Star. Gauteng. 2012-02-21. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-07-20. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  4. ^ Molosankwe, Botho (2012-02-21). "Actor courts a career on big screen". Independent Online. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  5. ^ a b Ottermann, Birgit (2007-07-17). "Ugly Betty with a Stelio twist". News24. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b Fleming, Mike (2011-07-22). "Stars Turn Out For 9/11 Reading". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  9. ^ a b "The HeyUGuys Interview: Stelio Savante on Peter Greenaway's Eisenstein, and his career". 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  10. ^ "110 Stories' Steven Bauer, Stelio Savante, Diane Venora, Rudolf Buitendach, Sarah Tuft Reflect on September 11". Playbill. 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  11. ^ "The 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ "SPL!NG Movie Review: A Million Colours". Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  14. ^ "Hey You Guys Movie Review: A Million Colours Review". Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  15. ^ "True Colours Movie Review: A Million Colours Review". Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  16. ^ "Capetonian Actor Headlines History-Making African Film". Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  17. ^ "Equatorial Guinea-Set 'Where The Road Runs Out' Dominates San Diego Film Festival Awards". Retrieved 2014-09-29.
  18. ^ "110 Stories Commemorates the 10th Anniversary of 9/11". Yahoo! Shine. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  19. ^ "110 Stories' Steven Bauer, Stelio Savante, Diane Venora, Rudolf Buitendach, Sarah Tuft Reflect on September 11". Playbill. 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  20. ^ "SA actor signs with Hollywood manager". 2014-06-14. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "An Interview with Stelio Savante". GlutenFreeAmerica. Retrieved 2014-07-20.

External links[edit]