Kevin Sorbo

Kevin David Sorbo[1] (born September 24, 1958) 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.

Kevin Sorbo
Sorbo speaking at Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest in December 2015
Born
Kevin David Sorbo

(1958-09-24) September 24, 1958
OccupationActor
Years active1984–present
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)
Sam Jenkins (m. 1998)
Children3
Websitekevinsorbo.net

Early life and education

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

Career

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".[4] He occasionally landed acting roles during this period with his first appearance 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 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 Fox Mulder in The X Files which went to David Duchovny.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] 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 mythical demigod Hercules in a series of five television films which aired as part of Universal Television's Action Pack. [12] The first film was Hercules and the Amazon Women which aired in April and the fifth film Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur aired in November. 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.[13] 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. Sorbo made his first of two appearances on Xena in the first season episode "Prometheus". 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 cancelled midway through the filming of Season Six of which only eight episodes were produced and the final episode aired in November 1999.[15] This was reportedly due to Sorbo declining to extend his contract to continue starring in the series for a further three years.[13] Sorbo would go on to make 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, he played his first leading film role in Kull the Conqueror (1997).[16] 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[17] despite being universally negatively reviewed by critics.[18] He starred in the Albert Pyun directed science fiction vampire film Tales of an Ancient Empire.[19]

He served as executive producer and star of the movie Abel's Field in 2012.[20] 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.[21]

Sorbo voiced one of the main protagonists, Prometheus, in the Wii video game The Conduit.[22] 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.[23]

Kevin also had a prominent role in the film Soul Surfer released in 2011.

In July 2013, Sorbo, along with his wife, Sam, provided voice over for characters in the video game Cloudberry Kingdom.[24] 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.[25] He also voiced Crusher in the Skylanders franchise and Retro Hercules in Smite.

In 2015 and 2016, Sorbo played wizard Gojun Pye in a series of five Mythica sword-and-sorcery fantasy movies.

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.[26] 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 film Let There Be Light.

Kevin Sorbo's career also includes voice over work with Breathe Bible.[27]

Health

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.[28][29] 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.[30] 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.[31] In his 2011 autobiography True Strength, Sorbo revealed the details of his injury and how his wife Sam helped him recover.[32]

Personal life

On January 5, 1998, Sorbo married actress Sam Jenkins, whom he met the previous year when she had a small recurring role on Hercules. They have three children: Braedon Cooper (born 2001), Shane Haaken (born 2004), and Octavia Flynn (born 2005).[33] 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.[34]

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.

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

Religious and political beliefs

Sorbo is a Christian and attends a nondenominational church.[36] 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."[37] Sorbo considers himself politically independent.[38] 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."[39]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1994Slaughter of the InnocentsJohn Willison
1997Kull the ConquerorKull
2004Clipping AdamFather Dan
2007Walking Tall: The PaybackNick PrescottDirect-to-video
2007Walking Tall: Lone JusticeNick PrescottDirect-to-video
2008Meet the SpartansCaptain
2008Prairie FeverPreston BiggsDirect-to-video
2008An American CarolGeorge Mulrooney
2009Fire From BelowJake Denning
2009Bitch SlapMr. Phoenix
2010What If...Ben Walker
2010Kings of MykonosPierluigi
2010Tales of an Ancient EmpireAedan
2010Pool Boy: Drowning Out the FurySal Bando
2010ParadoxSean Nault
2011Soul SurferHolt Blanchard
2011Julia XThe Stranger
2011Coffin
2012Abel's FieldAbelExecutive producer[40][41]
2012Sorority Party MassacreCaptain Dan Fanning
2013Paranormal MovieSecurity Guy
2013Storm RiderSam Fielding
2013Alone for ChristmasQuentinDirect-to-video
2014Alongside NightDr. Martin VreelandExecutive producer
2014SurvivorCaptain Hunter
2014The Black Rider: Revelation RoadHoncho
2014Coffee ShopProduzent
2014God's Not DeadProfessor Radison
2014Mythica: A Quest for HeroesGojun Pye
2015Confessions of a Prodigal SonFather
2015The Sparrows: NestingPastor Dave
2015Single in South BeachSam
2015Hope BridgePastor
2015Mythica: The DarksporeGojun Pye
2015Gallows RoadFrank
2015Mythica: The NecromancerGojun Pye
2016Caged No MoreRichard / Jack
2016Mythica: The Iron CrownGojun Pye
2016Rodeo GirlDuke Williams[42]
2016Mythica: The GodslayerGojun Pye
2016Spirit of the GameParley Condie
2017Let There Be LightDr. Sol Harkinsalso Director
2018Bernie The Dolphin
2019The Reliant[43]

Television

Year Title Role Notes
19881st & TenBarry"...The Clock Runs Out"
1991Santa BarbaraDelivery man
1992CheersUncredited"License to Hill"
1992Condition: CriticalDr. Thaddeus KocinskiTelevision movie
1993Murder, She WroteMichael Burke"A Virtual Murder"
1993The CommishMark"Dying Affection"
1994Hercules and the Amazon WomenHerculesTelevision movie
1994Hercules and the Lost KingdomHerculesTelevision movie
1994Hercules and the Circle of FireHerculesTelevision movie
1994Hercules in the UnderworldHerculesTelevision movie
1994Hercules in the Maze of the MinotaurHerculesTelevision movie
1995–1999Hercules: The Legendary JourneysHercules111 episodes; also Director for episodes #2.17 & #3.20
1995CybillRick"The Last Temptation of Cybill"
1995-2000Xena: Warrior PrincessHercules2 episodes (#1.8 "Prometheus", #5.12 "God Fearing Child")
1998Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount OlympusHerculesVoice only
1999Just Shoot Me!Scott"An Axe to Grind"
2000–2005AndromedaCaptain Dylan Hunt110 episodes; Executive producer
2001Dharma & GregCharlie4 episodes
2003According to JimDarryl Buckner"The Pass"
2004Hope & FaithKenny"Mismatch"
2005Love, Inc.Father John"Amen"
2006Two and a Half MenAndy"Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Burro"
2006Last Chance CaféChance CoulterTelevision movie
2006-2007The O.C.Frank Atwood7 episodes
2007Avenging AngelPreacherTelevision movie
2007PsychByrd Tatums"Bounty Hunters!"
2007Something BeneathFather Douglas MiddletonTelevision movie
2008Never Cry WerewolfRedd TuckerTelevision movie
2008The Middleman1969 middleman / Guy Goddard"The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown"
2009Gary UnmarriedLarry"Seven"
2009Lightning StrikesTed BradlyTelevision movie
2009-2010Super Hero Squad ShowKa-Zar2 episodes; Voice only
2009Wolf CanyonRick / Sheriff WolfTelevision movie; Executive producer
2010Hawaii Five-0Carlton Bass"Ko'olauloa"
2010The Santa SuitDrake Hunter / Santa ClausTelevision movie
2011Flesh WoundsLt. TylerTelevision movie
2011The GuildHimself"Social Traumas"
2012Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23Himself"The Wedding"
2012Key & PeeleBradEpisode #2.6[44]
2012Christmas AngelDr. Nathan DavisTelevision movie
2012The Eric André ShowHimself"The Eric André New Year's Eve Spooktacular"
2013Shadow on the MesaRay EastmanTelevision movie
2017SupergirlLar Gand, King of Daxam"Exodus", "Star-Crossed", "Distant Sun"

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2009The ConduitPrometheusVoice only
2010God of War IIIHerculesVoice only
2012Skylanders: GiantsCrusherVoice only
2013Skylanders: Swap ForceCrusherVoice only
Cloudberry KingdomBobVoice only
2014Skylanders: Trap TeamCrusherVoice only
2015SmiteHercules (Retro Skin)Voice only
Skylanders: SuperChargersCrusherVoice only
2016Skylanders: ImaginatorsCrusherVoice only

References

  1. "Kevin Sorbo". TV Guide. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  2. "Kevin Sorbo". AllMovie. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  3. "Once a kid... always a kid". KSJAA - Kevin Sorbo bio 1958-77. Russia: narod.ru.
  4. 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.
  5. "Filed Away (Features)". The Mirror. London, England. September 29, 1997. Archived from the original on September 24, 2018. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Abbie (March 21, 2016). "Kevin Sorbo – Interview". The Junction. WordPress. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  9. "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.
  10. "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?
  11. "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.
  12. 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.
  13. "Kevin Sorbo", The sci-fi world (interview).
  14. "Biography" (official website). Kevin Sorbo. Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  15. "Entertainment", The Los Angeles times, November 27, 1999.
  16. "Kull the Conqueror (1997)". New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  17. "Weekend Box Office Chart for January 25th, 2008". The Numbers. January 25, 2008. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  18. "Meet the Spartans". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  19. 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.
  20. "Abel's Field with Kevin Sorbo and Samuel Davis an Inspiring Movie – Christian Activities". christianactivities.com. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  21. "Celebrity Ghost Stories - Kevin Sorbo - Ghostly Bride". Bio.com. Youtube. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  22. "The Conduit Gets Hollywood Voice Talent". cinema blend. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  23. "God of War III Kevin Sorbo voice of Hercules". youtube.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  24. Conditt, Jessica (October 3, 2012). "Kevin Sorbo, Sam Sorbo, Martin Olson star in Cloudberry Kingdom". Joystiq. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  25. "'God's Not Dead' Actor Says Hollywood Is 'Waking Up' to Christian Films". christianpost.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  26. "Kevin Sorbo Talks About His Role on "Supergirl"". February 8, 2017.
  27. Kevin Sorbo, The Voice of God BreatheBible.com Retrieved September 18, 2017
  28. "Hercules Actor Kevin Sorbo's Miracle Healing – CBN TV – Video". Cbn.com. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  29. Gostin, Nicki (October 19, 2011). "Kevin Sorbo's 'True Strength': 'Hercules' Star Says Strokes Were Blessings In Disguise". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  30. Hammel, Sara (October 2, 2011). "Hercules Star Kevin Sorbo Reveals He's Had Several Strokes". People.com. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  31. Symons, Jane (February 28, 2012). "Kevin Sorbo: Three strokes left me fighting for my life". Daily Express. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  32. 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.
  33. "Sam Sorbo talks hubby Kevin Sorbo & True Strength: He truly is my hero". sorbowriter.wordpress.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  34. Graham, Efrem (August 27, 2015). "Kevin Sorbo Uses Faith to Make 'World Fit for Kids'". cbn.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  35. Holden, Stan,. Growing your business can be as fun as giving candy to strangers : tips for creating abundance through heart-centered sales. Las Vegas, Nevada. ISBN 9781629038575. OCLC 898087205.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  36. Vivaldo, Josephine (March 8, 2011). "Kevin Sorbo – Christian Hercules in Hollywood". Christian Post. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  37. Savitsky, Sasha (March 20, 2014). "Kevin Sorbo: Why is Hollywood so afraid of God?". Fox News. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  38. 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.
  39. "Kevin Sorbo On Why He Thinks Jesus Would Vote For Donald Trump". Fox News Insider. August 27, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  40. Abel's Field (DVD). 2012. Event occurs at Closing credits.
  41. Rolfe, Donna. "Abel's Field – Review". Dove Family Foundation. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  42. "Local OHS Grad Produces Hollywood Feature Film". Brian Harrington. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  43. Kevin Sorbo defends faith-based action film 'The Reliant,' says 'Hollywood doesn’t really owe me anything'
  44. ""Key and Peele" Episode #2.6 (TV Episode 2012)". Retrieved February 3, 2017.
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