Kevin David Sorbo (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.
Sorbo speaking at Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest in December 2015
Kevin David Sorbo
September 24, 1958
Mound, Minnesota, U.S.
Sam Jenkins (m. 1998)
Early life and education
Sorbo was born in Mound, Minnesota, on September 24, 1958. He is of Norwegian descent. 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.
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". 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. This was reportedly due to Sorbo declining to extend his contract to continue starring in the series for a further three years. 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). 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 despite being universally negatively reviewed by critics. He starred in the Albert Pyun directed science fiction vampire film Tales of an Ancient Empire.
He served as executive producer and star of the movie Abel's Field in 2012. 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.
Sorbo voiced one of the main protagonists, Prometheus, in the Wii video game The Conduit. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. In his 2011 autobiography True Strength, Sorbo revealed the details of his injury and how his wife Sam helped him recover.
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). 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.
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.
Religious and political beliefs
Sorbo is a Christian and attends a nondenominational church. 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." Sorbo considers himself politically independent. 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."
|1994||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|
|2007||Walking Tall: Lone Justice||Nick Prescott||Direct-to-video|
|2008||Meet the Spartans||Captain|
|2008||Prairie Fever||Preston Biggs||Direct-to-video|
|2008||An American Carol||George Mulrooney|
|2009||Fire From Below||Jake Denning|
|2009||Bitch Slap||Mr. Phoenix|
|2010||What If...||Ben Walker|
|2010||Kings of Mykonos||Pierluigi|
|2010||Tales of an Ancient Empire||Aedan|
|2010||Pool Boy: Drowning Out the Fury||Sal Bando|
|2011||Soul Surfer||Holt Blanchard|
|2011||Julia X||The Stranger|
|2012||Abel's Field||Abel||Executive producer|
|2012||Sorority Party Massacre||Captain Dan Fanning|
|2013||Paranormal Movie||Security Guy|
|2013||Storm Rider||Sam Fielding|
|2013||Alone for Christmas||Quentin||Direct-to-video|
|2014||Alongside Night||Dr. Martin Vreeland||Executive producer|
|2014||The Black Rider: Revelation Road||Honcho|
|2014||God's Not Dead||Professor Radison|
|2014||Mythica: A Quest for Heroes||Gojun Pye|
|2015||Confessions of a Prodigal Son||Father|
|2015||The Sparrows: Nesting||Pastor Dave|
|2015||Single in South Beach||Sam|
|2015||Mythica: The Darkspore||Gojun Pye|
|2015||Mythica: The Necromancer||Gojun Pye|
|2016||Caged No More||Richard / Jack|
|2016||Mythica: The Iron Crown||Gojun Pye|
|2016||Rodeo Girl||Duke Williams|
|2016||Mythica: The Godslayer||Gojun Pye|
|2016||Spirit of the Game||Parley Condie|
|2017||Let There Be Light||Dr. Sol Harkins||also Director|
|2018||Bernie The Dolphin|
|1988||1st & Ten||Barry||"...The Clock Runs Out"|
|1991||Santa Barbara||Delivery man|
|1992||Cheers||Uncredited||"License to Hill"|
|1992||Condition: Critical||Dr. Thaddeus Kocinski||Television movie|
|1993||Murder, She Wrote||Michael Burke||"A Virtual Murder"|
|1993||The Commish||Mark||"Dying Affection"|
|1994||Hercules and the Amazon Women||Hercules||Television movie|
|1994||Hercules and the Lost Kingdom||Hercules||Television movie|
|1994||Hercules and the Circle of Fire||Hercules||Television movie|
|1994||Hercules in the Underworld||Hercules||Television movie|
|1994||Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur||Hercules||Television movie|
|1995–1999||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys||Hercules||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||Hercules||Voice only|
|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"|
|2006||Last Chance Café||Chance Coulter||Television movie|
|2006-2007||The O.C.||Frank Atwood||7 episodes|
|2007||Avenging Angel||Preacher||Television movie|
|2007||Psych||Byrd Tatums||"Bounty Hunters!"|
|2007||Something Beneath||Father Douglas Middleton||Television movie|
|2008||Never Cry Werewolf||Redd Tucker||Television movie|
|2008||The Middleman||1969 middleman / Guy Goddard||"The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown"|
|2009||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"|
|2010||The Santa Suit||Drake Hunter / Santa Claus||Television movie|
|2011||Flesh Wounds||Lt. Tyler||Television movie|
|2011||The Guild||Himself||"Social Traumas"|
|2012||Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23||Himself||"The Wedding"|
|2012||Key & Peele||Brad||Episode #2.6|
|2012||Christmas Angel||Dr. Nathan Davis||Television movie|
|2012||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, King of Daxam||"Exodus", "Star-Crossed", "Distant Sun"|
|2009||The Conduit||Prometheus||Voice only|
|2010||God of War III||Hercules||Voice only|
|2012||Skylanders: Giants||Crusher||Voice only|
|2013||Skylanders: Swap Force||Crusher||Voice only|
|Cloudberry Kingdom||Bob||Voice only|
|2014||Skylanders: Trap Team||Crusher||Voice only|
|2015||Smite||Hercules (Retro Skin)||Voice only|
|Skylanders: SuperChargers||Crusher||Voice only|
|2016||Skylanders: Imaginators||Crusher||Voice only|
- "Kevin Sorbo". TV Guide. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- "Kevin Sorbo". AllMovie. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- "Once a kid... always a kid". KSJAA - Kevin Sorbo bio 1958-77. Russia: narod.ru.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Abbie (March 21, 2016). "Kevin Sorbo – Interview". The Junction. WordPress. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
- "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.
- "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?
- "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.
- 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.
- "Kevin Sorbo", The sci-fi world (interview).
- "Biography" (official website). Kevin Sorbo. Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- "Entertainment", The Los Angeles times, November 27, 1999.
- "Kull the Conqueror (1997)". New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- "Weekend Box Office Chart for January 25th, 2008". The Numbers. January 25, 2008. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- "Meet the Spartans". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- 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.
- "Abel's Field with Kevin Sorbo and Samuel Davis an Inspiring Movie – Christian Activities". christianactivities.com. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Celebrity Ghost Stories - Kevin Sorbo - Ghostly Bride". Bio.com. Youtube. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- "The Conduit Gets Hollywood Voice Talent". cinema blend. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- "God of War III Kevin Sorbo voice of Hercules". youtube.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- Conditt, Jessica (October 3, 2012). "Kevin Sorbo, Sam Sorbo, Martin Olson star in Cloudberry Kingdom". Joystiq. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
- "'God's Not Dead' Actor Says Hollywood Is 'Waking Up' to Christian Films". christianpost.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- "Kevin Sorbo Talks About His Role on "Supergirl"". February 8, 2017.
- Kevin Sorbo, The Voice of God BreatheBible.com Retrieved September 18, 2017
- "Hercules Actor Kevin Sorbo's Miracle Healing – CBN TV – Video". Cbn.com. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- Gostin, Nicki (October 19, 2011). "Kevin Sorbo's 'True Strength': 'Hercules' Star Says Strokes Were Blessings In Disguise". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Hammel, Sara (October 2, 2011). "Hercules Star Kevin Sorbo Reveals He's Had Several Strokes". People.com. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- Symons, Jane (February 28, 2012). "Kevin Sorbo: Three strokes left me fighting for my life". Daily Express. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- 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.
- "Sam Sorbo talks hubby Kevin Sorbo & True Strength: He truly is my hero". sorbowriter.wordpress.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- Graham, Efrem (August 27, 2015). "Kevin Sorbo Uses Faith to Make 'World Fit for Kids'". cbn.com. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- 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)
- Vivaldo, Josephine (March 8, 2011). "Kevin Sorbo – Christian Hercules in Hollywood". Christian Post. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- Savitsky, Sasha (March 20, 2014). "Kevin Sorbo: Why is Hollywood so afraid of God?". Fox News. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- 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.
- "Kevin Sorbo On Why He Thinks Jesus Would Vote For Donald Trump". Fox News Insider. August 27, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- Abel's Field (DVD). 2012. Event occurs at Closing credits.
- Rolfe, Donna. "Abel's Field – Review". Dove Family Foundation. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- "Local OHS Grad Produces Hollywood Feature Film". Brian Harrington. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
- Kevin Sorbo defends faith-based action film 'The Reliant,' says 'Hollywood doesn’t really owe me anything'
- ""Key and Peele" Episode #2.6 (TV Episode 2012)". Retrieved February 3, 2017.
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