Kevin David Sorbo
September 24, 1958
Mound, Minnesota, U.S.
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 is also known for acting in the Christian drama films God's Not Dead and Let There Be Light.
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 traveled around Europe and Australia working in television commercials and worked in over 150 commercials by the early 1990s. One of the 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 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. 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 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.
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. 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 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.
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. They have three children: Braeden 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 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.
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. He also received the 2013 Inspiration Honors Award from the Invisible Disabilities Association.
Religious and political beliefs
Sorbo is a Christian and attends a nondenominational church, though he grew up as a Lutheran. Sorbo believes that his religious views have caused certain restrictions in Hollywood productions, stating, "There's a negativity towards Christians in Hollywood, and a negativity towards people who believe in God."
Sorbo has said he voted for Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He is a supporter of Donald Trump and is a proponent of the disproven conspiracy theory that the 2021 attack on the United States Capitol by Trump supporters was instead perpetrated by liberals.
In 2014, in an interview with Jerry Newcombe on the radio show "Vocal Point", he 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!" Sorbo later stated he could have rephrased his statements, but defended his stance.
|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|
|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||Wog Boy 2: 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|
|2012||FDR: American Badass!||Abraham Lincoln|
|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 Jeffrey Radisson|
|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||Director|
|2018||Bernie the Dolphin|
|2019||Miracle in East Texas||Doc Boyd||Director|
|2021||The Girl Who Believes in Miracles||Dr. David Riley|
|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|
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You were previously up to play roles like Superman and Mulder in The X-Files before your Hercules days.
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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.
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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?
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I was one of many who were being considered for Fox Mulder, so that wasn't such a disappointment.
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