An American actor well-known for portraying good-looking, square-jawed action heroes on television, Kevin Sorbo rose to international prominence as Hercules on the successful syndicated series “Hercules: the Legendary Journeys” (1995-1999), which has spawned five made-for-TV films and a mega booming spin-off titled “Xena: Warrior Princess” (1995-2001), in which Sorbo also re-created his coveted role for two episodes. Prior to his TV success, Sorbo spent 3 years traveling around the world modeling for print ads and appearing in more than 150 commercials. Following the demise of “Hercules,” the long-limbed actor enjoyed another TV success with his role as Captain Dylan Hunt in another booming syndicated series, “Andromeda” (2000-2005), from which he picked up a Saturn nomination. Sorbo also has acted in movies and TV films, as well as guest starred in several TV series.
Recently appearing in the spoof “Meet the Spartans,” Sorbo is set to star in the films “Fire from Below” (2008) and “Sleeping with the Lion” (2009).
As for his personal life, Sorbo has been married to his actress wife, Sam Jenkins, since 1998. The couple has three kids, Braedon (born in 2001), Shane (born in 2004) and Octavia (born in 2005). His love life was also once linked to Erin Dodson (together from 1993 to 1995). Sorbo is the spokesperson and president of “AWFFK! A World Fit For Kids!” a non-profit organization that trains teenagers to become mentors to younger children. When asked why he is involved with the organization, he answered, “I have been their spokesperson for six years. They came to me. I was looking to do something with kids. A lot of great charities help kids with illnesses, but there are so many kids who need help of a different variety. Kids are looking for a place to belong. I loved school. I thought it was great and sports were my haven. They kept me out of trouble and that is what we do with kids. We help inner-city kids become mentors to younger kids, this way it gives them responsibility and offers (the kids) people who care.”
In 1997, Sorbo underwent drug therapy for a cardiovascular disease in his left shoulder. Compilations resulted from the medications and prevented him from appearing in the 1998 film “Black Dog.”
Childhood and Family:
Kevin David Sorbo was born in Mound, Minnesota, on September 24, 1958, to Lynn Sorbo and Ardis Sorbo. He has an older brother named Al Sorbo (born in 1952). In high school, Kevin excelled in basketball, football and baseball and got the nickname “The Sorbs” there. He went on to play these three sports in college, in addition to hockey and weight lifting. There, Kevin also became the center of attention thanks to his handsomeness and athletic prowess. In the late 1970s, Kevin, who had secretly wanted to study drama, left his marketing and advertising studies at the Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota, to chase his acting dream by joining a theater group in Dallas. After traveling to Europe and then to Australia, he settled in Los Angeles, California, at the end of 1986.
On January 5, 1998, Kevin married actress Sam Jenkins (born on October 18, 1966). His wife gave birth to their first child, son Braedon Cooper Sorbo, on August 22, 2001.Three years later, their second son, Shane Haaken Sorbo, was born on March 31, 2004. The couple welcomed a baby girl named Octavia Flynn Sorbo on October 16, 2005.
Kevin Sorbo was already working steadily as a commercial and print model by the time he was in his junior year of college. After leaving his studies, he joined a theater group in Dallas and then moved to Europe, in which he appeared in a number of TV commercials. He went on to book numerous TV ads following his relocation to Hollywood in late 1986 and soon emerged as a noticeable commodity on Madison Avenue. Some of the commercials and print ads he worked in included ones for BMW, Jim Beam, Budweiser, Lexus, Diet Coke, and many others.
Unhappy of becoming “just another pretty face,” Sorbo attended acting classes in Los Angeles and began auditioning. His hard work paid off in 1992 when Sorbo was hired to star in a nationally broadcast public service announcement for heterosexual H.I.V. Awareness. The 30-second announcement became an instant hit and was cited with helping motivate heterosexual awareness of the disease. Later that same year, he was cast in the costarring role of Dr. Thaddeus Kocinski in the NBC TV film “Condition Critical.” He followed it up with guest spots in such TV series as “Murder, She Wrote” and “The Commish” (both 1993).
Sorbo received his big breakthrough when he won the starring role of the all-powerful son of Zeus, Hercules, on the successful five two-hour TV films in 1994 that paved the way for the launch of the 1995 weekly one-hour series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.” Debuting on January 16, 1995, the series was a hit. The show's popularity in many different countries subsequently propelled Sorbo to international stardom. He stayed with the action series until 1999 when it ended. The actor also directed two episodes of the show and co-wrote one installment. Sorbo reprised his coveted role as Hercules on two episodes of the mega hit spin-off show “Xena: Warrior Princess” (1995, 2000) and provided the voice of Hercules in the animated TV film “Hercules and Xena - The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus” (1998).
In the height of his success as Hercules, Sorbo made his feature film debut in Universal Studio's “Kull the Conqueror” (1997), a prequel to “Conan the Barbarian.” Reportedly, he received a seven-figure salary to star in the action/adventure film directed by John Nicolella. Among his costars in the movie were Tia Carrere, Thomas Ian Griffith, Roy Brocksmith, Harvey Fierstein and Karina Lombard. He also made guest appearances in such popular TV sitcoms as “Cybill” (1995), “Sin City Spectacular” (1998) and “Just Shoot Me!” (1999).
After the cancellation of “Hercules,” Sorbo starred as the sturdy Captain Dylan Hunt in the syndicated science-fiction/drama series “Andromeda,” which ran for five seasons from 2000 to 2005. Created by Gene Roddenberry, it was the story of a starship and its crew. For his fine acting, he was nominated for a Saturn in 2001 for Best Actor on Television.
Sorbo also had a recurring role as Charlie in several episodes of the sitcom “Dharma & Greg” (2001), portrayed a priest named Dan in the independent film “Clipping Adam” (2004), a project by first-time director Michael Picchiottino, and starred as Bobby Cannon on the comedy-sport television film of the same name (2005), directed and written by Barry Kemp. Next, Sorbo costarred with Kate Vernon and Jessica Amlee in the television movie “Last Chance Cafe” (2006), adapted from a novel by Linda Lael Miller. At the end of year, he joined the cast of the hit drama series “The O.C” in its final season in the recurring role of Frank Atwood.
In 2007, Sorbo could be seen starring as Nick Prescott in the direct-to-video movie “Walking Tall: The Payback” and the installment “Walking Tall: 3.” He also portrayed Father Douglas Middleton in the sci-fi made-for-TV film “Something Beneath” (2007), opposite Natalie Brown, and starred as a preacher-turned-bounty hunter in the Hallmark Channel film “Avenging Angel” (2007), costarring with his wife, Sam. On September 14, 2007, he appeared as Byrd Tatums in the “Psych” episode of “Bounty Hunters!”
Recently, the 50-year-old performer appeared as a captain in the parody “Meet the Spartans” (2008), jointly written and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. He will star as Jake Denning in the upcoming adventure film “Fire from Below” (2008) and play leads in the new direct-to-video films “Prairie Fever (2008, as Sheriff Preston Biggs) and “The House Next Door” (2008, as Reed). Currently, Sorbo is in negotiations to portray Wiley York in the 2009 thriller movie “Sleeping with the Lion,” by director Rocky Capella and writer Rick Stone.