PROFILE
Name:
Robert Torti
Birth Date:
October 22, 1961
Birth Place:
Van Nuys, California, USA
Nationality:
American
BIOGRAPHY
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Greaseball

Background:

Tony Award-nominated actor Robert Torti garnered rave reviews for portraying Greaseball, an arrogant diesel locomotive, in the original production of “Starlight Express” (1987) on Broadway. He also received applause for his performance as Jack and Jesus in the musical "Reefer Madness" and as Jesus again on another musical, "Godspell."

On the big screen, the 6' 1” performer could be seen in the films "That Thing You Do," (1996), "Hey Arnold! The Movie" (2002; voices), "Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical" (2005), "She's the Man" (2006), and "The Game Plan" (2007). Next, he will provide his voice for an upcoming computer animated film titled "Foodfight!"

Meanwhile, TV viewers could catch him on such shows as "Vinnie & Bobby," "Melrose Place," "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Clueless," "The Drew Carey Show" and "The Young and the Restless." He now plays Kurt, the father of identical twins (played by Cole and Dylan Sprouse), on Disney Channel's Emmy-nominated children's sitcom "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" (2005-Present).


California Native

Childhood and Family:

In Van Nuys, California, Robert Felix Torti was born on October 22, 1961. He married actress DeLee Lively on June 24, 1999, and they have three children together, two of whom are named Zachary and Ashlee.


Starlight Express

Career:

In 1981, Robert Torti made his television debut with a guest spot in an episode of NBC's one-hour dramatic TV series “Little House on the Prairie.” Three years later, he made his big screen debut with a starring role in the independent film “Alley Cat” (1984), directed by Eduardo Palmos, Victor Ordonez and Al Valletta.

Torti's stage work received positive reviews in 1987 when he was nominated for that year's Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Musical) for portraying Greaseball, an arrogant diesel locomotive who bears a strong resemblance to Elvis Presley, in the original production of “Starlight Express” on Broadway. Meanwhile, he played a small part as a burglar in Nigel Dick's crime/thriller film “P.I. Private Investigations” (1987), starring Clayton Rohner.

During the rest of the 1980s, Torti guest starred in an episode of NBC’s sitcom "Family Ties," NBC/ABC’s mystery series "Father Dowling Mysteries" and NBC’s sci-fi series "Quantum Leap." He also starred as Lt. Kyle Masters on NBC’s soap opera "Generations," alongside Lynn Hamilton, Vivica A. Fox, Kristoff St. John and Kelly Rutherford.

After appearing in an episode of the syndicated sci-fi teen comedy series "Out of This World" and the sitcom "Top of the Heap" (a spin-off with characters from the "Married...with Children" series), Torti landed a starring role as Bobby in the sitcom "Vinnie & Bobby" (1992), a re-tooled continuation of the "Top of the Heap" TV series in which he shared top billing with Matt LeBlanc. Meanwhile, he could be seen in an episode of CBS' popular, long-running television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury "Murder, She Wrote," NBC's award-winning, popular sitcom starring Will Smith, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," and CBS' detective series "South of Sunset."

In 1993, Torti played Charles Van Dieter in multiple episodes of NBC/SOAPnet's weekday series "Days of our Lives" and played Jim Stone in two episodes of Fox's primetime soap opera "Melrose Place" in 1995. He also joined the cast of ABC's long-running sitcom "The Drew Carey Show" from 1995 to 2001.

Meanwhile, Torti was cast as Freddy Frederickson in the Oscar-nominated musical film "That Thing You Do" (1996), which was written, directed and starred in by Tom Hanks. Following his appearance in the pilot episode of CBS' drama series "The Guardian," he guest starred in an episode of the syndicated TV series based on the hit feature film of the same name, "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show," as well as in several episodes of Fox's primetime television soap opera "Beverly Hills, 90210" and ABC/UPN's sitcom based on the 1995 teen movie, "Clueless."

Torti supported Jeff Speakman and William Shatner in Jerry Jameson's movie "Land of the Free" (1998) and portrayed Pharaoh in a straight-to-video adaptation of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic family musical, "Dreamcoat" (1999; Torti also played the same role in its stage version). Entering the new millennium, he co-starred with Coolio and Maxwell Caulfield in Fred Olen Ray's disappointing action film "Submerged" and appeared in a March episode of USA Network's fantasy-based television action series "G vs E."

TV viewers subsequently caught Torti guest starring in such shows as Lifetime's hit TV series "Any Day Now," The WB's sitcom based on the Archie comic book series "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," the syndicated comedy starring Pamela Anderson, "V.I.P.," MTV's soap "Spyder Games" and The WB series "Do Over." He was also in Tuck Tucker's theatrical feature film based on the Nickelodeon animated television series, "Hey Arnold: The Movie" (shot in 2000; released in 2002), and in Andy Fickman's straight-to-video released teen comedy movie "Who's Your Daddy," (2003) with Charles Talbert, Brandon Davis, Colleen Camp and Ali Landry.

From 2003 to 2004, Torti played the recurring role of Salvatore Staley on CBS’ popular soap opera "The Young and the Restless." After appearing in the pilot episode of Fox's sitcom "Quintuplets" and in a 2005 episode of CBS' crime/cop drama series "Numb3rs," Torti played Jesus in Andy Fickman's outrageous tongue-in-cheek musical comedy adaptation of the classic 1936 anti-marijuana propaganda film, "Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical" (2005), with Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell, Neve Campbell and John Kassir. Torti has previously played both Jack and Jesus on its stage version and won an Ovation Award.

Since 2005, Torti has been playing Kurt on Disney Channel's Emmy-nominated children's sitcom "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody." Meanwhile, he also starred as a soccer coach named Pistonek in Andy Fickman's romantic comedy film "She's the Man" (2006; starring Amanda Bynes), which was inspired by William Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night, or What You Will," and played a bit part as an assistant warden in Art Camacho's straight-to-video release action film "Half Past Dead 2" (2007), starring Bill Goldberg and Kurupt.

More recently, Torti co-starred with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Andy Fickman's feature film "The Game Plan," which was released on September 28, 2007. He has completed a straight-to-video released film titled “The Legend of William Tell” and is currently filming Larry Kasanoff's upcoming computer-animated film, "Foodfight," to be premiered in the U.S. on April 11, 2008. The film also features the voices of Charlie Sheen, Hilary Duff, Wayne Brady, Eva Longoria, Greg Ellis, Haylie Duff, Chris Kattan and Christopher Lloyd.

While busy working on screen, Torti also continues his stage work. He has appeared in a production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" (as Judas), "Godspell" (as Jesus; won a Drama-logue award for his role), "West Side Story" (as Bernardo), "Grease" (as Danny), "To Sir, with Love" (as Santo), "Smokey Joe's Cafe" (as Bob), "The Gift" (as Don), and "Sneaux" (as Larry, Bob).


Awards:

  • Drama-logue: Best Actor, “Godspell”

  • Ovation: Best Actor, “Reefer Madness”

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