Carlo Rota (born 17 April 1961) is a British-born Canadian actor, best known to Canadian audiences for his role on Little Mosque on the Prairie and to international audiences for starring on the FOX series 24.
1 Early life
Rota was born in London, England of Italian origin, the son of Rina, who worked in the restaurant business, and Dante Rota, a world-renowned chef. He grew up in Soho with two sisters and one brother. Through his life he has lived in many places of the world, including Hong Kong, Bahamas, and England before his family settled in Toronto. Rota worked in the culinary industry for many years until he decided to abruptly switch careers to acting. According to his interview in the book Inside Section One: Creating and Producing TV's La Femme Nikita, he said of this decision:
|“||To turn around and tell everyone at the tender age of 30, "Now I'm going to be an actor", most people just think that you're going through something.||”|
Almost immediately thereafter, Rota landed roles in the Canadian TV series Street Legal and the critically-acclaimed Canadian independent film Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. Because of his experience prior to acting, he also hosted the Great Canadian Food Show for CBC television in Canada, a series which was nominated for the prestigious James Beard Award for Excellence in Culinary Journalism.
He has appeared in numerous popular TV series including 24, Queer as Folk Castle, La Femme Nikita, Relic Hunter, Adventure Inc, A Nero Wolfe Mystery, The Gospel of John and Traders. Rota co-starred in the CBC sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie, playing Lebanese-Canadian construction contractor Yasir Hamoudi. Rota also played a journalist for The Herald in the horror flick, Saw V.
On 24, Rota stars in the recurring role of Morris O'Brian, the arrogant but brilliant computer scientist husband of Chloe O'Brian. He has appeared in a few episodes of seasons 5 and 7 but appeared for the entire length of season 6. He has appeared in a couple episodes On the TV series La Femme Nikita he had a recurring role as the smarmy greenlisted terrorist informant Mick Schtoppel (later revealed to be Mr. Jones, a high-ranking member of Section), and in the 1999 movie The Boondock Saints, Rota starred as crime boss Giuseppe "Papa Joe" Yakavetta.
He lives in Los Angeles, California part time and spends time filming in Saskatchewan, Canada. He recently finished filming Shark City in Toronto.
He also appears in Stargate Universe, playing Carl Strom, head of the International Oversight Advisory, the civilian oversight committee that heads up the Atlantis expedition and its funding.
He has also made an appearance as a villain named The Ghost in the new hit series on channel USA Network, White Collar. In 2010 he appeared in one episode of CSI New York.
Carlo guest starred on Human Target on Fox in the episode" Imbroglio/Cool Hand Guerrero" as Eli.
He married 24 co-star Nazneen Contractor on April 1, 2010.