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Dan Cortese
Dan Cortese


The Art of Compassion
25th Anniversary Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Honorary Committee

Dan Cortese

Born in the Pittsburgh suburb of Sewickley, Dan Cortese first came to prominence as the host of MTV Sports in 1992. How the former college football player and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate got that job is one of those “only-in-Hollywood” discoveries. While working as a lowly production assistant for MTV in Los Angeles, he jokingly told a talent executive he was the best candidate to host the music channel’s new sports program. Seventy-two hours and one audition later, Cortese went from personal-assistant to host of the music network’s most popular new show. Dan served in that capacity from 1992-1997, during which time the show won two Emmys and two CableACE Awards. After graduating from overnight success on MTV, Cortese’s ascent in show business was rapid.

Dan’s feature film debut came in 1993 when he starred in the romantic comedy At First Sight. That same year, he appeared as a Taco Bell lounge singer in the Sylvester Stallone-Wesley Snipes science fiction and action feature film Demolition Man. Dan continued on and starred in the NBC series remake of Route 66, as well as the CBS series Traps with George C. Scott. He then, as Seinfeld fans remember, landed the role of Tony, Elaine Benes’ (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) ultracool, good-looking boyfriend whom George Costanza (Jason Alexander) openly worships with a man-crush, prompting Jerry Seinfeld to call Cortese’s character a “mimbo.” This specific Seinfeld episode, “The Stall,” made a significant mark in the hallowed Seinfeld universe.

Seinfeld notwithstanding, Dan then landed recurring roles on two established and popular series—first, as Jess Hanson, brother to Jake (Grant Show), on the hit prime-time soap Melrose Place, as well as the investment banker and neighbor of Jonathan Silverman on NBC’s The Single Guy. In conjunction with his recurring series work, Dan played G-man Melvin Purvis in the HBO Original Movie Public Enemy and starred in the highly rated NBC movie The Lottery. After which, Dan portrayed geologist Peter Slater in the disaster flick Volcano: Fire on the Mountain.

Next up for Dan was a starring role on a NBC’s hit show Veronica's Closet, where he played Perry Rollins, a former model-turned-publicist for Kirstie Alley’s lingerie company. Receiving his best reviews yet, Dan honed his comic timing on a weekly basis in a way he had never been afforded in the past. When Veronica’s Closet closed shop after three years, Dan then landed his own show, Rock Me Baby, where he portrayed shock jock and new dad Jimmy Cox. Next up, he continued to accumulate more prime guest spots on several hit shows, notably Andy Richter Controls the Universe, 8 Simple Rules… for Dating My Teenage Daughter, and Joey, before starring as Vic in the Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth sitcom, What I Like About You. While working on What I Like About You, Dan took his talents behind the camera, where he directed the show, as well.

Currently, Dan just wrapped an original Web series with Academy Award-winner Marisa Tomei and celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito. He is also in the midst of producing the feature film Born to Rock, a big, brash comedy about a failing middle-aged rock band that inadvertently becomes the most popular kid’s band on the planet.

For information about the Honorary Committee, please contact:

Patricia Howard

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