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Carlo Rota

Carlo Rota
File:Carlo Rota.jpg
Rota in 2007, (24)
Born Carlo D. Rota
(1961-04-17) 17 April 1961 (age 54)
London, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actor
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Nazneen Contractor (m. 2010)

Carlo Rota (born 17 April 1961) is an English-born Italian-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. He also has a co-starring role as Emilio Solano in Jane the Virgin.

Early life

Rota was born in London, England, to Italian parents, Rina, who worked in the restaurant business, and Dante Rota, a world-renowned chef.[1] 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 (where he attended Island School), the Bahamas and Britain 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:


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 (US version), 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 portrayed the recurring role of Morris O'Brian, the arrogant but brilliant computer scientist husband of Chloe O'Brian. He appeared in a few episodes of seasons 5 and 7 but appeared for the entire length of season 6.

Rota had a recurring role on the TV series La Femme Nikita as the smarmy, green-listed terrorist informant, Mick Schtoppel; later revealed to be Mr. Jones, a high-ranking member of Section. In the 1999 movie The Boondock Saints, Rota starred as crime boss Giuseppe "Papa Joe" Yakavetta. He also played movie director Tyler Jesseman in the 2000 Disney Channel Original Movie Phantom of the Megaplex.

He has made guest appearances in many other television series, including Stargate Universe, playing Carl Strom, head of the International Oversight Advisory, the civilian oversight committee that heads up the Atlantis expedition and its funding.,[2] as a villain named "The Ghost" on White Collar, as well as roles on CSI: NY, Human Target, Castle, The Mentalist, Bones, and Grimm. He also appeared on NCIS: Los Angeles in the episode "Found" as Kalil Abramson, as well as on AMC's show, Breaking Bad. He was a guest on episode 11 of the second season of Top Chef Canada, the episode dedicated to Italian cuisine 1. He acts as Edmund Wooler, in World Without End on Reelz Channel.

He married 24 co-star Nazneen Contractor on 1 April 2010.[3]

In 2013, he was announced as the new host of Recipe to Riches, a Canadian reality show.[4]

He provided the voice and motion-capture performance for Majid Sadiq, leader of The Engineers, in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

In 2014, he recurred as Ivan on the hit ABC television show Scandal.

In 2014, he began co-staring in Jane the Virgin as Emilio Solano.


  • Heyn, Christopher. "A Conversation with Carlo Rota." Inside Section One: Creating and Producing TV's La Femme Nikita. Introduction by Peta Wilson. Los Angeles: Persistence of Vision Press, 2006. 82–87. ISBN 0-9787625-0-9. In-depth conversation with Carlo Rota about his role as Schtoppel on La Femme Nikita, as well as his culinary background and early acting experiences.


  2. Andreeva, Nellie. (2009-04-15) Stargate Universe nabs guest stars. Reuters.
  3. Saturday, June 7, 2014 2:39 AM EDT (2010-05-22). "Goodbye, Mr. Bauer | Toronto Star". Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  4. "'Recipe to Riches': CBC Names Carlo Rota As Hit Culinary Show's New Host". Huffington Post, 20 June 2013.

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