British-Italian actor Carlo Rota was born on April 17, 1961 in London, England. His father was a world-renowned chef, and thus he grew up in different places across the world, instilling in him a taste for fine cuisine. He actually worked in the culinary industry for many years before suddenly deciding to switch careers and become an actor. He made his acting debut in 1992, playing a bit role in Street Legal, and later appeared in many television shows and films. He made his film debut in 1993, playing another bit role in the biopic Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. He also appeared in television shows such as Forever Knight, Viper, The Sentinel, Highlander: The Raven and a recurring role in the award-winning Canadian series Traders.
Rota achieved fame when he snagged a recurring role in the surprise hit series, La Femme Nikita. For three years and in seven episodes, he played creepy terrorist informant Mick Schtoppel. He continued playing numerous guest roles, in shows such as Total Recall 2070, Earth: Final Conflict, Doc, Relic Hunter and Adventure Inc. He then starred in the American adaptation of the British series Queer as Folk, playing the role of Gardner Vance, the senior partner of advertising executive Brian Kinney (Gale Harold).
Rota’s more recent roles include those for the acclaimed Canadian musical drama At the Hotel, as arrogant but brilliant computer scientist Morris O’Brian in the action series 24, and in another Canadian series, the comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie, where he plays one of the male leads. Because of his experience in the culinary business, he is also the host of the Great Canadian Food Show, where he tours the country in search of its delicacies; it has won the James Beard Award for its excellence in culinary journalism.