The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Nestor Carbonell

21 Sep

(The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame is where we turn the spotlight on a television actor or actress, and it is named after their patron saint, Zeljko Ivanek)

A personal favorite of mine, Nestor Carbonell has been there and back on television, likely to be found somewhere on your set (people don’t call them sets very much anymore I”ve noticed) during each of the past fifteen years.

Carbonell’s first television role was, like many others, in a Law & Order episode, in 1991.  Next, he  appeared in an episode of Melrose Place and two of A Different World in 1992.  He also appeared in single episodes of Reasonable Doubts and Good Advice.  Carbonell got his first shot in a lead role in 1995’s Muscle on the WB.  Muscle was a parody of ‘80s primetime soaps (think Dallas or Dynasty), and was set in a fictional gym in New York.  Carbonell starred as a gigolo named Gianni who used the gym pick up clients.  The show also starred Alan Ruck and Michael Boatman, who later played best friends on SpinCity.  The show lasted thirteen episodes, the only series of its two hour block of new series, including The Wayans Bros., The Parent ‘Hood and Unhappily Ever After, not to get a second season.

Carbonell rebounded quite nicely with a main role on Brooke Shields show Suddenly Susan as photographer Luis Rivera.  Carbonell appeared in all four seasons of the show, running from 1996 to 2000.  During that period, he also appeared in episodes of The John Larroquette Show, Veronica’s Closet and Encore! Encore!.  In 2000, he had a recurring role in Showtime series Resurrection Blvd., about a family of boxers.  He appeared in an HBO movie, The Laramie Project, in 2002 about the Matthew Shepard murder.  He starred as Batmanuel in the ill-fated live action version of The Tick, with Patrick Warburton as the title character.  After its cancellation, he appeared in single episodes of Ally McBeal, The Division, Monk, and Scrubs.

He next co-starred in the brilliant conceptual Century City(expect more on this show in the near future) about a team of lawyers in the year 2030 dealing with all manner of futuristic issues.  Sadly, the series lasted just nine episodes.  He appeared in episodes of House M.D. and Justice League and then as a recurring character in 11 episodes of Lifetime’s Strong Medicine as a well-meaning millionaire with embezzlement issues who marries one of the major characters.  After that he continued the single episode circuit, with appearances in Commander in Chief, Day Break, Andy Barker, PI, Queens Supreme and three Cold Cases.  Over the run of the series, Carbonell voiced character Senor Senior Jr. in 12 episodes of Disney Channel original Kim Possible.  In 2007, he played the firsr born son in the Jimmy Smits led family rum-and-sugar empire drama Cane, which lasted 13 episodes.

In was in 2007 in which he got the role he’s probably most famous for, ageless and mysterious Richard Alpert on Lost.  Slated to appear in seven third season episodes, the early cancellation of Cane opened Carbonell up to rejoin Lost, and he appeared in a couple of season four episodes, nine season five episodes, and was a main cast member for the final sixth season.  Alpert first arrived on the island in the mid-19th century as a slave on a ship, and later he becomes a key other member, and doesn’t age for some reason.  All of this is kind of explained in one of the very last episodes of the series, and as the series wraps, Alpert starts aging and makes it away from the island on the plane with Kate, Sawyer and some others (not Others, just other people).

After Lost, he appeared on two episodes of Psych, one of Wilfred, and now is co-starring as a federal agent out to protect Sarah Michelle Gellar (one of her two characters anyway) in Ringer.

Carbonell also went to Harvard and is cousins with 500 home run hitter and steroid user and denier Rafael Palmeiro.  Oh, and not TV but it bears mentioning he played the mayor in the Dark Knight and will reprise the role in the next Batman film.

2 Responses to “The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Nestor Carbonell”

  1. Velayutham March 19, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    obscure: You left out the key element–that twin in space has to be treailvng at sublight speeds (well, in truth, there is an effect at slower speeds, but it is so small that it would be hardly noticable; like the twin wouldn’t notice if he was 5 minutes younger when he returns, but I digress).Anyway, one way to look at the weird physics is to remember that we live in only a small portion of the universe (a “snowglobe” if you will). We make many assumptions about our universe such as that we are dealing with items are macroscopic in size, where things move much slower than the speed of light, that there are only three spacial dimensions, and probably many more that we aren’t even aware of. But when we venture beyond our world, when we travel at sublight speeds, when we look at microscopic objects, and so on, the natural rules that we take for granted may not hold there.


  1. Show of the Day: Century City « Television, the Drug of the Nation - September 23, 2011

    […] referenced this show in an earlier post about Nestor Carbonell, but since I find the concept so intriguing I wanted to spend some more time on it.  Started in […]

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