Athletic hunk Dan Cortese's scored a number of recurring or cast roles on such TV hits as "Veronica's Closet" and "What I Like About You," but his star shown brightest in the minds of "Seinfeld" fans as Tony, Elaine Benes' (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) ultra-cool, good-looking boyfriend whom George Costanza (Jason Alexander) openly worships with a man-crush, prompting Jerry Seinfeld to call Cortese a "mimbo. "
Born on Sept. 14, 1967 in the Pittsburgh, PA suburb of Sewickely, 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 was 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. One test later, Cortese went from PA peon to host of one of the music network's most popular shows, serving in that capacity from 1992-96. After "graduating" from overnight success on MTV, Cortese's ascent in show business was rapid - particularly for someone with no training and no heretofore on-camera aspirations.
Cortese's feature film debut came as the Taco Bell entertainer in the Sylvester Stallone-Wesley Snipes science fiction/action feature film, "Demolition Man" (1993). That same year, Cortese starred in the short-lived NBC series remake of "Route 66," as well as the brief CBS series, "Traps" in 1994. Cortese landed the "mimbo" role on the "Seinfeld (NBC, 1990-98) episode, "The Stall" that same year, making a significant mark in the hallowed "Seinfeld" universe.
"Seinfeld" notwithstanding, after working on two defunct series in quick succession, Cortese was thankful to land recurring roles on two established and popular series - first, as Jess Hanson, brother to Jake (Grant Show), on the hit primetime soap "Melrose Place" (Fox, 1994-97), as well as the investment banker/neighbor of Jonathan Silverman on "The Single Guy" (NBC, 1995-97). In conjunction with his recurring series work, Cortese played G-man Melvin Purvis in the HBO Original Movie "Public Enemy No. 1" (1996), starred in the feature film "At First Sight" (1996) and in the highly rated NBC movie "The Lottery" (1996). In a bit of a stretch role, Cortese portrayed geologist Peter Slater in the TV disaster flick "Volcano: Fire on the Mountain" (ABC, 1997).
For the first time since hosting his own MTV show, Cortese began the a TV season in a regular role on a hit show - that of Perry Rollins, a former model-turned-publicist, for Kirstie Alley's lingerie company on NBC's "Veronica's Closet" (1997-99). Receiving his best reviews yet, Cortese honed his comic timing on a weekly basis in a way he had not been able to in the past. After "Veronica's Closet" closed shop, Cortese continued to land guest spots on several hit shows, notably "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" (Fox, 2002-03) in 2002, "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" (ABC, 2002-05) in 2004, and "J y" (NBC, 2004-06) in 2005, before landing the recurring role of Vic, in the Amanda Bynes/Jennie Garth sitcom, "What I Like About You" (CBS, 2002- ) in early 2006.