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I was thrilled to be on it. It was fantastic. Especially being in armor, on horseback — that’s everything… I was one of the lucky ones. I was shooting exteriors and didn’t have to be surrounded by green screens all over the place.
—Sebastian Roché src

Sebastian Roché is the French-Scottish actor who portrays King Stefan on ABC's Once Upon a Time.


Roché was born in Paris, France. He is of Scottish and French descent. He is also fluent in four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Italian. As a teenager, he lived for six years on a sailing boat with his family, travelling from France to the Mediterranean, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. He is a graduate of the prestigious Conservatoire National Superieur d'Art Dramatique of Paris. Roché studied at the Cours Florent, the Conservatoire de la Rue Blanche (ENSATT) and the CNSAD. Upon his graduation from the Conservatoire National d'Art Dramatique in 1989, Roché started working in French theatre, films and television with such actors as Michel Serrault, Isabelle Huppert, and Béatrice Dalle.

Roché has extensive classical theatre background and credits, notably in Salome with Al Pacino, Titus Andronicus and The Green Bird with Julie Taymor, Hamlet, Arms and the Man, Macbeth, Mirandolina and Trainspotting. Roché has since worked extensively in the U.S., collaborating with Al Pacino, Julie Taymor, and Mark Lamos, among others. His many television and film credits include: Law & Order, New York Undercover, Sex and the City. He also starred in What We Do Is Secret with Shane West, New York City Serenade with Freddie Prinze Jr, and Beowulf with Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, and Angelina Jolie.

In 1997, he took the role of Longinus on the FOX television series Roar, starring Heath Ledger, until its cancelation the same year. In 2002, he took the role of Kurt Mendel in the sci-fi television series Odyssey 5. He remained in the role until the show's cancelation in 2004. He appeared on General Hospital as terrorist/criminal Jerry Jacks, although, when the character reappeared, he was going by the pseudonym James Craig. In April 2007, it was announced that Roché had been signed to a contract on General Hospital, keeping his character around for the foreseeable future. His first contractual airdate was 23 April 2007, which was also the date that his character's true identity was revealed.

In 2009, he guest starred on The Mentalist as Shirali Arlov, and as John Quinn in both 24: Redemption (2008), and the 2009 season of 24. He appeared in Happy Tears with Demi Moore and Parker Posey, and in 2011's The Adventures of Tintin, directed by Steven Spielberg. Roché also starred in the sixth season of the CW series Supernatural as Balthazar, a rogue angel and longtime friend of fellow angel, Castiel. On the TV series Fringe, Roché was cast as a recurring character Newton, the leader of an army of shapeshifters from a parallel universe. His character recurred in some episodes of season 2 and 3; Newton died in the episode "Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep".

In 2011, Roche appeared as the recurring character Mikael, an original vampire and the father of The Originals, on The Vampire Diaries for the The CW. From 2013 to 2014, he reprised his role as Mikael in the spin-off series The Originals. On 22 December 2014, it was announced that Roché would guest star on Once Upon a Time as King Stefan.


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