Raphael Sbarge was born in Manhattan, an only child to an eccentric theatrical family. His mother was a Broadway costume designer, and his father a writer, artist, filmmaker and author of the acclaimed History of Architecture, which was used by universities around the world. Sbarge began working at the age of four when a new PBS show called Sesame Street was looking for kids.
At age 13 Sbarge decided to become an actor and found an agent. He started working almost immediately. By 16 he was in his first Broadway show, The Curse of the Aching Heart, opposite Faye Dunaway. By the time he was 18, just days after graduating high school, he flew to Chicago to co-star in Risky Business with Tom Cruise.
Sbarge's theater work is extensive, having appeared in five Broadway shows, ranging from the sweet romantic lead in O'Neil's' Ah, Wilderness, with theater legend Jason Robards, to a multiple personality killer in Voices in the Dark, with Tony winner Judith Ivey, to the gay son in The Twilight of the Golds, with Jennifer Grey. He has performed on stage with Al Pacino, Frank Langella, Colleen Dewhurst, Mercedes Ruehle, Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow, among others. He won the LA Drama Critics Award for Mad Forest at the Matrix Theater, the San Francisco Circle Critics Award for Leading Performance in Twilight of the Golds, a Garland Award for Leading Role in Twilight of the Golds, and the FANY Award (Broadway's People's Choice Award) for Voices in the Dark.
In New York Sbarge honed his craft with Uta Hagen, Herbert Berghoff and Austin Pendleton, working in television, film and theater, including, at age 18, a production of Hamlet directed by Joseph Papp, and then Henry IV in Central Park, with Kevin Spacey and Val Kilmer.
After moving to Los Angeles in the mid '80s, Sbarge appeared in such respected TV projects as A Streetcar named Desire, with Ann-Margret, and the miniseries Billionaire Boys Club, as well as the movies My Science Project and Vision Quest. Over the years he has appeared in over 30 films, including Independence Day, Pearl Harbor, Message in a Bottle and The Assassination of Richard Nixon. Other television movie roles include HBO's Breast Men, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and Murder 101. He was a series regular on The Guardian and has made over 100 guest appearances, including recurring roles on Dexter and Big Love, and guest starring roles on Prison Break, CSI, Grey's Anatomy, 24, CSI: NY, Profiler and Star Trek Voyager.
Sbarge is the father of two children, Gracie and Django, and currently resides in Los Angeles and New York's Harlem.