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Sterling is a well-connected insider in the intelligence community. Since finishing third in his class at West Point, he has spent most of his career rising through the ranks of the CIA. He has served in a variety of roles in the intelligence and counter-intelligence communities, including a support post for the National Security Counsel. Prior to his current position, Sterling served as the Director of Central Intelligence under the previous administration.
Sterling was nominated as the Director of National Intelligence by President Martinez, and approved by the Senate with an overwhelming majority.
For a time, Sterling was happily married to a 7th grade teacher named Laura. Unfortunately, the honeymoon period came to a tragic end when Sterling’s father, a hawkish CIA administrator himself, discovered that Laura was, in fact, a Russian asset named Svetlana Agletinova. In a state of disbelief, Sterling asked her to flee the country with him. But the woman had other designs. She abandoned Blake and tried to escape... but not before Sterling’s father intervened and shot her.
Sterling is forever scarred by the betrayal.
Zeljko Ivanek stars as Blake Sterling, Director of the CIA, who has long kept secrets from President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood), in NBC's new high-octane conspiracy thriller The Event.
In 2008, Ivanek earned a Primetime Emmy Award for his portrayal of Ray Fiske on the critically acclaimed series "Damages." Most recently, he starred as JJ on "Big Love." His other notable television work includes the miniseries "John Adams," recurring roles on "Heroes," "Homicide: Life on the Streets," "24," "True Blood," and "Oz," as well as numerous guest appearances.
In addition, Ivanek is also a veteran of over 20 feature films including "In Bruges," "Live Free or Die Hard," "The Hoax," "Dogville," "Unfaithful," "Black Hawk Down," "Hannibal," "Dancer in the Dark," "A Civil Action," and "Donnie Brasco," to name a few.
Ivanek's many stage credits have earned him three Tony nominations and a Drama Desk Award. His theater resume includes American, U.K., and world premieres of works by Martin McDonagh, Neil LaBute, Athol Fugard, Neil Simon, Richard Nelson, Caryl Churchill and David Hare, as well as Peter Brook's production of "The Cherry Orchard."
Ivanek is a graduate of Yale University and The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.