Born to a theatrical family in New York City (mother: costume designer, father: writer, painter, filmmaker) he was named after the painter "Raphael". He began his career at the age of 4 ½ on Sesame Street, but essentially grew up back stage, in costume shops, or hanging around rehearsal halls with the actors.
Theater is his passion and his stage credits include work on Broadway in Ah, Wilderness (with Jason Robards, and Colleen Dewhurst), Curse of an Aching Heart, (with Faye Dunaway), Shadow Box, (with Mercedes Ruehl), Twilight of the Gods, and Voices in the Dark. Extensive regional and Off-B'way credits include Picnic (with Gwyneth Paltrow), Booth (with Frank Langella), Hamlet (directed by Joseph Papp), etc.
After graduating high school, he co-starred with Tom Cruise in Risky Business (1983), and has appeared in over thirty films including, Independence Day (1996), Message in a Bottle (1999), Pearl Harbor (2001), Vision Quest (1985).
His television work includes Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999) (TV) (with Halle Berry), Billionaire Boys Club (1987) (TV), _Breast Men (1997)_ (with Chris Cooper), Quicksilver Highway (1997) (TV) (with Christopher Lloyd), Murder 101 (1991) (TV) (with Pierce Brosnan), Final Verdict (1991) (TV) (with Treat Williams), Back to Hannibal: The Return of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (1990) (TV) (with Paul Winfield), Cracked Up (1987) (TV) (with Edward Asner), Prison for Children (1987) (TV), Streetcar Named Desire, A (1984) (TV) (with Ann-Margret), among others.
Raphael Sbarge's most recent role is hard-working attorney Jake Straka in the one-hour CBS drama, "Guardian, The" (2001). Mr. Sbarge is married to actress Lisa Akey and lives in Los Angeles with their daughter Gracie, and their dog Willow.