Cliff Simon was born on 7 September, 1962 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the fourth child of Emmanuelle and Phylis Simon. Both of his parents are of Jewish descent from Poland and Lithuania. He is a South African athlete and actor, best known for his portrayal of Ba’al in Stargate SG-1.
From a very young age, Cliff aspired to be the first South African swimmer to win an Olympic Gold medal. His mother, a swimming teacher, taught him from a very young age, and at age 6 he began to show talent as a gymnast. By age 15, Cliff had reached a national level in South Africa in both swimming and gymnastics, but he decided to discontinue training in gymnastics to better focus on swimming.
In 1975, his parents decided to emigrate to the United Kingdom, due to the then-current turmoil in Africa. It was there that Simon completed his schooling and was chosen to swim in the British International squad. He competed in Olympic trials and qualified for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The University of Houston and Southern Methodist University in Texas offered him scholarships, where he trained with the United States swimming team, the Mustangs. This would have culminated in him competing in the 1984 Olympic Games. However, after three years of intense training, he decided to quit and return to South Africa, due to his concerns that he was missing out on his social life.
Back in South Africa, Cliff entered the air force where he continued his swimming and achieved the highest athletic award given in the air force, the Victor Ludorum
In 1982, after serving his two-year term in the air force, he landed a job teaching windsurfing and waterskiing at a resort hotel. As fate would have it, a stage show was in production at the resort and Simon was informed by one of the performers that the choreographer was looking for a gymnast. He somehow knew that this was going to be the first step towards a career on stage. Cliff subsequently performed all over the world in various stage productions as a dancer/acrobat, culminating in his dream role as a performer at the world famous Moulin Rouge, Paris, in 1989.
Looking at his entertainment work;
Stargate: Continuum – Ba’al, 24 – Russian Sniper (Season 8 Episode 1, Undercovers – (season 1, episode 4: “Jailbreak”, NCIS: Los Angeles – Hans Christian Kemp (season 2, episode 13: “Archangel”, The Americans – Mossad Agent, NCIS: New Orleans – Dmitry Babakov (Season 1, Episode 03: “Breaking Brig”, (Credit as Cliff Marc Simon), Castle – Polkovnik (Season 7, Episode 04: “Child’s Play”, 2014) (Credit as Cliff Marc Simon) just to mention but a few.