Cortaz’ first role came on the 2000 film Mater Dei, written by Diogo Mainardi, where he portrayed a security guard. On 2002, he premiered on the television with a minor character on Rede Globo’s unsuccessful telenovela Desejos de Mulher. On the following year, he started gaining some notoriety after starring on the critically acclaimed Hector Babenco film Carandiru, about the massacre on the prison of the same name.
On 2005, Cortaz starred on Rede Record’s telenovela Essas Mulheres and acted on the controversial independent film A Concepção, in which he appears fully naked a considerable number of times. On the following year, he acted on Record’s successful telenovela Cidadão Brasileiro and on the American-Brazilian film Journey to the End of the Night.
It was not until José Padilha’s 2007 film Elite Squad, in which he portrays a corrupt police officer, that he gained notoriety of the major public. In 2009 he starred as Cazé on Record’s Chamas da Vida and played the deceased father of former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Fábio Barreto’s Lula, o filho do Brasil.
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