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Temuera Morrison

Temuera Morrison

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New Zealand Profession: actor, disc jockey, TV reporter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This handsome, compact actor of Maori descent garnered international attention for his portrayal as the abusive and alcoholic Jake in Lee Tamahori's "Once Were Warriors" (1994). The son of a musician and nephew of famed New Zealand entertainer Sir Howard Morrison, he was raised in Rotarua, a noted tourist spot in his homeland. After completing his schooling, Morrison briefly worked with his uncle before deciding to pursue an acting career. Through the Special Performing Arts Training Scheme (SPATS), he gained experience which led to his early feature work in "Other Halves" (1985), in which he was the friend of a Maori teenager romancing an older white woman. Other roles soon followed in the stunningly photographed "Mauri" (1988) and as a laid-back reporter in the James Bond spoof "Never Say Die" (also 1988).Morrison served as a language advisor on Jane Campion's acclaimed "The Piano" (1993) before landing his star-making role in "Once Were Warriors". He had been appearing in a heartthrob role on a New Zealand TV series when he auditioned for the role of Jake. Once cast, he undertook an intensive physical program to increase his body weight and bulk. Delivering a powerhouse portrayal of an...

This handsome, compact actor of Maori descent garnered international attention for his portrayal as the abusive and alcoholic Jake in Lee Tamahori's "Once Were Warriors" (1994). The son of a musician and nephew of famed New Zealand entertainer Sir Howard Morrison, he was raised in Rotarua, a noted tourist spot in his homeland. After completing his schooling, Morrison briefly worked with his uncle before deciding to pursue an acting career. Through the Special Performing Arts Training Scheme (SPATS), he gained experience which led to his early feature work in "Other Halves" (1985), in which he was the friend of a Maori teenager romancing an older white woman. Other roles soon followed in the stunningly photographed "Mauri" (1988) and as a laid-back reporter in the James Bond spoof "Never Say Die" (also 1988).

Morrison served as a language advisor on Jane Campion's acclaimed "The Piano" (1993) before landing his star-making role in "Once Were Warriors". He had been appearing in a heartthrob role on a New Zealand TV series when he auditioned for the role of Jake. Once cast, he undertook an intensive physical program to increase his body weight and bulk. Delivering a powerhouse portrayal of an irresponsible, fiery brute, the actor also endowed the character with charm and sexuality. There was a palpable heat between Morrison and his co-star Rena Owen who played his put-upon wife Beth, making their relationship believable despite his character's abuse.

Based on the international success of "Warriors", Morrison made the leap to Hollywood films, but the roles were substandard and the films were box-office flops. He was virtually wasted as Pamela Lee's love interest in the execrable "Barb Wire" (1996) and fared no better (although was unrecognizable) as one of the half-human, half-beast servants to Marlon Brando in the ill-advised remake of "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (also 1996). Just when it appeared Morrison's US career might be doomed, he landed a major supporting role as an officer on a hijacked luxury liner in Jan De Bont's highly anticipated sequel "Speed 2: Cruise Control" (1997). Despite a strong first weekend, however, the film was generally perceived as an underperformer.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Green Lantern (2011)
2.
 Tracker (2011)
3.
 Marine 2, The (2009)
4.
 Couples Retreat (2009)
5.
6.
 River Queen (2005)
8.
 Renegade (2004)
9.
 Crooked Earth (2001) Captain Will Bastion
10.
 Vertical Limit (2000) Major Rasul
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
After schooling, auditioned for Special Performing Arts Training Scheme; also worked with his uncle New Zealand entertainer Sir Howard Morrison
:
Hosted a local morning radio show
1985:
Early screen credit, small role in "Other Halves"
1988:
First feature lead, "Never Say Die"
:
Appeared on the New Zealand soap "Shortland Street"
1993:
Served as language advisor on Jane Campion's "The Piano"
1994:
Breakthrough screen role as the abusive husband Jake Heke in Lee Tamahori's "Once Were Warriors"
1996:
First US film, "Barbed Wire"
1997:
Had pivotal role in "Speed II: Cruise Control"
1999:
Reprised role of Jake Heke in the sequel "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?"
2002:
Cast as Jango Fett in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones"
2005:
Portrayed Commander Cody in "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" the final installment of the saga
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Western Heights High School: -
Wesley College: -
Special Performing Arts Training Scheme (SPATS): -

Notes

Morrison is named for his grandfather

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Angela Dotchin. Actor. Worked together on the New Zealand serial "Shortland Street".

Family close complete family listing

father:
Laurie Morrison. Musician. Played with the Ohinemutu Quartet with brother Howard; died in 1974.
mother:
Hana Stafford.
uncle:
Howard Morrison. Singer, musician, entertainer, government official. Worked as Director of Youth Development in Maori Affairs.
son:
James Tarawhai Morrison.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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