Famous New Zealander Actors

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Find out more about the greatest New Zealander Actors, including Russell Crowe, Kevin Smith, Lucy Lawless, Anna Paquin and Rose McIver.
Vote for Your Favourite New Zealander Actors
 1 
Russell Crowe
(Actor Best Known for His Roles in the Films 'Gladiator', 'The Insider' and 'A Beautiful Mind')
Russell Crowe
19
Birthdate: April 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Active in the film industry for over 35 years, Russell Crowe is an actor, film producer, director, and musician. Gaining international fame with his role in the epic historical film Gladiator in 2000, he is the recipient of several awards, including an Academy Award and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award.

 2 
Karl Urban
(New Zealand Actor Known for His TV Series ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’)
Karl Urban
7
Birthdate: June 7, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Karl Urban is one of the most popular actors from New Zealand. He established himself in the American film industry by playing the role of Éomer in two of the three Lord of the Rings film series. Apart from acting, he plays a key role in supporting The KidsCan Charitable Trust, which provides essentials to over 16,000 disadvantaged children.

 3 
Sam Neill
(Actor, Director and Producer Known for His Role as ‘Dr. Alan Grant’ in ‘Jurassic Park’ Film Series)
Sam Neill
7
Birthdate: September 14, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Omagh, Northern Ireland

Sam Neill is a New Zealand actor, screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his portrayal of Dr. Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park film series. Sam Neill is also known for his work in TV series like The Simpsons and Peaky Blinders. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the New Zealand Film Award.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
KJ Apa
(Best Known for His Role as 'Archie Andrews' in the TV Series 'Riverdale')
KJ Apa
7
Birthdate: June 17, 1997
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

KJ Apa is a New Zealand actor, musician, and singer. He is known for his portrayal of Archie Andrews in the popular American teen drama TV series Riverdale, which earned him the Breakthrough Performance award at the 2017 Saturn Awards. His performance in the series also earned him nominations at the Teen Choice Awards and MTV Movie & TV Awards.

 5 
Daniel Gillies
(Known for His Role of ‘Elijah Mikaelson’ in the TV series ‘The Vampire Diaries’)
Daniel Gillies
10
Birthdate: March 14, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada

Daniel Gillies is a Canadian-New Zealander actor. Despite being born into a family of medical professionals, Daniel Gillies decided to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. Although he initially had to work as a waiter and dishwasher, Gillies chose not to give up and eventually established himself as an actor.

 6 
Martin Henderson
6
Birthdate: October 8, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Auckland

Martin Henderson is a New Zealand actor best known for his portrayal of Dr. Nathan Riggs in the popular American medical drama TV series, Grey's Anatomy. He has also played important roles in popular films like Bride and Prejudice, Everest, and Miracles from Heaven. Over the years, Martin Henderson has received nominations for the AFI Award and FCCA Award.

 7 
Jemaine Clement
(New Zealand Comedian)
Jemaine Clement
7
Birthdate: January 10, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Masterton

Jemaine Clement is a New Zealand actor, director, musician, and comedian. One half of the Grammy Award-winning and popular comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, Clement has created many comedy series for HBO and BBC. Also known for his good looks, Jemaine Clement was named in Who magazine's 100 Sexiest People list in 2008.

 8 
Temuera Morrison
(New Zealand Actor Known for His Film 'Once Were Warriors' and His Multiple Roles in 'Star Wars' Franchise)
Temuera Morrison
6
Birthdate: December 26, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rotorua, New Zealand

Temuera Morrison is a New Zealand singer and actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Jango Fett and Boba Fett in the famous Star Wars multimedia franchise. Temuera Morrison has also voiced Boba Fett in several video games, such as Star Wars: Empire at War and Star Wars Battlefront. 

 9 
Antony Starr
(Actor famous for his portrayal of twins Van and Jethro West in the hit New Zealand television series Outrageous Fortune)
Antony Starr
5
Birthdate: October 25, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Antony Starr is a New Zealand actor whose portrayal of Jeremy King in the 2012 Australian mystery drama film Wish You Were Here earned him the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award and the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award. Antony Starr is best known for playing Homelander in the American superhero television series, The Boys.

 10 
Cliff Curtis
6
Birthdate: July 27, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rotorua

Cliff Curtis is a New Zealand actor whose Māori ethnicity has allowed him to play characters of various ethnicities, including Samoan, Mexican-American, Arab, and Indian. He is best known for his portrayal of Genesis in the critically acclaimed 2014 drama film The Dark Horse, which earned him the Asia Pacific Screen Award under the Best Performance by an Actor category.

 11 
Manu Bennett
(New Zealand Actor Know for His TV Series: 'Spartacus', 'Arrow' and 'The Hobbit' Film Trilogy)
Manu Bennett
5
Birthdate: October 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rotorua, New Zealand

Manu Bennett is a New Zealand actor best known for playing important roles in epic fantasy works like Spartacus, The Shannara Chronicles, Arrow, and The Hobbit trilogy. Apart from playing Azog the Defiler in the Hobbit trilogy, Manu Bennett also voiced the character in the 2014 video game, Lego The Hobbit.

 12 
Jay Ryan
(actor, film actor)
Jay Ryan
3
Birthdate: August 29, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Auckland

Jay Ryan is a New Zealand actor best known for playing important roles in TV series like Neighbours, Go Girls, Top of the Lake, and Mary Kills People. Jay Ryan and the cast of Top of the Lake received the Equity Ensemble Award under the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Miniseries or Telemovie category in 2014.

 13 
Rhys Darby
(Actor, Comedian)
Rhys Darby
5
Birthdate: March 21, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Zealand

Rhys Darby is a New Zealand comedian and actor. He is known for his portrayal of Murray Hewitt in the TV series Flight of the Conchords. As a comedian, Darby is renowned for his physical comedy routines accompanied with sound effects and mime. In 2012, Darby was honored at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival with the Fred (Dagg) Award.

 14 
Julian Dennison
(Known for His Role as Ricky Baker in the Movie 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople')
Julian Dennison
5
Birthdate: October 26, 2002
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Julian Dennison is a New Zealand actor whose portrayal of Solomon in his debut film Shopping earned him the New Zealand Film Award under the Best Supporting Actor category. He then went on to appear in popular films like Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Deadpool 2. Julian Dennison has also appeared in several commercials for companies like Air New Zealand.

 15 
Alan Dale
(Actor)
Alan Dale
4
Birthdate: May 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dunedin

Alan Dale is a New Zealand actor best known for his portrayal of Jim Robinson in the popular Australian television soap opera, Neighbours. After realizing that he had become stereotyped as Jim Robinson in New Zealand and Australia, Alan Dale moved to the US where he achieved international recognition after appearing in movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

 16 
Marton Csokas
(New Zealand Actor Who Often Portrays Villainous Roles and Has Worked Extensively in Australia and Hollywood)
Marton Csokas
2
Birthdate: June 30, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Invercargill, New Zealand

New Zealand actor Marton Csokas was born to an Australian mother and a Hungarian father. Known for his roles in series such as Shortland Street and films such as The Equalizer, he chiefly plays the villain. He has his own theater company and has played an award-winning role in the play Uncle Vanya.

 17 
Craig Parker
(New Zealand Actor)
Craig Parker
4
Birthdate: November 12, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Suva, Fiji

Craig Parker is a New Zealand actor best known for his appearances in epic films and TV series like the Lord of the Rings film series, Legend of the Seeker, and Spartacus. He has received a couple of New Zealand Film and TV Award nominations for his work in television. Craig Parker is also renowned for his theatre work.

 18 
Michael Dorman
2
Birthdate: April 26, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Auckland

Michael Dorman is a New Zealand actor known for playing NASA astronaut Gordo Stevens in the American science fiction drama, For All Mankind. He is also known for his portrayal of John Tavner in Patriot. Apart from acting, Michael Dorman has also tried his hand at playing the guitar and singing.

 19 
Lee Tamahori
(Film director, Actor)
Lee Tamahori
2
Birthdate: June 17, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wellington

Lee Tamahori is a New Zealand filmmaker who achieved international recognition in 2002 when he directed the 20th film in the popular James Bond series, Die Another Day. Lee Tamahori is also known for directing successful and popular movies like Once Were Warriors, Along Came a Spider, and Mahana.

Pana Hema-Taylor
3
Birthdate: September 14, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Auckland

Pana Hema Taylor is a New Zealand actor of Māori heritage. He is best known for his portrayal of Nasir in TV series Spartacus: Vengeance and Spartacus: War of the Damned. He has also played important roles in other popular TV series like The Brokenwood Mysteries and Westside.

 21 
Bruce Spence
(New Zealand-Australian Actor Known for His Role as the 'Gyrocopter Pilot' in 'Mad Max 2')
Bruce Spence
2
Birthdate: September 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

Bruce Spence is a New Zealand-Australian actor who has appeared in more than 100 films and television series. He is also renowned for his theatre work and has voiced characters in a couple of video games as well. Bruce Spence is best known for his portrayal of The Gyro Captain in the 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film Mad Max 2.

 22 
Aaron Jeffery
2
Birthdate: August 25, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Howick, New Zealand

Aaron Jeffery is a New Zealand-Australian actor best known for his portrayal of Alex Ryan in the popular drama TV series McLeod's Daughters. The series earned Aaron Jeffery the prestigious Silver Logie under the Most Popular Actor in a Drama Series category in 2004 and 2007.

 23 
Dean O'Gorman
(New Zealand Actor Best Known for His Role of 'Fíli' in the 'Hobbit' Film Trilogy)
Dean O'Gorman
2
Birthdate: December 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

Dean O'Gorman is a New Zealand artist, actor, and photographer. He is best known for his portrayal of Fíli in The Hobbit film series. He has also played important roles in popular series like Young Hercules and The Almighty Johnsons. As a photographer and artist, O'Gorman has displayed his works in places like the Page Blackie Gallery in New Zealand.

 24 
Beulah Koale
(Portraying Officer Junior Reigns in CBS reboot series Hawaii Five-0)
Beulah Koale
0
Birthdate: October 26, 1992
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Middlemore Hospital, Otahuhu, South Auckland

Beulah Koale is a New Zealand actor who achieved international recognition after playing Officer Junior Reigns in the popular American action police procedural TV series Hawaii Five-0. He then reprised his role as Junior Reigns in one of the episodes of the action drama series, Magnum P.I.

 25 
Daniel Logan
(Actor, Film actor)
Daniel Logan
2
Birthdate: June 6, 1987
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Auckland

Daniel Logan is a New Zealand-born American actor best known for playing Boba Fett in the 2002 American epic space opera film Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, which earned him a Young Artist Award nomination under the Best Performance in a Feature Film category. Daniel Logan was just 15 when he played the iconic character.

 26 
Pua Magasiva
(New Zealand Actor Known for His Role on the New Zealand Soap Opera 'Shortland Street')
Pua Magasiva
2
Birthdate: August 10, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Apia, Samoa

Pua Magasiva was a New Zealand actor best remembered for his portrayal of Shane Clarke in the popular American TV series, Power Rangers Ninja Storm. Pua Magasiva, who had a troubled relationship with his wife Elizabeth Sadler, committed suicide on 11 May 2019 at the age of 38.

 27 
Grant Bowler
(Actor, Film actor)
Grant Bowler
2
Birthdate: July 18, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Auckland

Grant Bowler is a New Zealand-Australian television presenter and actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Constable Wayne Patterson in the Australian police drama series, Blue Heelers. As a presenter, Grant Bowler is renowned for hosting reality game shows, such as The Amazing Race Australia and The Mole Australia.

 28 
Kevin Smith
(Actor who played the role of Ares, God of War on a multitude of series)
Kevin Smith
0
Birthdate: March 16, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Died: February 15, 2002

Kevin Smith was a New Zealand musician and actor. He is best remembered for his portrayal of the god of war, Ares, in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. He reprised his role as Ares in the series' spin-offs, Young Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess. Smith suffered a fatal fall in 2002. His life and career inspired a documentary titled Remembering Kev.

 29 
Robbie Magasiva
2
Birthdate: May 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Robbie Magasiva is a Samoan-New Zealand actor known for his association with a comedy troupe called Naked Samoans. Apart from acting in popular films like The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Robbie Magasiva has also appeared in theatre and on television. Magasiva became a household name in New Zealand when he started co-presenting Tagata Pasifika with Beatrice Faumuina.

 30 
Sala Baker
(Actor, Film actor)
Sala Baker
2
Birthdate: September 22, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wellington

Sala Baker is a New Zealand stuntman and actor best known for playing Sauron in the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Apart from playing the primary antagonist in the trilogy, Baker has also played a Gondorian, several Orcs, and one of the Rohirrim. The recipient of Screen Actors Guild Award, Sala Baker has also performed in other popular movies.

 31 
Craig Hall
(actor, film actor)
Craig Hall
2
Birthdate: May 10, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Auckland

Craig Hall is a New Zealand film and TV actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Clint in the popular TV series, The Strip. He has also appeared in other popular series like Xena: Warrior Princess, Underbelly: Razor, and A Place to Call Home.

 32 
Tana Umaga
(Former Rugby union centre)
Tana Umaga
2
Birthdate: May 27, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Tana Umaga is a New Zealand retired rugby union footballer who served as the captain of the national rugby union team. After retiring as a player, Umaga took up coaching career and served as the head coach of the Blues from 2016 to 2018. In 2021, he was appointed as the assistant coach of the Samoa national rugby union team.

 33 
Lawrence Makoare
2
Birthdate: March 20, 1968
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bastion Point

Lawrence Makoare is a New Zealand actor best known for his work in The Lord of the Rings movie series where he has played several important antagonists like the Witch King of Angmar and Lurtz the Uruk-Hai. Starting his career as a stuntman, Lawrence Makoare has also played prominent roles in The Hobbit film series. 

 34 
James Rolleston
1
Birthdate: June 8, 1997
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Zealand

James Rolleston is a New Zealand actor best known for his work in popular films like The Dark Horse and Boy. Apart from appearing in movies, he has also appeared in television commercials. Rolleston's acting career suffered a setback in 2016 when he was involved in a motor accident that left him with injuries to his brain and lower body.

 35 
John Tui
(Actor)
John Tui
2
Birthdate: June 11, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

John Tui is a New Zealand actor best known for his portarayal of Commander Anubis in Power Rangers S.P.D. He has also played important roles in popular films like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Hobbs & Shaw. John Tui has also appeared in theatre, playing Marcus Brutus in Julius Caesar and the title role in Othello.   

 36 
Chris Rankin
1
Birthdate: November 8, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

Chris Rankin is a New Zealand-born British actor best known for his portrayal of Percy Weasley in the famous Harry Potter film series. Chris Rankin, who has been acting since his school days, is credited with co-founding a theatre company named Painted Horse UK.

 37 
Lucky Diamond Rich
(circus performer)
Lucky Diamond Rich
2
Birthdate: 1971 AD
Birthplace: New Zealand

Lucky Diamond Rich is a New Zealand street performer, performance artist, and international arts festival performer. Among his famous acts are juggling on a unicycle and sword swallowing. He is best known as the most tattooed person in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records; he has held the record since 2006.

 38 
Jay Laga'aia
(Well recognized internationally for his role as Captain Typho in the Star Wars prequel franchise)
Jay Laga'aia
0
Birthdate: September 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

Jay Laga'aia is a New Zealand-Australian singer and actor. He achieved international recognition when he played Captain Typho in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and its 2005 sequel. Jay Laga'aia has become a household name in Australia for appearing in children's TV series like Jay's Jungle and Play School. 

 39 
John Clarke
(Former Comedian known predominantly for his long-running collaboration with fellow satirist, Bryan Dawe)
John Clarke
2
Birthdate: July 29, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Palmerston North, New Zealand
Died: April 9, 2017

John Clarke was a New Zealand writer, comedian, and satirist. A highly regarded writer, Clarke's work appeared on ABC in both television and radio. The recipient of three ARIA Music Awards, Clarke is best remembered for his collaboration with Bryan Dawe; the two released several comedy albums. In 2008, Clarke was made an inductee of the Logies Hall of Fame.     

 40 
Vincent Klyn
2
Birthdate: June 30, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Auckland

Vincent Klyn is a New Zealand-born surfer and actor best known for his portrayal of the main antagonist Fender Tremolo in the 1989 American martial-arts cyberpunk film Cyborg. As a surfer, Vincent Klyn has competed in the World Wide Surf tour. At the peak of his surfing career, Klyn was one of the top five surfers in the world.

 41 
Jed Brophy
(Most well known for his work in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings fantasy films)
Jed Brophy
0
Birthdate: October 29, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Taihape, New Zealand

Jed Brophy is a New Zealand actor best known for playing important roles in Peter Jackson's films like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Heavenly Creatures, Braindead, and King Kong. Also an important theatre actor, Brophy is renowned for his role in the popular play Skin Tight, which received the Scotsman Fringe First Award at the 1998 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

 42 
Michael Hurst
(Best Known for His Role in TV Series 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys')
Michael Hurst
0
Birthdate: September 20, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lancashire, England

Michael Hurst is a British-born New Zealand film director, actor, and writer. He is best known for his portrayal of Iolaus in American TV series like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. As a director, Michael Hurst is renowned for directing popular TV series like Spartacus and Legend of the Seeker.

 43 
Julian Arahanga
1
Birthdate: December 18, 1972
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Raetihi

Julian Arahanga is a New Zealand actor best known for playing Nig Heke in the 1994 drama film Once Were Warriors. He achieved international recognition in 1999 when he played Apoc in the science fiction action film The Matrix.

 44 
Vivian Dawson
0
Birthdate: July 18, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Vivian Dawson is a New Zealand model and actor. Born to a Chinese-Singaporean mother and Maori father, Dawson is best known for his portrayal of Gong Ming in one of the highest-grossing Chinese films of all time, Tiny Times 3. Vivian Dawson went on to reprise his role as Gong Ming in Tiny Times 4 and achieved popularity in China.

 45 
Mark Hadlow
(Actor best known internationally for playing the roles of Harry in King Kong and Dori, a Dwarf, in The Hobbit series)
Mark Hadlow
1
Birthdate: 1957 AD
Birthplace: Walgett, Australia

Mark Hadlow is an Australian-New Zealand comedian and actor. He is best known for playing a dwarf named Dori in The Hobbit series. He is also known for his portrayal of Harry in King Kong. For his services to the arts, Mark Hadlow was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit during the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours.

 46 
Oscar Kightley
(Acted in and co-wrote the successful 2006 film Sione's Wedding)
Oscar Kightley
0
Birthdate: September 14, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Apia, Samoa

Oscar Kightley is a Samoan-born New Zealand television presenter, actor, director, comedian, writer, and journalist. He is best known for his portrayal of Albert in the popular comedy film Sione's Wedding, which he co-wrote with James Griffin. Kightley's contribution to New Zealand entertainment was honored by the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand with a Scroll of Honour in 2019.      

 47 
Christian Cullen
(Retired Rugby union player regarded as one of the greatest fullbacks of all time)
Christian Cullen
1
Birthdate: February 12, 1976
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paraparaumu, New Zealand

Christian Cullen is a New Zealand former rugby union player who played for the national rugby union team. Nicknamed the Paekakariki Express, Cullen is often counted among the most potent running fullbacks of all time. Christian Cullen was part of the national team that won the gold medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 48 
Nathaniel Lees
(Best known for film roles in The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions)
Nathaniel Lees
0
Birthdate: July 20, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

Nathaniel Lees is a New Zealand actor and theatre director. He is best known for playing Uglúk in the second installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He is also known for portraying Mifune in The Matrix trilogy. Lees' contribution to theatre in New Zealand earned him the Senior Pacific Artist Award at the Arts Pasifika Awards in 2004.

 49 
James Napier Robertson
(Director, screenwriter and actor)
James Napier Robertson
0
Birthdate: March 24, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

James Napier Robertson is a New Zealand film director, writer, actor, and producer. He is best known for directing the 2014 film The Dark Horse, which earned him the Best Director and Best Screenplay awards at the New Zealand Film Awards. The film is also widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever produced in New Zealand.

 50 
Tim Kano
(Actor known for his role as Leo Tanaka on Neighbours)
Tim Kano
0
Birthdate: September 2, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Christchurch, New Zealand

Tim Kano is a New Zealand actor who achieved immense popularity in 2016 when he started playing Leo Tanaka in the popular Australian television soap opera, Neighbours. Kano appeared as Tanaka in 476 episodes, which made him a household name in New Zealand and Australia.