Cliff Curtis

Active - 1993 - 2019  |   Born - Jul 27, 1968 in Rotorua, New Zealand  |   Genres - Drama, Thriller

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Biography by Nathan Southern

A ubiquitous actor specializing in ethnically oriented character roles of various racial backgrounds, New Zealand-born Cliff Curtis, who is of Maori decent, debuted onscreen in the very early '90s. He then proceeded to chalk up a myriad of effective supporting parts in A-list features including The Piano (1993), Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), Whale Rider (2002), Runaway Jury (2003), Sunshine (2007), and Live Free or Die Hard (2007). Curtis ascended to supporting billing opposite Harrison Ford and Sean Penn in the immigration-themed drama Crossing Over (2008) and tackled another major supporting role in Roland Emmerich's prehistoric adventure 10,000 B.C. (2008). Over the coming years, Curtis would continue to appear on screen, most notably on shows like Trauma and Missing.

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  • Is a New Zealand native of Maori descent.
  • Was a champion rock-and-roll dancer in the 1980s.
  • Made film debut in 1993's The Piano.  
  • Has won three New Zealand Film and TV Awards for his performances in Desperate Remedies (1995), Jubilee (2000) and Whale Rider (2003).
  • Co-founded the film production company Whenua Films in 2004 as a means to support New Zealand indigenous filmmakers.