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Temuera Morrison

Temuera Morrison 2016.jpg
Morrison in 2016
Born
Temuera Derek Morrison

(1960-12-26) 26 December 1960 (age 63)
Rotorua, New Zealand
Other names Tem
Alma mater
  • Wesley College, Auckland
  • Western Heights High School
Occupation Actor
Years active 1972–present
Known for
Partner(s) Angela Dotchin (1997–2002)
Children 2
Relatives
  • Taini Morrison (sister)
  • Sir Howard Morrison (uncle)
  • Atareta Maxwell (aunt)
  • Michael Ashton (cousin)

Temuera Derek Morrison MNZM (born 26 December 1960) is a New Zealand actor who first gained recognition in his home country for playing Dr. Hone Ropata on the soap opera Shortland Street. He gained critical acclaim for his starring role as Jake "The Muss" Heke in the 1994 film Once Were Warriors and its 1999 sequel What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

Outside New Zealand, Morrison is best known for his work in the Star Wars multimedia franchise, playing the roles of Jango Fett as well as his many genetic clones, including the clone troopers and Jango's clone son Boba. He originated the role of Jango in the 2002 film Attack of the Clones. Morrison would go on to provide the voice of Boba Fett in the 2004 re-release of The Empire Strikes Back, and then portray Boba fully in the second season of The Mandalorian (2019–present) and the spin-off show The Book of Boba Fett (2021–2022). In 2022, he also had a recurring role in the black ops thriller series Echo 3. Morrison is also known for voicing Chief Tui, the father of the title character in Disney's Moana (2016), and for playing Arthur Curry's father Tom Curry in the DCEU films Aquaman (2018), The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (both in 2023).

Early life

Morrison was born on 26 December 1960 in the town of Rotorua, on the North Island of New Zealand. He is the son of Hana Morrison (née Stafford), and musician Laurie Morrison. He is Māori, of Te Arawa (Ngāti Whakaue) and Tainui (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Rarua) whakapapa, and also has Scottish and Irish ancestry. His sister was performer Taini Morrison and his uncle was musician Sir Howard Morrison. His secondary education took place at Wesley College, Auckland, and Western Heights High School, Rotorua.

Career

Morrison made his film debut in the 1973 film Rangi's Catch, playing the title character. He trained in drama under the New Zealand Special Performing Arts Training Scheme. One of his earliest starring roles was in the 1988 film Never Say Die, opposite Lisa Eilbacher. After this he played Dr. Hone Ropata on the television soap opera Shortland Street from 1992 to 1995; he was immortalised when another character rebuked him with the line "You're not in Guatemala now, Dr. Ropata!"

In 1994, he received attention for his role as the violent and abusive Māori husband Jake "The Muss" Heke in Once Were Warriors, a film adaptation of Alan Duff's novel of the same name. The film became the most successful local title released in New Zealand, and sold to many countries overseas. The role won him international acclaim and he received the award for best male performance in a dramatic role at the 1994 New Zealand Film and Television Awards. He reprised the role in the sequel, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?, for which he received the Best Actor award from the New Zealand Film Awards. Despite the acclaim he received for his performance, Morrison said in 2010 that he felt typecast by the role, to the point that it was "a millstone round my neck".

He has appeared in supporting roles in Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) and The Beautiful Country (2004). In 2005, Morrison became the host of the talk show The Tem Show on New Zealand television.

In the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours, Morrison was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to drama.

He started writing an autobiography in 2009, which he hoped would inspire others to "reach for the stars".

He released his debut album, Tem, through Sony Music Entertainment NZ in late November 2014. The album consists of covers of songs that his father, and uncle Sir Howard Morrison, used to perform at local venues when he was growing up.

Star Wars

Morrison became widely known to audiences outside of New Zealand with his role as bounty hunter Jango Fett in the 2002 film Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. Part of the film's plot involves an army of clones created with Jango's DNA; Morrison also provided the voice acting for the clones. He reappeared as a number of clones in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and re-recorded the lines of the character Boba Fett (Jango's clone "son") in the 2004 DVD re-releases of the original Star Wars trilogy, replacing the voice of Jason Wingreen.

Morrison has since portrayed Jango Fett and his clones in a number of Star Wars video games, all produced by LucasArts. He played the clone commando "Boss" in Star Wars: Republic Commando (2005), voiced all the troopers in Star Wars: Battlefront (2004), and voiced both Jango and Boba Fett in its sequel, Battlefront II (2005). Morrison reprised his role as Jango in Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (2002), a game centered around the character, and LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (2005), along with his clones, but was uncredited in the latter. He also voiced Boba in the 2006 game Star Wars: Empire at War, and DICE's Star Wars Battlefront (2015) and Battlefront II (2017), the latter of which were produced by EA.

Morrison physically portrayed Boba Fett for the first time in the second season of The Mandalorian (2020). In the show, Morrison portrays an aged, weathered version of the character. Morrison's Fett has heavy scars on his face, and wears dark robes before reclaiming and restoring his armor. Morrison says that with the physically worn appearance, he adjusted his voice to be more gravelly, as if Boba's vocal cords were affected by his past traumas. With the role, Morrison was also able to bring a bit of his own Māori culture to Fett's portrayal. In an interview with The New York Times, he said that he "wanted to bring that kind of spirit and energy, which we call wairua, [to the role]" and used that influence in his on-screen fight scenes, both in the hand-to-hand combat and while wielding weapons.

In 2020, a spinoff of the hit series The Mandalorian was announced, titled The Book of Boba Fett. Morrison reprises his role as Boba Fett, following Fett's life after the events of the 1983 film Return of the Jedi. The series premiered on 29 December 2021.

In 2022, Morrison made a cameo appearance as a homeless veteran clone trooper in the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series, and voiced Rex and other clones in an episode of Ahsoka.

Other roles

Morrison returned to Shortland Street for six weeks in June/July 2008 to reprise the role of Dr. Hone Ropata.

In 2008, Morrison also appeared on New Zealand skit comedy television show Pulp Sport, where he appeared in a sketch that made fun of him being cloned.

Morrison has appeared in several DC Comics-related films. In the 2011 film Green Lantern, he portrayed Abin Sur. In 2018 he played lighthouse keeper Tom Curry, the father of the title character, in Aquaman. Morrison reprised the role in The Flash, released in 2023, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, scheduled for release in December 2023.

Personal life

Morrison lives in New Zealand, and divides his time between filming there, Australia, and the United States. He has an adult son from a relationship in the late-1980s with singer Kim Willoughby from the all-girl group When the Cat's Away; and a daughter with Peata Melbourne. Morrison's partner is Ashlee Howden-Sadlier, who is of Māori descent (specifically Tūhoe and Ngāti Porou descent).

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1972 Rangi's Catch Rangi
1984 Other Halves Tony
1988 Never Say Die Alf Winters
Mauri Young Cop
The Grasscutter Sergeant Harris Television film
1994 Once Were Warriors Jake 'The Muss' Heke
1996 Barb Wire Axel Hood
Island of Dr. Moreau, TheThe Island of Dr. Moreau Azazello
Broken English Manu
Little White Lies Tim
Whipping Boy Jack Television film
1997 Speed 2: Cruise Control First Mate Juliano
1998 Six Days, Seven Nights Jager
1999 What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? Jake 'The Muss' Heke
From Dusk till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter Mauricio / The Hangman Direct-to-video
2000 Vertical Limit Major Rasul
2001 Crooked Earth Will Bastion
Ihaka: Blunt Instrument Tito Ihaka Television film
2002 Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones Jango Fett
Clone troopers Voice; performed by Bodie Taylor
2004 Beautiful Country, TheThe Beautiful Country Snakehead
Blueberry Runi
The Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett Voice; The original trilogy DVD version
2005 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith Commander Cody
Clone troopers Role shared with Bodie Taylor
River Queen Te Kai Po
The Reluctant Hero Narrator TV documentary
2008 Rain of the Children Rua Kenana Documentary
2009 The Immortal Voyage of Captain Drake Don Sandovate Television film
Couples Retreat Briggs
Marine 2, TheThe Marine 2 Damo Direct-to-video
2010 Tracker Kereama
2011 Green Lantern Abin Sur
2012 The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption King Ramusan Direct-to-video
Fresh Meat Hemi Crane
2013 Mt. Zion Dad
2016 Mahana (The Patriarch) Grandfather Mahana
Hard Target 2 Madden Direct-to-video
The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One Warden Mourdain
Moana Chief Tui Voice
Dawn Wikkanak Television film
2018 Occupation Peter Bartlett
Aquaman Tom Curry
2019 The Brighton Miracle Eddie Jones
Dora and the Lost City of Gold Powell
Mosley Warfield
2021 Occupation: Rainfall Peter Bartlett
2023 The Flash Tom Curry
Sons of Summer Frank
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Not yet released Tom Curry Post-production
2024 Ka Whawhai Tonu Not yet released Rewi Maniapoto Post-production
Key
Not yet released Denotes works that have not yet been released

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1986 Seekers Selwyn Broadhead 10 episodes
1987 Adventurer Maru 10 episodes
1987–1990 Gloss Sean Recurring role
1990 Shark in the Park Mason / Mark Episode: "Ten-Zero, Dingo"
1992–1995, 2008 Shortland Street Hone Ropata Main role
1995 New Zealand at War Narrator Documentary miniseries
2001–2002 Mataku Presenter / Host
2005 The Tem Show Talk show
2006 Bro'Town Himself Voice, episode: "Know Me Before You Haunt Me"
2011 Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Doctore 2 episodes
2012 Missing Christmas Jack TePania Voice, animated Christmas special; Precursor of series The Barefoot Bandits
2013 The Life and Times of Temuera Morrison Himself Documentary miniseries
2014 Happy Hour Presenter / Host
2015 The Barefoot Bandits Jack TePania Voice, main role (9 episodes)
Tatau Anaru Vaipiti Miniseries; Main role
2016 This Is Piki Bill Mercer
2018 Frontier Te Rangi 4 episodes
2020–2023 The Mandalorian Boba Fett 4 episodes
Clone troopers Voice, episode: "Chapter 20: The Foundling"
2021 Star Wars: Visions Boba Fett Voice, episode: "Tatooine Rhapsody"; English language dub
2021–2022 The Book of Boba Fett Boba Fett Lead role; 6 episodes
Clone troopers Voice, episode: "Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger"; uncredited
2022 Obi-Wan Kenobi Veteran clone trooper Episode: "Part II"
My Life Is Murder Frankie Jones Episode: "The Village"
Echo 3 Roy Lennon 2 episodes
2023 Spirit Rangers Ngārara Voice, episode: "A Tale of Tails"
Far North Ed Main role
Ahsoka Captain Rex, Clone troopers Voice, episode: "Part Five: Shadow Warrior"
TBA Chief of War Chief Kahekili Upcoming miniseries

Video games

Year Title Role Notes Source
2002 Star Wars: Bounty Hunter Jango Fett Voice
2004 Star Wars: Battlefront Republic infantry, republic officer Voice
2005 Star Wars: Republic Commando RC-1138 "Delta 38" Voice
Lego Star Wars: The Video Game Jango Fett, clone troopers Voice; Uncredited
Star Wars: Battlefront II Narrator, Boba Fett, Jango Fett, republic officer 1, retired clone trooper Voice
2006 Star Wars: Empire at War Boba Fett Voice
2015 Star Wars Battlefront Voice
2017 Star Wars Battlefront II Voice
2023 Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Voice

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Temuera Morrison para niños

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