Temuera Morrison

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

Temuera Morrison

Morrison in October 2016
Temuera Derek Morrison

(1960-12-26) 26 December 1960
Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
ResidenceNew Zealand
Other namesTem
Alma materWesley College, Auckland
Western Heights High School
Years active1972–present
Partner(s)Ashlee Howden-Sadlier
Angela Marie Dotchin (1997–2002)
RelativesTaini Morrison (sister)
Sir Howard Morrison (paternal uncle)
Atareta Maxwell (paternal aunt) Michael Ashton (cousin)

He became known internationally after portraying Jango Fett and his clone troopers in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). In addition, he provided the voice of the clone troopers in both films. He 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 in Aquaman (2018).

Personal life

Morrison was born in the town of Rotorua, in the North Island of New Zealand. He is the son of Hana Morrison (née Stafford), and musician Laurie Morrison.[1] He is of Māori, as well as Scottish and Irish, descent.[2] 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. Morrison lives in New Zealand, and divides his time between filming there, Australia, and the United States. He has an adult son, James, from a relationship in the late-1980s with singer Kim Willoughby from the all-girl group When the Cat's Away; and a daughter, Aiorangi, with Peata Melbourne. Morrison's partner of seven years, Ashlee Howden-Sadlier, is 26 years his junior, and is of Tūhoe and Ngāti Porou descent.


His first role was Rangi in the 1973 film Rangi's Catch. 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 1992–1995; 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".[3]

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 made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to drama.[4]

He started writing an autobiography in 2009, which he hoped would inspire others to "reach for the stars".[5]

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.[6]

Star Wars

In later years, Morrison has gained attention for his role as the bounty hunter Jango Fett in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002). 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.[7] 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 "son") and another clone in the 2004 DVD re-releases of the original Star Wars trilogy, replacing the voice of Jason Wingreen.

He has since portrayed Jango Fett and his clones in a number of Star Wars video games, all produced by LucasArts. He played the commando "Boss" in Star Wars: Republic Commando, voiced all the troopers in Star Wars: Battlefront, and returned again to voice the bounty hunters Jango Fett and Boba Fett in Star Wars: Battlefront II as well as the clone advisor and the narrator of The 501st Journal. Morrison was again featured in Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, a game centered around his character Jango, in which the origins of Jango Fett are revealed. He played Boba Fett in the 2006 game Star Wars: Empire at War. He also reprised his roles uncredited as Jango Fett and various clones in LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game.

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 portrayed Abin Sur in the 2011 superhero film Green Lantern.[8]

He played lighthouse keeper and Arthur‘s father Tom Curry in the 2018 DC Comics film Aquaman.



Year Title Role Notes
1972 Rangi's Catch Rangi
1984 Other Halves Tony
1988 Never Say Die Alf Winters
1988 Mauri Young Cop
1990 The Grasscutter Detective Sergeant Harris TV movie
1994 Once Were Warriors Jake "The Muss" Heke
1996 Barb Wire Axel
1996 The Island of Dr. Moreau Azazello
1996 Broken English Manu
1996 Little White Lies Tim a.k.a. White Lies
1996 Whipping Boy Jack TV movie
1997 Speed 2: Cruise Control Juliano
1998 Six Days, Seven Nights Jager
1999 What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? Jake "The Muss" Heke Sequel to Once Were Warriors
1999 From Dusk till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter The Hangman Direct-to-video
2000 Vertical Limit Major Rasul
2001 Crooked Earth Will Bastion
2001 Ihaka: Blunt Instrument Tito Ihaka TV movie
2002 Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones Jango Fett, Clone Trooper
2004 The Beautiful Country Snakehead
2004 Blueberry Runi a.k.a. Renegade
2004 The Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett (voice) DVD version
2005 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith Commander Cody,
Clone Trooper
2005 River Queen Te Kai Po
2005 The Reluctant Hero Narrator TV movie; documentary
2008 Rain of the Children Rua Kenana Documentary
2009 The Immortal Voyage of Captain Drake Don Sandovate TV movie
2009 Couples Retreat Briggs
2009 The 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
2012 Fresh Meat Hemi Crane
2013 Mt Zion Dad
2016 Mahana (The Patriarch) Grandfather Mahana
2016 Hard Target 2 Madden Direct-to-video
2016 Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child Warden Mourdain
2016 Moana Chief Tui (voice)[9]
2016 Dawn Wikkanak TV movie
2018 Occupation Peter Bartlett
2018 Aquaman Thomas Curry
2019 Dora and the Lost City of Gold Powell
2019 Mosley Warfield


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 Dr. Hone Ropata Main role
1995 New Zealand at War Narrator Documentary miniseries
2001–2002 Mataku Presenter/Host
2005 The Tem Show Presenter/Host Talk show
2006 Bro'Town Himself (voice) Episode: "Know Me Before You Haunt Me"
2011 Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Doctore Episodes: "Past Transgressions" and "Missio"
2012 Missing Christmas Jack TePania (voice)[9] 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)[9] Animated series; main role
9 Episodes
2015 Tatau Anaru Vaipiti Miniseries; main role
2016 This Is Piki Bill Mercer
2018 Frontier Te Rangi

Video games

Year Title Role Notes Source
2002 Star Wars: Bounty Hunter Jango Fett (voice) [9]
2004 Star Wars: Battlefront Republic Infantry / Republic Officer (voice) [9]
2005 Star Wars: Republic Commando RC-1138 "Delta 38" (voice) [9]
2005 LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game Jango Fett / Clone Troopers (voice) Uncredited
2005 Star Wars: Battlefront II Boba Fett / Jango Fett / Republic Officer 1 / Retired Clone Trooper (voice) [9]
2006 Star Wars: Empire at War Boba Fett (voice) [9]
2015 Star Wars Battlefront
2017 Star Wars Battlefront II


  1. "Temuera Morrison Biography (1961–)". Film Reference Library. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  2. Spratt, Amanda (23 October 2005). "Howard Morrison a knight in full voice". Herald on Sunday. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  3. "Once were Warriors star Jake a millstone". Stuff/Fairfax. 19 August 2014.
  4. Queen's Birthday Honours List 1996 Archived 19 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  5. "Once Were Warriors star hits write note". Stuff/Fairfax. 19 August 2014.
  6. "Temuera Morrison - 'Tem'". Radio New Zealand. 9 November 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  7. Capps, Kriston (28 November 2014). "Of Course There Are Black Stormtroopers in Star Wars". The Atlantic. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  8. Borys Kit (15 March 2010). "Two kiwi actors join "Green Lantern"". Reuters. Reuters.com. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  9. "Temuera Morrison - 18 Character Images | Behind The Voice Actors". behindthevoiceactors.com. Check mark indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources.
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