Temuera Morrison

Question: What do a doctor, a violent drunk, a stormtrooper, and a space traveling bounty hunter have in common?
Answer: Temuera Morrison, award winning actor and singer, originally from Rotorua.

From Rotorua to Hollywood

Temuera Derek Morrison was born in Rotorua in 1960 to Hana Morrison and musician Laurie Morrison (Sir Howard Morrison’s brother). He grew up in Ohakune and graduated from the Massey University with a degree in drama. He trained in drama under the New Zealand Special Performing Arts Training Scheme.

An 11-year-old Temuera Morrison was given his first role in a British TV series Rangi’s Catch after being spotted performing for tourists in Rotorua. The series, seen in New Zealand cinemas as a shortened movie version, was filmed by expat Kiwi director Michael Forlong.

It was the start of an impressive list of local and international roles ranging from comedy to dark drama. His film titles include Never Say Die, Barb Wire, Little White Lies, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Vertical limit, Crooked Earth, The Beautiful Country, The Green Lantern, and Aquaman to name but a few. Later this year he will appear in The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

Temuera Morrison became a household name when he portrayed Dr. Hone Ropata on Shortland Street, but he gained critical acclaim internationally as Jake “The Muss” Heke in Once Were Warriors in 1994, a role he reprised in the 1999 sequel What becomes of the Broken Hearted?

Star Wars

Morrison appeared as the bounty hunter Jango Fett in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002); he also provided the voice for Jango Fett clones. Since then, he has portrayed Jango Fett in four more movies in the Stars Wars Franchise. He rerecorded the lines of Boba Fett (Jango Fett’s son for the remastered 2004 DVD collection of the original Stars Wars trilogy.

Boba Fett became a bigger role than his father, in fact he got his own Disney+ series called The Book of Boba Fett, with Morrison portraying the titular character. Morrison joked, “I worked hard on the physical side…some of these fans were calling me Boba Fat.”

Stage and Song

In addition to his film and television work, Morrison has starred in stage productions of Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear, as well as several contemporary plays. Morrison is also a successful singer and songwriter, having released two albums.


Although nominated for awards several times, his role as Jake Heke earned him a Best Actor Award at the 1994 New Zealand Film and TV Awards.

He was also appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to drama, in the 1996 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Morrison is considered one of New Zealand’s most accomplished actors and has been praised for his versatility and commitment to his craft. He currently lives in New Zealand and divides his time filming here, in Australia, and in the United States.

Published by BOP Business Publications
Published by BOP Business Publications
Publisher: Bay of Plenty Business Publications Limited, PO Box 155, Tauranga 3144 info@bopbusinessnews.co.nz, www.bopbusinessnews.co.nz

Related Articles