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Manu Bennett

Full / Real Name: Jonathan Manu Bennett
Born: 10 October 1969 (52 years old)
Gender: Male

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Bio

Manu Bennett, also known as John Bennett or Jon Bennett, is a New Zealand-born Australian actor best known for his role as Crixus, the Undefeated Gaul, in the American fantasy drama television series Spartacus, about the uprising started by the gladiator Spartacus in the Roman Republic.

He also had roles playing the villain Azog in The Hobbit and as Slade Wilson in Arrow.

Born in New Zealand, Bennett's mother was an Australian bikini model and his father was a famous New Zealand singer. The family moved to Australia when Bennett was a few months old.

On his father's side, Bennett is of Te Arawa and Ngati Kahungunu Maori descent and Irish stock. There is Scottish and Spanish blood on his mother's side. He was raised mostly between Sydney and Newcastle, Australia.

In 1986 Bennett returned to New Zealand to attend Te Aute College where he played for the 1st XV. Upon returning to Australia, Bennett was chosen in the New South Wales Schoolboys Rugby Union Team.

Interested in modern dancing, classical ballet and piano, Bennett quit rugby to attend university to study dance and drama then travelled to Los Angeles on a scholarship to attend The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.

Bennett's professional acting career began in 1993 in the teen soap Paradise Beach. He then played guest roles in other Australian TV dramas including, Water Rats, All Saints, and Beastmaser. Bennett then starred alongside Claudia Karvan in the miniseries The Violent Earth, produced by French company Gaumont.

In 1999 Bennett landed his first leading role in a feature film named Tomoko which was shot on location in Tokyo, opposite award-winning Japanese actress Rumiko Koyangi.

In 2000 Bennett starred in Xena: Warrior Princess as Marc Antony then scored a role opposite Without A Trace star Anthony La Paglia, where Bennett displayed his dancing skills as a salsa dance teacher in the award winning Australian film, Lantana.

Bennett returned to New Zealand in 2000 to appear in the popular television drama, Shortland Street, then went on to play a cop turned lawyer in Street Legal before working with his director cousin Michael Bennett on the Maori Twighlight Zone styled series called Mataku, before working with Richard Taylor from the Academy Award winning firm Weta Workshop on Creature Quest.

In 2006, Bennett was cast in The Marine alongside WWE wrestling star John Cena and Robert Patrick from Terminator 2 & Walk The Line.

In 2007 Bennett was portrayed as one of ten convicts alongside Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vinnie Jones in The Condemned. In 2006 Bennett was cast opposite Josh Hartnett to play Deputy Billy Kitka in the No.1 US Box Office hit 30 Days of Night.

Bennett stars in the American television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand about the defiant gladiator Spartacus in which Bennett plays Crixus - The Champion of Capua.

He also had a starring role as Sunshine, a new breed of biker who was in and out of institutions and prison since he was 14, in the true life drama miniseries Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms, in 2012.

He also started a recurring role in the superhero drama Arrow, which became a series regular role in Season 2.






Television Roles

Show

Character

Slade Wilson

Slade Wilson

Slade Wilson

Slade Wilson

Slade Wilson

Sunshine

Marc Antony




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