Jul. 27th, 1968
Rotorua, Aotearoa, New Zealand
Cliff Curtis' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Clifford Vivian Devon "Cliff" Curtis (born July 27, 1968) is a New Zealand actor whose film credits include Whale Rider, Once Were Warriors, Blow, and The Dark Horse. He had television series roles on NBC's Trauma and Body of Proof, and ABC's Missing. He currently plays Travis, a lead character on the AMC horror-drama series Fear the Walking Dead, a companion series of The Walking Dead. Ethnically Māori, his many character roles have included a range of ethnicities, such as Latin American and Arab. Curtis is co-owner of the independent New Zealand production company Whenua Films.
Born in Rotorua, Aotearoa, New Zealand.
He's of New Zealand Maori descent (Ngati Hauiti, Te Arawa) he spent time when young learning the traditional Maori fighting styles of mau rakau. He enrolled at the New Zealand Drama School, and then the Teatro Dmitri Scoula in Switzerland.
After returning to Aotearoa New Zealand from Europe, he was cast in The Piano (1993). Subsequent roles in New Zealand include the camp melodrama Desperate Remedies (1993), the gruelling urban drama Once Were Warriors (1994), in which he plays a child rapist, and the lighthearted comedy Jubilee (2000).
In Hollywood, Cliff Curtis has played a range of different roles and ethnicities in films. He plays a Colombian in Blow (2001), an Arab in Three Kings (1999) and The Insider (1999), a Latino in Training Day (2001) and Runaway Jury (2003), and a drug dealer of ambiguous ethnicity in Bringing Out the Dead (1999). However, he is probably best known for his role as Paikea's father Porourangi, in Whale Rider (2002).
Curtis guards his personal life closely. He married in late 2009 in a lavish private ceremony at his home marae.
- Though he's Maori, he's only played a Maori in a couple of movies. He has been cast as nearly any other dark-skinned nationality having played, among others, Mexican-Americans, Colombians, Arabs and Chechens.
- Is one of nine children.
- Is in two separate films entitled "Fracture," playing a detective in both.
- While filming _Whale Rider (2002)_ (qv) he would approach 'Rawiri Paratene' (qv) in the mornings and annoy him in order to keep them both in character.
- Filmed his part as Pablo Escobar in Blow in just three days.
- Almost missed his flight from Auckland, New Zealand, to Los Angeles en route to Mexico to film _Blow (2001)_ (qv).