Cliff Curtis

Cliff Curtis, of Maori descent, spent his early years mastering the traditional Maori wrestling style, mau rakau. He later attended the New Zealand Drama School and expanded his training at the prestigious Teatro Dmitri Scoula in Switzerland. His film debut came in 1993 under Jane Campion's direction in "The Piano Lesson."
Curtis then secured notable roles in New Zealand films such as the melodrama "Desperate Remedies" (1993) and the urban drama "Once Were Warriors" (1994), where he portrayed a complex character. However, it was in Hollywood where Curtis made significant strides, showcasing his versatility by portraying diverse ethnicities: 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 mysterious dealer in Martin Scorsese's "Bringing Out the Dead" (1999). Yet, his portrayal of Paikea's father, Porourangi, in "Whale Rider" (2002) truly highlighted his talents.
Curtis continued to feature prominently in various films including Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain," Danny Boyle's "Sunshine," and "Live Free or Die Hard" (2007). In 2008, he starred in Roland Emmerich's epic "10,000 BC." He later appeared in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender" (2010) and joined Harrison Ford in Wayne Kramer's "Crossing Over" (2009). Known for his action roles, Curtis appeared in films like "Colombiana" (2011), "The Dark Horse" (2014), "Last Knights" (2015), "The Meg" (2018), and "Reminiscence" (2021).
On television, Curtis delivered notable performances in series such as "Missing" and "Gang Related," but his most significant role came in the first three seasons of "Fear the Walking Dead," where he portrayed a resilient father. In 2022, Curtis starred in two contrasting films: the independent drama "Murina" and James Cameron's blockbuster "Avatar: The Way of Water."