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Manu Bennett (born 10 October 1969), also known as John Bennett or Jon Bennett, is a New Zealand actor. He is best known for his portrayal as the Gallic gladiator Crixus, in the Starz television series Spartacus, and as Azog the Defiler in Peter Jackson's three-part film adaptation based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. He also plays Slade Wilson in Arrow.

Born in New Zealand, Bennett's mother was an Australian bikini model, his father a New Zealand singer. The family moved to Australia when Bennett was a few months old. On his father's side, Bennett is of M??ori (specifically Te Arawa and Ng??ti Kahungunu) and Irish descent. His mother is of Scottish and Spanish ancestry.[citation needed] 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. In an interview, Bennett talked about the car accident that killed his mother and brother and put him in a two-week coma. He cites that because of his girlfriend, who was a ballet dancer, he got into acting and found it to be the medium to which direct his emotions saying, "Acting was my route to survival."
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 Beastmaster. Bennett then starred alongside Claudia Karvan in the mini series The Violent Earth, produced by French company Gaumont. In 1996, Bennett participated in theatre. In an open air production of " Lady Chatterley's Lover", based on D. H. Lawrence's novel, directed by Australian film/theatre director Robert Ch

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Manu Bennett Latest News

Happy Birthday! Manu Bennett Turns 47 Years Old Today

Happy birthday, Manu Bennett! The actor turns 47 today. Born in New Zealand, the actor was raised by his parents Jean and Ted. The family moved to Australia shortly after Bennet was born and grew up between Sydney and Newcastle. The actor ha an interest in ...
Posted: October 10, 2016, 12:43 pm

Ben Affleck’s THE BATMAN Sets Its Schedule, and More Movie News

What I continue to find amusing about Manganiello’s casting is how closely he resembles the actor who plays Deathstroke on TV’s Arrow: New Zealander Manu Bennett. In fact, both actors resemble each other a lot more than they do comic artist George ...
Posted: October 18, 2016, 9:07 am

Happy Birthday: Manu Bennett

[on attending a boarding school for Maori boys in New Zealand.] It was like being sent to gladiator school. Like prison. The only things people respected were strength, being good at rugby, and being able to hold your own in a fight.
Posted: October 9, 2016, 10:23 pm
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