Jonathan Manu Bennett is a New Zealand actor who was born on October 10, 1969. He is best recognized for his roles as Crixus in Spartacus, Allanon in The Shannara Chronicles, Slade Wilson / Deathstroke in Arrow, and Azog the Defiler in The Hobbit trilogy. Originally from New Zealand, Bennett was born in 1969.
His parents, Australian bikini model Jean Bennett and New Zealand singer Ted Bennett, raised him. Bennett was just a few months old when the family relocated to Australia. In addition to his Irish heritage, Bennett’s father is of Mori ancestry (particularly, Te Arawa and Ngati Kahungunu).
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Manu Bennett’s Early Life
Her Scottish ancestry is evident in her son. Merewether High School in Sydney, Australia, was his alma mater, and he spent most of his childhood there. Bennett returned to New Zealand in 1986 to play rugby for the 1st XV at Te Aute College. The New South Wales Schoolboys Rugby Union Team selected Bennett upon his return to Australia. Bennett gave up rugby to pursue his passions for modern dance, classical ballet, and piano at university.
He then won a scholarship to the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in Los Angeles. Bennet revealed, during an audience Q&A in Boston, the car tragedy that killed his mother and sibling and left him unconscious for two weeks. For him, acting was “my road to survival” at the time because his fiancée was an accomplished ballet dancer, and he was inspired by her to pursue it as a means of expressing himself.
Manu Bennett’s Personal Life
It was in the adolescent serial Paradise Beach in 1993 that Manu Bennett made his professional acting debut. Blue Heelers and Water Rats were two of his more notable television roles, as well as All Saints. In 1999, he landed his first leading part in the film Tomoko. In addition, he appeared in the 2001 Australian film Lantana as a salsa dancing instructor.
As soon as Manu returned to New Zealand, he was cast in the popular television show Shortland Street.
In addition, he appeared in the Tomb Raider sequel, The Cradle of Life, alongside Angelina Jolie. He was the host of the reality series “Going straight” in 2003. When he appeared as Azog the Defiler in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 2012, he gained a lot of fame.
In addition, he appeared in both the first and second seasons of Arrow as Slade Wilson. In the popular television series The Shannara Chronicles, he has appeared on a regular basis since 2016.
Manu Bennett’s Net Worth
Actor Manu Bennett has a net worth of $1.5 million dollars through his work in New Zealand. Born in New Zealand, Manu Bennett grew raised in an entertainment family. As a child, he was surrounded by the worlds of modeling and music. Then he went to New Zealand for high school, where he graduated from Te Aute College, where he was raised.
Manu Bennett’s Career
It was Paradise Beach that launched Bennett’s career as an actor. Subsequent appearances on the small screen included Water Rats, All Saints, and Beastmaster (to name a few). The Violent Earth, a French company Gaumont miniseries in which Bennett co-starred with Claudia Karvan, followed. Bennett performed in a play in 1996.
Darlene Rada Ford from Bondi Beach pushed him to pursue more serious acting opportunities abroad when he appeared in an open-air production of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, produced by Australian film/theatre director Robert Chuter.
Bennett made his feature film debut in 1999 as the lead alongside Rumiko Koyanagi in Tomoko, which was shot on location in Tokyo. As Marc Antony in Xena: Warrior Princess in 2000 and as a salsa dance instructor with Anthony LaPaglia in the award-winning Australian film, Lantana, Bennett demonstrated his talents as a dancer.
New Zealand-born actor Bennett first appeared in Shortland Street in 2000, followed by roles in Street Legal, Mataku, and Creature Quest, all of which were directed by his cousin, Michael Bennett, who also directed the Mori Twilight Zone-styled series Mataku.
Bennett was cast in the Tomb Raider sequel The Cradle of Life in August 2002 after a successful audition with Angelina Jolie. His rival, actor Gerard Butler, was able to secure the job. Bennett was the host of the New Zealand reality show Going Straight in 2003.
With John Cena and Robert Patrick, Bennett was a part of The Marine, which was released in 2006. As a convict in The Condemned, Bennett shared the screen with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vinnie Jones. Bennett starred in the 2006 American film 30 Days of Night as Deputy Billy Kitka opposite Josh Hartnett.
Spartacus, the new American television series about the stubborn gladiator Spartacus, has Bennett as one of its co-stars from 2010 until 2013. Crixus, the Champion of Capua, was played by Bennett. All four seasons of this series starred him, and he was the only cast member to appear in every episode.
As Azog the Defiler in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), he reprised his role as the film’s antagonist. As Slade Wilson, Bennett joined the cast of Arrow in November 2012 and was elevated to series regular in March 2013. After then, he appeared in a number of guest spots in the following seasons. Actor Jason Momoa, who appeared in Stargate Atlantis and Conan the Barbarian, replaced Bennett in both roles. MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles cast Manu as the druid Allanon in December 2014.
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