11 Celebrities from New Zealand

© Gage Skidmore on Flickr

Small Country: Big Stars! Here Are the Famous New Zealanders!

With only 4 million people in New Zealand, it is pretty hard to secure a place in the celebrity magazines. And it’s not like the 40 million sheep are going to help! Nevertheless, We’ve still managed to spruce up a list of 10 celebrities from New Zealand! Did you know any of these stars were from New Zealand?

From singers to actors, New Zealand has its fair share of celebrities that you may want to familiarise yourself with. So you know to get a photo when you spot them in the New World supermarket.

For more things about New Zealand, check out the 10 Things You Did Not Know About New Zealand. But for now, let’s go over our list of famous people from New Zealand.

1. Lorde

Kicking off our list of famous New Zealanders is Lorde. Lorde hit the big time with her first single “Royals” that won three Grammy Awards, and since then has released numerous award-winning albums such as “Pure Heroine” and “Melodrama”. She can still be seen playing New Zealand festivals.

Annette Geneva on Wikipedia© Annette Geneva on Wikipedia

2. Russell Crowe

The world-famous Gladiator was born in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. However, he has lived most of his life in Australia. He’s a BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award-winning actor starring in over 50 films. No doubt that he is the most famous of all the New Zealand actors.

Paul Cush on Wikipedia© Paul Cush on Wikipedia

3. Peter Jackson

When looking for famous people from New Zealand, Peter Jackson is always on top of the list. His work on The Lord of the Rings shot him straight to stardom and branded New Zealand as “Middle-earth”. Learn more about his work at the Weta Workshop in Wellington.

© Gage Skidmore on Flickr

4. Sonny Bill Williams

The “sexiest rugby player” is a true product of New Zealand. He is most famous for being a player in the All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union team. He also plays rugby league and is a heavyweight boxer. Other famous rugby players include Richie McCaw and Dan Carter. Admittedly, Sonny Bill Williams may not be the most famous New Zealand celebrities around the globe, but he is a mega star here.

Gerard Barrau on Wikipedia© Gerard Barrau on Wikipedia

5. Taika Waititi

Filmmaker and director, Taika Waititi, also known as Taika Cohen, directed Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder, as well as hit New Zealand movies like Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. He has also received an Academy Award nomination for Two Cars, One Night. Waititi also has played acting roles in Thor: Ragnarok, Boy, Green Lantern and more.

 Gage Skidmore on Wikipedia© Gage Skidmore on Wikipedia

6. Keith Urban

Another famous New Zealanders that spends most of his time in the US. Nicole Kidman’s hubby and country singer, Keith Urban, won a Grammy and a Golden Globe for his soundtrack contribution to the movie Act of Valor.

J-smith.17 at English Wikipedia© J-smith.17 at English Wikipedia

7. Flight of the Conchords

Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie formed New Zealand’s funniest band. They also had a hit TV series also named Flight of the Conchords. For more Flight of the Conchords, check out our list of the 10 best NZ ads from the TV show. The duo of New Zealand actors also feature on the blockbuster Avatar sequels.

 Kim Metso on Wikipedia© Kim Metso on Wikipedia

8. Cliff Curtis

Born in Rotorua, Cliff Curtis has featured in many TV series like The Walking Dead. He also has a few movies under his belt, such as Live Free or Die Hard, Training Day, and NZ-made movie Boy.

Gage Skidmore on Wikipedia© Gage Skidmore on Wikipedia

9. Karl Urban

RED, Star Trek, The Chronicles of Riddick, The Bourne Supremacy, The Lord Of the Rings, Dredd, Starwars: The Rise of Skywalker… Karl Urban is a busy actor with roles in one blockbuster after the other. But that’s not it, the restless actor is also the lead in the incredibly popular show The Boys where he fights evil superhero for the streaming service PRIM by Amazon.

Gage Skidmore on Wikipedia© Gage Skidmore on Wikipedia

10. Lucy Lawless

Here comes the most famous of all the New Zealand actresses. That’s right, Xena the Warrior princess is from New Zealand! Lucy Lawless also acted in Battlestar Galactica, Parks and Recreation and 3 seconds in Spider-Man.

Gage Skidmore on Flickr© Gage Skidmore on Flickr

11. Martin Henderson

Dr Nathan Riggs (Grey’s Anatomy) himself is a kiwi too. Born in Auckland in 1974, Martin Henderson has starred in New Zealand TV shows such as Shortland Street as well as US shows such as Grey’s Anatomy. On the big screen, Martin Henderson is famous for his roles in Little Fish which scored him a couple of nominations as well as Smokin’Aces and Everest.

10 Celebrities from New Zealand© ABC Network / Disney

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