Movie News

Happy Birthday, Karl Urban!

Actor Karl Urban is 40 today!

Karl is known to Lord of the Rings fans as Éomer, nephew of Théoden King of Rohan. He stars in two films from the trilogy, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Karl has many films to his credit, most recently reprising his roles as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy for the Star Trek 2013 sequel and as Vaako for The Chronicles of Riddick. He has these and three other films due for release over the next eighteen months (Dredd, Loft and Overdrive).

Karl comes from Wellington, New Zealand but now lives in Auckland.  He became interested in films as a child, when his mother worked for Film Facilities. He took part in school stage productions and even, at the age of eight, had a line in the TV series Pioneer Woman.   Upon leaving school, Karl went to Victoria University, but left after a year to become an actor. He had several roles in the theatre before breaking into television and film, with a season in the soap Shortland Street bringing him to the nation’s attention.

In his free time Karl likes to be active and he enjoys surfing, golf and indoor rock climbing. He’s a huge fan of rugby union and the New Zealand All Blacks. For his role as Éomer, he rode for two hours a day, five days a week, for a couple of months to try to become a rider at one with his horse.  He certainly achieved this as, in the films, his riding seems effortless and natural.

Karl is an ambassador for the New Zealand charity KidsCan which supports disadvantaged children by giving them food and clothing.

Here’s wishing Karl a fabulous 40th birthday from everyone at Middle-earth Network.

Photo by Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. This man. Pelennor Fields scene… My heart quickens just thinking about how real his Eomer seemed, even when the battle was over. That is one intense guy. -shakes head-

    Happy birthday. I am so glad he was born.

    • lilymilos says:

      I agree, Elvish; it’s the Pelennor Fields scene. Every time I watch it with my dad, there’s this moment when he says, “That guy is just great.” Every single time.

      He made a perfect Bones in Star Trek, too! 🙂