Dean was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1976 in a family of Irish descent. His father, Lance, is a New Zealand professional landscape painter. Dean has a brother, Brett, who is also an actor (he recently joined the internet with his hilarious YouTube videos). Dean went to Rangitoto College and was a karate black belt at age 10. Finally, at 12 years old, he was discovered by a casting agent during a school speech competition.
Dean’s acting career began in 1995 with the leading role in Bonjour Timothy, a teen romance that earned him a nomination for Best Actor at the Giffoni Film Festival. Subsequent roles included several TV movies, including the role of Jim Hawkins in Return to Treasure Island with his future Hobbit colleagues Jed Brophy and William Kircher. Dean has made multiple guest appearances on several TV series like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, McLeod’s Daughters and Go Girls. He was also in the main cast of New Zealand fantasy series The Almighty Johnsons, playing the role of Anders Johnson, aka Bragi, the norse god of poetry.
Dean O’Gorman is well known for playing the role of Fili the Dwarf in Sir Peter Jackson’s three-part film adaptation of The Hobbit. He was cast in April 2011 to replace Rob Kazinsky in the role of Thorin Oakenshield’s heir to the throne.
In a recent interview with Rip It Up, Dean talked about being cast:
I did an audition for Bilbo and I thought that that was it and I just forgot about it… It might have been cynical but I also didn’t want to be disappointed, so yes, I just forgot about it. And then a year later I got this call offering me this role, and I was like, ‘What? But is it a good role? Do I actually get to speak? Or do you just want a dwarf or an orc running around in the background?’ But no it was a really good role. […]
In addition to acting, Dean O’Gorman is also a photographer. He held his first exhibition, focused on the Vietnam War, at the Page Blackie Gallery in Wellington in June 2012. You can admire his works at his official website deanogorman.com.
The Middle-earth News Team is pleased to wish Dean a very Happy Birthday!