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Graham Greene (actor)

Graham Greene
Greene in 1998
Born (1951-06-22) June 22, 1951
Six Nations Reserve, Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Actor
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Hilary Blackmore (1994–present)

Graham Greene, CM (born June 22, 1951) is a Canadian First Nations actor who has worked on stage, in film, and in TV productions in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


  • Early life and career 1
  • Career 2
  • Awards and nominations 3
  • Filmography 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and career

Greene is an Oneida born in Ohsweken, on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, the son of Lillian and John Greene, who was a paramedic and maintenance man.[1] He lived in Hamilton, Ontario, as a young adult.[2]

His first brushes with the entertainment industry came when he worked as an audio technician for rock bands based in Newfoundland and Labrador, when he went by the alias "Mabes". He graduated from the Toronto-based Centre for Indigenous Theatre's Native Theatre School program in 1974. Soon after, he began performing in professional theatre in Toronto and England.


His TV debut was in an episode of The Great Detective in 1979, and his screen debut was in 1983 in Running Brave. He appeared in such films as Revolution and Powwow Highway, as well as the First Nations, CBC TV series Spirit Bay.

It was his Academy Award–nominated role as Kicking Bird (Lakota: Ziŋtká Nagwáka) in the 1990 film Dances with Wolves that brought him fame. He followed this role with films and performances on TV series, including Thunderheart, Benefit of the Doubt, and Maverick, and the television series Northern Exposure and The Red Green Show. Greene also acted alongside Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in the 1995 film Die Hard with a Vengeance, where he played Detective Joe-Rob Lambert. He hosted the reality crime documentary show Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science.

He co-starred as Slick Nakai with Adam Beach and Wes Studi in the film A Thief of Time (2004) and Coyote Waits, both adapted from Tony Hillerman novels of the same names and produced by Robert Redford.

In 1992, Greene played the role of Ishi, the last Yahi, in the HBO drama The Last of His Tribe.[3] He also appeared that year in the contemporary action-mystery film, Thunderheart (1992), playing Walter Crow Horse, a gruff, savvy local cop living on an Indian reservation.

In 1994, he began appearing as Mr. Crabby Tree in the children's series The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon, for which he received the Gemini Award. In 1997, Greene suffered a major depressive episode, and had to be hospitalized after a police encounter. He recovered after help from Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson.

Greene was featured as Arlen Bitterbuck, a Native American on death row in the Oscar-nominated The Green Mile (1999). He starred in the short-lived television series Wolf Lake in 2001.

In 2005, he played the potential love interest of the female lead in Transamerica, which was critically acclaimed. He appeared as himself in a parody of the famous Lakota-brand pain reliever commercials, on CBC Television's Rick Mercer Report.

In 2006, Greene presented the documentary series The War that Made America, about the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War) of the mid–18th century in North America. In 2007, he appeared as Shylock in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of The Merchant of Venice as well as Breakfast with Scot.

In June 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree from the Brantford campus of Wilfrid Laurier University located near the Six Nations reserve he is from.[4]

Greene provides the pre-recorded narration for the highly acclaimed outdoor drama, Tecumseh! in Chillicothe, Ohio, based upon the life of the illustrious Shawnee chief of that name. Greene portrayed the illustrious Sioux leader Sitting Bull in a short Historica vignette.[5]

He was a guest star in an episode of the TV series Numb3rs, as a First Nations chief. He also guest-starred on multiple occasions on The Red Green Show as Edgar "K.B." Montrose, an explosives enthusiast. In one episode "Red Green" asks him what he thought of the movie Dances with Wolves. Greene's reply was that "...the native guy (himself as 'Kicking Bird') was OK. Should have gotten the Oscar. But the rest of it was a yawn!"

Greene also made a cameo in an episode of Royal Canadian Air Farce. In the sketch, Jacques Cartier (Don Ferguson) has to go through customs, whose officer is played by Greene. When Cartier asks Greene if he was in that movie Dances with Wolves, Greene replies "Yes". Cartier asks his name and Greene says "Kevin Costner".

He appeared in The Twilight Saga: New Moon as Harry Clearwater, Charlie Swan's old friend.

He currently plays Rafe McCawley in the science fiction series Defiance, which has run for two seasons starting in 2013 with a third season set for release in 2015, and in A&E's Longmire as Malachi Strand.

He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2015.[6]

Awards and nominations

Years Award Category Film Result
1991 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Dances with Wolves Nominated
1994 Gemini Awards Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon Won
Gemini Awards Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series North of 60 Nominated
2004 Gemini Awards Earle Grey Award Lifetime achievement Won


Year Title Role Notes
1979 The Great Detective episode "The Black Curse"
1983 Running Brave Eddie Mills
1984 Spirit Bay Pete "Baba" Green
1985 Revolution Ongwata
1987 Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future Cherokee appeared in Episode 2: "Wardogs"
1987 Street Legal Paulo appeared in season 1, episode 6: "Tango Bellarosa"
1988 9B Dan Jackson appeared in five episodes
1989 Powwow Highway Vietnam Vet
Where the Spirit Lives Komi's Father
1990 Lost in the Barrens Mewasin
Dances with Wolves Kicking Bird Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1992 Clearcut Arthur
The Last of His Tribe Ishi
Thunderheart Walter Crow Horse
Rain Without Thunder Author on History
Northern Exposure Leonard appeared in five episodes
1993 Medicine River Will
Huck and the King of Hearts Jim
Spirit Rider Vern
Cooperstown Raymond Maracle
North of 60 Rico Nez episode "The Art of the Deal"
Benefit of the Doubt Calhoun
The Broken Chain Peace Maker
1994 The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon Mr. Crabby Tree
Camilla Hunt Weller
Lonesome Dove: The Series Red Hawk appeared in three episodes
Murder, She Wrote Peter Henderson appeared in two episodes
Savage Land Skyano
The Red Green Show Edgar K. B. Montrose appeared in nineteen episodes from 1994 to 2006
Maverick Joseph
North Alaskan Dad
1995 Die Hard with a Vengeance Joe Lambert
The Pathfinder Chingachgook
1996 The Outer Limits Chief Weapons Officer episode "The Light Brigade"
1997 The Education of Little Tree Willow John
Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science Himself (host)
1999 Grey Owl Jim Bernard
The Green Mile Arlen Bitterbuck
2000 Big Wolf on Campus Ferryman
2001 Lost and Delirious Joe Menzies
Wolf Lake Mr. Sherman Blackstone
2002 Duct Tape Forever Edgar K. B. Montrose
Snow Dogs Peter Yellowbear
Skins Mogie Yellow Lodge
2003 Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion Elijah Cobb
Coyote Waits Slick Nakai
2004 A Thief of Time Slick Nakai
A Beachcomber's Christmas Colin Reid
2005 Transamerica Calvin Many Goats
Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story Lloyd Blackburn
Into the West Conquering Bear
Numb3rs Chief James Clearwater
Buffalo Dreams John Blackhorse
Christmas in the Clouds
A Lobster Tale Sheriff
2007 Luna: Spirit of the Whale Bill Louis
All Hat Jim Burns
Just Buried Henry Sanipass
Camilla Hunt Weller
2008 Turok: Son of Stone Lost Land Shaman
2009 The Twilight Saga: New Moon Harry Clearwater
Tales of an Urban Indian Adam
2010 The Wild Girl
Casino Jack Bernie Sprague
Gunless Two Dogs Cameo
Being Erica Dr. Arthur
The Legend of Secret Pass Granpa
2013 Defiance Rafe McCawley
Chasing Shakespeare Mr. Mountain
Atlantic Rim Admiral Hadley
Maïna Mishtenapuu
2014 Longmire Malachi Strand Recurring during Season 3
Winter's Tale Humpstone John
Corner Gas: The Movie Fisherman Cameo
Attack From Beneath Admiral Hadley AKA Atlantic Rim
2016 The Shack Filming

See also


  1. ^ "Graham Greene Biograale". Encyclopedia of World Biography. April 18, 2006. 
  2. ^ Hemsworth, Wade (April 18, 2006). "The Greatest Hamiltonian". Retrieved May 23, 2007. 
  3. ^ Higgins, Bill (March 20, 1992). "Makers of HBO's 'Tribe' Given a Warm Reception".  
  4. ^ "Wilfrid Laurier Headlines". Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  5. ^ "First Nations: Sitting Bull". Historica. Retrieved May 23, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Four Nova Scotians among Order of Canada honourees". The Chronicle-Herald, July 1, 2015.

External links

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