Who is Karl Urban? Karl-Heinz Urban is an actor from New Zealand born on 7 June 1972, in Wellington, New Zealand. He is best known for his roles in the “Star Trek” reboot film series as Leonard McCoy and as Eomer in the “The Lord of the Rings” sequels. In 2002, he became well-known for his performance in “Ghost Ship”, a horror film. Urban also played an important role in the production of the “Star Trek” video game in 2013 by providing the voice of Leonard McCoy.
He loves spending time outside, and his hobbies include fishing, surfing, golf, and gardening. He is also an ambassador for KidsCan charity, which provides essentials for deprived children in New Zealand. Just how tall is Karl Urban? His height has always been a matter of curiosity because he appears imposing in most of his film roles. Karl Urban is actually 1.85 m (or 6 ft.) tall.
The actor is currently single but was married for 10 years to Natalie Wihongi, a makeup artist. Urban’s latest relationship was with an American actress Katee Sackhoff. They started dating in 2014, 7 months after he separated from his wife, and were together for 4 years.
At the present, Karl Urban is focusing on his career, and his latest acting role is playing Billy Butcher in the Amazon streaming television series “The Boys” since 2019. He has gone from the unknown actor in the 1995-2001 series “Xena: Warrior Princess” to playing prominent roles in iconic epic films like “Pathfinder” and even Marvel’s 2017 superhero film “Thor: Ragnarok”.
Top 10 facts about Karl Urban
- Karl Urban was born on June 7 1972, in Wellington, New Zealand, to a German immigrant father, who owned a leather goods store, and a mother, who worked for the Film Facilities in Wellington.
- Urban attended St Mark’s Church School. In school, he showed interest in public performance and participated in numerous school plays and stage productions.
- From 1986 to 1990, he attended Wellington College. He then enrolled at the Victoria University of Wellington for a degree in BA but discontinued the same after a year to pursue a career in acting.
- His first-ever acting role came at the age of eight. He had a single line in one of the episodes of the New Zealand television series “Pioneer Woman”. Following this, Urban did not pursue acting full-time until he finished high school.
- In 2000, Urban appeared in offbeat rural romance “The Price of Milk,” he got a nomination at New Zealand Qantas Film and Television Awards for his role.
- Urban played Cupid and Caesar in the 1995-2001 series “Xena: Warrior Princess” but was unknown, at least in Hollywood, until his role in “Ghost Ship” in 2002.
- He was Eomer in the second part of the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Two Towers” in 2002. Spectacularly brilliant, he reprised his role in the third instalment of the series “The Return of the King”.
- Urban is an active philanthropist. He serves as a celebrity ambassador for KidsCan, a charitable organization that supports over 16,000 disadvantaged children in New Zealand by providing them with essentials such as food, clothing, and shoes.
- At the present, Karl Urban is focusing on his career, and his latest acting role is playing Billy Butcher in the Amazon streaming television series “The Boys” since 2019.
- Urban speaks German fluently, he is 6 ft. tall, and he loves outdoor activities such as fishing, surfing, golf, and gardening.
Early life and education
Karl Urban (born Karl-Heinz Urban) is a New Zealand actor born on 7 June 1972 in Wellington, New Zealand. His father, a German immigrant, ran a leather goods store, and his mother previously worked for Film Facilities in Wellington. As a child, he was exposed to classic New Zealand cinema through his mother and developed an interest in the film industry.
Urban went to St Mark’s Church School, where he developed an early interest in public performance. At the age of eight, he had his first acting role, reciting a single line in an episode of the New Zealand television series “Pioneer Woman”. Despite continuing to participate in school plays, he did not act professionally again until after high school.
He attended Wellington College before graduating in 1990. Urban enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts program at Victoria University of Wellington but left after one year to pursue acting full-time. He never returned to complete his degree.
Getting into the film industry proved to be an uphill task for Urban. He first got television commercials gigs and theatre plays. Later, he moved to Auckland, a large metropolitan city in New Zealand, to seek more opportunities. Not long after, he started getting small parts in shows, one of his most notable appearances was playing the role of a drug addict in “Shark in the Park,” a police television drama show between 1989 and 1992.
His acting career took a U-turn when he appeared in the classic series “Xena: Warrior Princess”. While he was relatively unknown at the time, Karl Urban played two characters in the series; Cupid and Ceasar. Then, he got his break into Hollywood by starring in the 2002 horror film “Ghost Ship”.
Since then, he has gone on to star in a number of high-profile films, including the second and third instalments of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy as Éomer. In addition to Leonard McCoy in the “Star Trek” reboot film series, he has played John “Reaper” Grimm in Universal Pictures’ “Doom” in 2005, Vaako in the “Riddick” film series, Judge Dredd in “Dredd”, and Skurge in Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” in 2013.
Like Karl Urban Xena role, his character as Ghost in the 2007 American epic action film “Pathfinder” was also a turning point. The film was adapted into a graphic novel by Dark Horse Comics, with Urban’s character playing a big part.
While the film got negative reviews because of its poor character development and lack of plot, Urban’s acting in the ‘high-concept action sequences’ received praise. Critics also commented on his size and those of other characters. While Karl Urban was about 6 ft tall in “Pathfinder”, he had built his muscles into an imposing stature.
Urban would have likely been an even bigger actor had he starred in the 2006 British spy 007 film, “Casino Royale,” but he had other commitments at the time, and Daniel Craig got the job instead. He did, however, get to play Russian Federal Security Service agent Kirill in 2004 “The Bourne Supremacy,” a film series that looks a lot like the 007 franchise. Also, he played CIA agent William Cooper in “Red,” starring alongside Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren.
Urban was the villain vampire Black Hat in the 2011 film “Priest”. He appeared in the science fiction series “Almost Human” in 2013. He has been starring as Billy Butcher in the Amazon streaming television series “The Boys” since 2019.
Karl Urban is big on charitable acts and sees it as a way of helping as many people as he can. He works as the celebrity ambassador for KidsCan Charitable Trust, an organisation that provides food, clothing, and shoes for 16,000 disadvantaged children in New Zealand.
During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020, Urban joined Josh Gad’s YouTube series “Reunited Apart,” a show that reunites the cast of popular films through video-conferencing and promotes donations to charity organisations. He was on the “Lord of the Rings” episode of the show along with colleagues Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, Miranda Otto, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, and Elijah Wood, as well as writer Philippa Boyens and director Peter Jackson.
Marriage and relationships
In September 2004, Urban married his long-term partner, Natalie Wihongi. They had met while Wihongi worked as his makeup artist for the 2000 television film “The Privateers”. Together, they welcomed two sons: Hunter, born on 16 December 2000, and Indiana (“Indy”), born on 28 June 2005.
The family previously lived in their $3.7 million mansion in Herne Bay, a rich-people neighbourhood in Auckland. The couple announced their divorce in June 2014 and sold their home in December 2014 for $4.4 million. Their divorce got widespread media coverage, especially in New Zealand, because of Urban’s fame.
The couple did not cite any reason for their split, but it appeared to be a peaceful divorce. They released a joint statement through a public relations agency saying, “It is with great regret that we, Karl Urban and Natalie Wihongi, have made the mutual decision to separate. We are committed to maintaining our family relationship, working together to ensure that our children are affected as little as possible. We request that people respect our family’s privacy at this time and will be making no further comment.”
Shortly after announcing their divorce, the actor entered a relationship with actress Katee Sackhoff from 2014 to 2018. They somehow never made their relationship official, although Urban even introduced her to his family and friends. They also spent the summer holidays together. Urban bought a lavish apartment in West mere where he lived with Sackhoff.
Sackhoff is famously known for playing Lieutenant Kara “Starbuck” Thrace on the Sci Fi Channel television program “Battlestar Galactica” between 2004 and 2009. She also had a lead role in the eighth season of American action crime drama “24” and played Bo-Katan in two Star Wars films and Disney+ “The Mandalorian”.
They broke up in 2018, and Katee Sackhoff began dating Robin Gadsby, a director and producer, and they were engaged in April 2020. Meanwhile, it appears that Karl Urban is single.
Who is Karl Urban former wife, Natalie Wihongi?
Natalie Wihongi is also from New Zealand and is known to be the wife of renowned actor Karl Urban. Wihongi was a makeup artist, and she worked on several commercially successful movies, including “Rain” and “The Privateers”.
Wihongi and Urban met on the set of the television film “The Privateers” in the year 2000 as she was Urban’s makeup artist for the film. They became intimate during filming. After dating for three years, the couple decided to get married in September 2004. The couple had two beautiful boys during their union.
After their divorce, they both moved on to be with different people. Wihongi shared her new partner’s pictures on Facebook, and it appears that she even welcomed another son with the new person. However, she has maintained a level of secrecy throughout her life. She had refrained from showing her private and personal experience to the media even when she was married to Urban.
Despite her best efforts, there is only so much one can keep away from the public, especially when they are in a relationship with an A-list actor like Urban. Details about their life together emerged in the media over time, and we found that she shared the same love for the outdoors as her ex-husband. We also found some details about Karl Urban children with Wihongi.
Karl Urban children
Indiana “Indy” Urban
Indiana is the second son of Karl Urban and Natalie Wihongi. He was named for the eponymous hero of the Indiana Jones franchise, which his father has cited as one of his favourites. He has one elder sibling named Hunter Urban. Indiana Urban was born on 28 June 2005, which makes him age 16 as of 2021.
Indiana shares a good bond with both of his parents. After their parents split, both the children stay with their mother. However, they enjoy holidays with their father, Karl. They go fishing and travel together during the holidays.
Hunter was born on 16 December 2000, during the filming of “The Lord of the Rings”. According to an interview with Brad Dourif, Urban was torn between rushing home to see his son and showing up for filming the next day as he was originally scheduled to do. Dourif “ordered” Urban to go home and be with his family. Hunter has an Instagram where he flaunts his fishing skills and love for dogs.
Celebritynetworth.com estimates that Karl Urban net worth in 2021 is about $20 million. The actor still lives in Auckland and is currently part of the main cast of “The Boys” Amazon series. While we cannot verify the claim from this source, the figure does not appear to be far-fetched.
Over his almost 40-year-old acting career, Urban has worked for big film production houses like Marvel, Universal Pictures, Amazon Prime, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures, and several others.
Karl Urban is an actor known for his several villainous, anti-hero, and sometimes, hero roles. While he has come to be associated with the American film society, it was not always the case for him. The actor had broken his back to get where he is today. Starting out from his home country of New Zealand, he made his name in the Xena series, alongside Lucy Lawless.
Since 2002, the actor’s resume has just been getting better and better. Karl Urban height of 6 ft (or 1.85 m) initially gave him an edge to play roles that required imposing figures, like his character “Ghost” in 2007 “Pathfinder”. However, it was his talent and malleable appearance that gave him staying power in the fast-paced industry where stars come and go.
His life has not been totally scandal-free as he was involved in a divorce from his wife of ten years after they welcomed two kids together. Moving on with a new partner barely months after further cast him in a bad light. However, he has survived that period of his life. Currently, Urban is still a big name in Hollywood, and those who don’t know him by name will definitely recognise one of the characters he has played during his career.
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