Karl-Heinz Urban (born August 7, 1972) is an actor from New Zealand.
He is known for playing Éomer in the second and third installments of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in the 2009 film Star Trek and Julius Caesar on Xena: Warrior Princess. He played Vaako in The Chronicles of Riddick, the Russian assassin Kirill in The Bourne Supremacy, and Ghost in Pathfinder and won acclaim for his performances in New Zealand films The Price of Milk and Out of the Blue.
New Zealand roles
As well as appearing in films and television shows, Urban had various roles in theatre productions and TV advertisements. In February/March 1998, he was in a play called The Herbal Bed at the Maidment Theatre in Auckland. In August 1998, he played Mark Antony in Auckland Theatre Company's production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The following year he starred in the Auckland Theatre Company's production of the New Zealand classic Foreskin's Lament.
Urban was seen on the internationally syndicated American TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and on its spin-off Xena: Warrior Princess, in which he played the recurring roles of both Cupid and Julius Caesar from 1996 to 2001. Both shows were filmed in New Zealand. In 2001 he appeared in the offbeat rural romance The Price of Milk, for which he received his first nomination at the New Zealand Qantas Film and Television Awards. Urban later won acclaim for his portrayal of policeman Nick Harvey in Out of the Blue, a dramatisation of New Zealand's Aramoana massacre, for which he won the Qantas Film and Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2008.
Urban's big Hollywood break came with his role in the 2002 horror film Ghost Ship. Since then, Urban has worked on many high-profile films, including the second and third installments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Two Towers and The Return of the King), The Bourne Supremacy, and The Chronicles of Riddick.
The Hollywood Reporter speculated that Urban was one of several actors being considered for the part of British secret service agent 007 in Casino Royale, directed by fellow New Zealander Martin Campbell. The role eventually went to Daniel Craig.
Urban at the premiere of Peter Jackson's King Kong in Wellington, New Zealand
Urban played John "Reaper" Grimm in Universal Pictures' Doom (based on the classic first-person shooter video game), which was released on October 21, 2005. In 2007 he starred in the Viking adventure Pathfinder. A longtime fan of Westerns, Urban appeared as Woodrow Call in Comanche Moon, the CBS miniseries prequel to Lonesome Dove, in January 2008.
In 2009, he played Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, a role famously originated by DeForest Kelley, in the eleventh Star Trek film. A fan of the Star Trek franchise since he was a child, Urban actively pursued a role in the film. His performance was widely embraced by the Star Trek fan community for its faithfulness to the spirit of Kelley's McCoy.
Urban married Natalie Wihongi (who was his makeup artist on The Privateers) in September 2004. Together they have two sons: Hunter (born November, 2000) and Indiana (Indy) (born January, 2005. They live in Auckland harbour-side suburb Herne Bay, New Zealand.
Urban serves as an ambassador for KidsCan, a charity which currently supports over 16,000 disadvantaged children all over New Zealand by providing them with essentials such as food, coats and shoes.
Year Title Role Notes
1992 Chunuk Bair Wellington Soldier
1998 Heaven Sweeper
1998 Via Satellite Paul
2000 The Irrefutable Truth about Demons Harry Ballard
2000 The Price of Milk Rob Nominated - Qantas Film and Television Award for Best Performance by an Actor in Film
2002 Ghost Ship Munder
2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Éomer
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Éomer Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated - Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2004 The Chronicles of Riddick Vaako
2004 The Bourne Supremacy Kirill
2005 Doom Sgt. John 'Reaper' Grimm
2006 Out of the Blue Nick Harvey Qantas Film and Television Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Film
2007 Pathfinder Ghost
2009 Star Trek Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy Constellation Award for Best Male Performance in a 2009 Science Fiction Film, TV Movie or Miniseries
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated - Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated - Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
2009 Black Water Transit Earl Pike not yet released
2010 And Soon the Darkness Michael
2010 Red William Cooper
2011 Priest Black Hat post-production
2012 Untitled Star Trek Sequel Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy announced
2012 Dredd Judge Dredd post-production