Michael Hurst

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Michael Hurst
BornMichael Eric Hurst
(1957-09-20) 20 September 1957 (age 55)
Lancashire, England
OccupationActor, director, writer
Years active1976–present
Spouse(s)Jennifer Ward-Lealand (1988–present)
Website
www.michaelhurst.co.nz
 
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Michael Hurst
BornMichael Eric Hurst
(1957-09-20) 20 September 1957 (age 55)
Lancashire, England
OccupationActor, director, writer
Years active1976–present
Spouse(s)Jennifer Ward-Lealand (1988–present)
Website
www.michaelhurst.co.nz

Michael Eric Hurst, ONZM (born 20 September 1957) is a New Zealand actor, director and writer, mostly on stage and television. He is probably best known internationally for playing Iolaus in the television programs Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and companion series Xena: Warrior Princess. Most recently, he is known for his role in directing the popular Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

Contents

Biography

Hurst was born in Lancashire, England, the eldest of three brothers. When he was seven his family moved to Christchurch, New Zealand. He enrolled at Papanui High School, then University of Canterbury, but for only one year.

He married New Zealand actress Jennifer Ward-Lealand in 1988. They have two sons: Jack Louis Ward Hurst, born in 1997, and Cameron Lane Ward Hurst, born in 1999.

In 1984, Hurst won the lead role of David Blyth's Death Warmed Up, New Zealand's first splatter movie. The plot saw Hurst's character weathering institutionalisation, sundry wackos, and a motorcycle chase in the tunnels below Waiheke Island. The film won the grand prize at a fantasy film festival in Paris. The same year Hurst began playing drummer Dave Nelson over two series of Heroes, about a band searching for fame.

Crime thriller Dangerous Orphans (1986) is the first film in which Hurst co-starred with real-life partner Jennifer Ward-Lealand (he had already acted with her on-stage). Hurst was one of three grown orphans caught up in a mission to one-up various criminal figures; Ward-Lealand played romantic interest to one of the other orphans.

Hurst would work with Ward-Lealand again on his next three features, 1992's The Footstep Man, 1993's Desperate Remedies, and I'll Make You Happy in 1999. In 1993, he starred alongside Australian Sophie Lee and Brit Greg Wise in TV thriller Typhon's People. Hurst played a European mystery man uncovering the truth behind corporate genetic meddling. The script was by author Margaret Mahy.

Hurst made his feature debut as a director with Jubilee (2000), based on the book by Nepi Solomon. The film stars Cliff Curtis as a kind-hearted procrastinator who gets the chance to prove himself by organising a 75th jubilee.

Hurst followed Jubilee by directing Love Mussel, an acclaimed one off satire for television. Written by Braindead's Stephen Sinclair and starring Kevin Smith, Love Mussel is a mockumentary about a fictional township which erects a monument to a shellfish with Viagra-like properties.

In 2003, Hurst was awarded an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award. He was later designated an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2005 "for services to film and the theatre".

Filmography

Starring roles

YearTitleRoleOther Notes
1981PrisonersSciano
1982Casualties of PeacePeterTV
1984ConstancePhotographer (scenes deleted)
1984"Heroes"Dave NelsonTV Series
1985Hanlon: In Defence of Minnie DeanElliottTV
1985Death Warmed UpMichael Tucker
1985Dangerous OrphansMoir
1986"Heroes II"Dave NelsonTV Series
1989The Shadow TraderBob HoyleTV
1992The Footstep ManHenri de Toulouse-Lautrec
1993Typhon's PeopleConstantineTV
1993Desperate RemediesWillam Poyser
1994Hercules and the Amazon WomenIolausTV
1994Hercules in the UnderworldIolausTV
1994Hercules in the Maze of the MinotaurIolausTV
1995"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"Iolaus/Charon/Orestes/Dahak/Widow TwankeyTV Series
1997A Moment PassingJoey
1997The Bar
1997HighwaterHugh ChanceTV
1998Hercules and Xena - The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount OlympusIolaus (voice)Video
1998Young HerculesThe JewelerVideo
1999I'll Make You HappyLou
1999This Is ItNarrator, host, and various historical figuresTV
2001The Man Who Has EverythingGeorge AllwellTV
2002HoneyNic
2002Showstopperscelebrity judgeTV Series
2003Murder on the BladeDefence lawyerTV
2004FractureAthol Peet
2004Hold the AnchoviesManager & Old IraqiVideo
2006"Maddigan's Quest"MaskaTV Series
2007"The Tattooist"CrashFilm
2007"We're Here To Help"Rodney HideFilm
2009"Bitch Slap"GageFilm

Guest-starring roles

YearTitleRoleEpisode
1976"Thirty Minute Theatre"Jim"Tinkling Brass"
1983"Both Sides of the Fence"Gary McNabb1.9
1989"Shark In the Park"David Jennings"Acting Sergeant"
1990"The New Adventures of Black Beauty"Kurt1.8 "The Birdman"
1990"The Ray Bradbury Theater"Roger Shumway4.8 "The Toynbee Convector"
1991"For the Love of Mike"Laurie1.6
1992"The Ray Bradbury Theater"Lt. Simmons6.6 "The Long Rain"
1995"Xena: Warrior Princess"Iolaus1.8 "Prometheus"
1996"Xena: Warrior Princess"Charon1.16 "Mortal Beloved"
1997"Xena: Warrior Princess"Iolaus2.13 "The Quest"
1997"E! News Daily"Himself
1997"Entertainment Tonight"Himself
1998"Young Hercules"Charon1.20 "A Lady in Hades"
1999"Celebrity Profile"Himself"Lucy Lawless"
1999"Backch@t"Himself2.1
1999"Sunday News Give Us a Clue"
1999"Duggan"Michael Taylor1.3 "A Shadow of Doubt: Part 1"
1999"Duggan"Michael Taylor1.4 "A Shadow of Doubt: Part 2"
2000"Topp Twins"celebrity golfer
2000"Mai Time"Himself
2000"Celebrity Profile"Himself"Kevin Sorbo"
2000"Jack of All Trades"Captain Nardo da Vinci2.2 "Shark Bait"
2001"Love Mussel"Stephen Jessop
2001"Xena: Warrior Princess"Nigel6.13 "You Are There"
2002"Andromeda"Ryan2.20 "The Knight, Death and the Devil"
2002"Mataku"Dr. Forbes1.5 "The Final Plume"
2003"Good Morning"Himself
2003"Shortland Street"Greg Vicelich
2003"Power Rangers: Ninja Storm""D.J. Drummond" (voice)1.20 "Good Will Hunter"
2003"Power Rangers: Ninja Storm""Vexacus" (voice)1.27 "Shane's Karma: Part 2"
2003"Power Rangers: Ninja Storm""Vexacus" (voice)1.30 "The Wild Wipeout"
2003"Power Rangers: Ninja Storm""Vexacus" (voice)1.31 "Double-Edged Blake"
2003"Power Rangers: Ninja Storm""Vexacus" (voice)1.33 "General Deception, Part I"
2003"Power Rangers: Ninja Storm""Vexacus" (voice)1.34 "General Deception, Part II"
2003"Power Rangers: Ninja Storm""Vexacus" (voice)1.35 "A Gem of a Day"
2003"Power Rangers: Ninja Storm""Vexacus" (voice)1.36 "Down and Dirty"
2003"Power Rangers: Ninja Storm""Vexacus" (voice)1.37 "Storm Before the Calm, Part I"
2003"Power Rangers: Ninja Storm""Vexacus" (voice)1.38 "Storm Before the Calm, Part II"
2005"Power Rangers: S.P.D."Silverhead (voice)1.28 "Robotpalooza"
2005"Frontseat"Himself2.24
2009"Legend of the Seeker"Amfortas1.13 "Revenant"
2012"Spartacus: Vengeance"Roman soldier - uncredited"episode 9"

Director

YearTitleOther Notes
1994I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
1996"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"(TV Series) (episode 3.01 "Mercenary")
1997Amazon HighTV
1997"Xena: Warrior Princess"(TV Series) (episode 2.15 "A Day in the Life")
1997"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"(TV Series) (episode 4.08 " . . . And Fancy Free")
1998"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"(TV Series) (episode 4.17 "One Fowl Day")
1998"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"(TV Series) (episode 5.01 "Faith")
1998"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"(TV Series) (episode 5.07 "Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bridge")
1998"Xena: Warrior Princess"(TV Series) (episode 4.06 "A Tale of Two Muses")
1999"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"(TV Series) (episode 5.15 "Greece is Burning")
2000"Jack of All Trades"(TV Series) episode 2.04 "The Morning After"
2000"Jack of All Trades"(TV Series) episode 2.06 "One, Two, Three, Give Me Lady Liberty"
2000"Xena: Warrior Princess"(TV Series) (episode 5.16 "Life Blood")
2000"Xena: Warrior Princess"(TV Series) (episode 5.18 "Anthony & Cleopatra")
2000"Xena: Warrior Princess"(TV Series) (episode 6.04 "Who's Gurkhan")
2000Jubilee
2001"Xena: Warrior Princess"(TV Series) (episode 6.15 "To Helicon and Back")
2001Love MusselTV
2004Treasure Island Kids: The Mystery of Treasure Island
2006The Darkroom
2007Pumpkinhead:Blood feud
2009Legend of the Seeker(TV Series) (episode 1.08 "Denna")
2009Legend of the Seeker(TV Series) (episode 1.10 "Sacrifice")
2009Legend of the Seeker(TV Series) (episode 1.22 "Reckoning")
2010Legend of the Seeker(TV Series) (episode 2.17 "Vengeance")
2010Legend of the Seeker(TV Series) (episode 2.21 "Unbroken")
2010Spartacus: Blood and Sand(TV Series) (episode 1.05 "Shadow Games")
2010Spartacus: Blood and Sand(TV Series) (episode 1.09 "Whore")
2010Spartacus: Blood and Sand(TV Series) (episode 1.12 "Revelations")
2011Spartacus: Gods of the Arena(TV Series) (episode 1.03 "Paterfamilias")
2012Spartacus: Vengeance(TV Series) (episode 2.01 "Fugitivus")

Writer

YearTitleOther Notes
1994I'm So Lonesome I Could CryScreenplay
2009NinjaWriter

External links