Zahn McClarnon

Native American actor

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Zahn McClarnon
Zahn McClarnon 2016.png
McClarnon in 2016
Zahn Tokiya-ku McClarnon

(1966-10-24) October 24, 1966 (age 55)
Years active1992–present

Zahn Tokiya-ku McClarnon (born October 24, 1966) is an American actor.

Zahn started acting in high school. Professionally, he is best known for his performances as Police Chief Mathias in the Western crime drama series Longmire, Hanzee Dent in the second season of Fargo, and Akecheta in the second season of Westworld. He currently plays the quirky Officer Big in the 2021 FX on Hulu series Reservation Dogs, and is set to portray William Lopez in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series Hawkeye (2021).

Early life

McClarnon was born in Denver, Colorado, the son of a Hunkpapa Lakota mother and a father of Irish ancestry.[1] He grew up near Browning, Montana, where his father worked at Glacier National Park for the National Park Service.[2] He would often visit the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, where his mother grew up, and often stayed with his maternal grandparents on weekends and for longer visits. His mother lived on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When his father was relocated to Omaha, Nebraska, for work, the family lived in the Joslyn Castle and Dundee neighborhood.[2] McClarnon has a fraternal twin brother.

McClarnon grew up in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, and Montana, and has stated that his childhood was "rough."[3] [4]

In 1986, McClarnon graduated from Omaha Central High School. He credits his drama teacher, Peggy Stommes, as a big influence.[5][2]


McClarnon got his start in a local production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Chanticleer Theater in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He connected with John Jackson, a local Omaha casting director who later became known for his work with director Alexander Payne. McClarnon gained some local work and in the early 1990s, he moved to Los Angeles for his career.[2][6]

McClarnon was in the Into the West (2005) miniseries for TNT and played Running Fox. He starred in the 2009 film Not Forgotten and comedy film Repo Chick. In 2013, he was in the horror movie Resolution. He had a recurring role as Bodaway Macawi in Ringer. He also played Mike Parker in the first four episodes of the SundanceTV series The Red Road.[7]

From 2012 to 2017, McClarnon portrayed Mathias, the Chief of Indian Tribal Police of the Cheyenne reservation, in Longmire, originally an A&E and later a Netflix television series.[8]

McClarnon portrayed Hanzee Dent in the second season of the TV series Fargo, where his performance received critical acclaim.[3][9][10][11] He appeared in the TV series Timeless as Native American U.S. Marshall Grant Johnson in the episode "The Murder of Jesse James". McClarnon appeared as Toshaway in AMC Network's The Son,[2][12] for which he learned the Comanche language.[13]

McClarnon appeared as Akecheta, the leader of the Ghost Nation, in HBO's Westworld. Although usually credited as a recurring character, McClarnon was credited as a main cast member in "Kiksuya", the eighth episode of the second season, which focuses almost exclusively on his character's backstory. His performance in the episode received critical acclaim, with the critic's consensus on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes stating that McClarnon delivered a "heart-wrenching, formidable performance" that elevates the episode to "one of the best of the entire series".[14]

Personal life

McClarnon's first name is in honor of his maternal great-great-uncle, Frank "Frances" B. Zahn, who was an artist and Lakota elder of Standing Rock Indian Reservation.[15] McClarnon's middle name, Tokiya-ku, loosely translates to mean: "first one to come."

In late 2017, McClarnon fell at his home and suffered a brain injury, requiring hospitalization. The accident caused a brief shutdown of production for Westworld.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 My Neighbor Totoro Additional voices Voice role; 2005 Disney English dub
1994 Silent Fall Deputy Bear
2002 Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron Little Creek's Friend Voice role
2007 Searchers 2.0 Rusty Frobisher
2009 Not Forgotten Calvo
Repo Chick Savage Dan
Down for Life Grim
2012 Resolution Charles
2013 Awful Nice Romulus
Bloodline Jack
I'm in Love with a Church Girl Jessie
2015 Mekko Bill
Bone Tomahawk The Professor
2016 Neither Wolf Nor Dog Billy
2018 Braven Hallett
2019 Doctor Sleep Crow Daddy
Hell on the Border Sam Sixkiller
Togo Tulimak
2020 The Silencing Blackhawk
2021 The Forever Purge Chiago


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Tequila and Bonetti Hispanic Kid 1 episode
1992 Baywatch Bear Sutter 1 episode
1993 Murphy Brown Man #3 1 episode
1994 Regenade Jerry 1 episode
1994 Thunder in Paradise Billy Cyprus 1 episode
1996 The Lazarus Man Nakai 1 episode
1996-1997 Dangerous Minds Carlos Montalvo 3 episodes
1997 Chicago Hope George Burroughs 1 episode
2005 Into the West Running Fox Miniseries, 3 episodes
2007 Saving Grace Ames Blackbird 1 episode
2008 Comanche Moon Ermoke Miniseries, 1 episode
2009 Life Tomas Shasta 1 episode
2010 Medium Alex Keeswood 1 episode
2011 Castle Roy Horton 1 episode
2011-2012 Ringer Bodaway Macawi Recurring role, 8 episodes
2012-2017 Longmire Officer Mathias Recurring role, 29 episodes
2015 Fargo Hanzee Dent Recurring role, 9 episodes
2016-2017 Frontier Samoset 3 episodes
2017 Timeless Grant Johnson 1 episode
2017 Midnight, Texas Zachariah 1 episode
2017-2019 The Son Toshaway Main role, 20 episodes
2018 Westworld Akecheta Recurring role, 5 episodes
Lead role, episode: "Kiksuya"
2018 Queen of the South Taza Recurring role, 4 episodes
2019 Drunk History Adam Fortunate Eagle 1 episode
2019 Robot Chicken Snowball Voice role, 1 episode
2020 Barkskins Yvon Main role, 8 episodes
2021 Reservation Dogs Officer Big Recurring role
2021 Hawkeye William Lopez Main role, upcoming series
2022 Ark: The Animated Series Thunder Comes Charging Voice role, upcoming series.[17]
2022 Dark Winds Joe Leaphorn Main role, upcoming series

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Red Dead Redemption The Local Population


  1. ^ Pond, Roscoe (July 7, 2003). "Zahn McClarnon, more than just Indian and Irish". Indian Country Today.
  2. ^ a b c d e Mertes, Micah (April 10, 2017). "In AMC's 'The Son,' Omaha-raised actor graduates to playing a patriarchal role". Omaha World-Herald.
  3. ^ a b Tobias, Scott (December 14, 2015). "Zahn McClarnon on 'Fargo' and What Makes Hanzee Tick". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (December 14, 2015). "'Fargo' Finale: Zahn McClarnon on Hanzee's Future and the Season 1 Easter Egg". The Hollywood Reporter.
  5. ^ "O-Book '85" (PDF). Omaha Central High School Archives. 1985. p. 44.
  6. ^ Mertes, Micah (March 11, 2016). "'Fargo' actor, former Omahan is on a good run". Omaha World-Herald.
  7. ^ Schilling, Vincent (March 13, 2014). "Shady Character: Zahn McClarnon Discusses his 'Red Road' Role". Indian Country Today.
  8. ^ Schilling, Vincent (March 3, 2015). "'Longmire' Was Saved by the Fans, Says Zahn McClarnon". Indian Country Today.
  9. ^ Jurgensen, John (December 8, 2015). "Meet Zahn McClarnon, the Man Behind the Lethal Hanzee Dent of 'Fargo'". The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (November 23, 2015). "'Fargo' Star Rachel Keller on Simone's Long Walk Into the Woods". The Hollywood Reporter.
  11. ^ Kavner, Lucas (December 14, 2015). "Fargo's Zahn McClarnon on Hanzee's Backstory and the Types of Roles Native Americans Get Onscreen". Vulture.
  12. ^ Krol, Debra Utacia (March 6, 2017). "Zahn McClarnon Cast as Comanche leader Toshaway in AMC's 'The Son.'". Indian Country Today.
  13. ^ Bernstein, Abbie (April 8, 2017). "The Son: Actor Zahn McClarnon on AMC's new series - Exclusive Interview". Assignment X.
  14. ^ "Westworld - Season 2 Episode 8" – via
  15. ^ "00900 - Photographs - Archives Holdings - Archives - State Historical Society of North Dakota: Zahn Family". State Historical Society of North Dakota.
  16. ^ Stedman, Alex (November 3, 2017). "'Westworld' Actor Zahn McClarnon Hospitalized, Season 2 Production Paused". Variety. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  17. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (December 11, 2020). "'Ark: The Animated Series': Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh & Elliot Page Among Voice Cast Members In New Video Game-Inspired Show".

External links

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Zahn McClarnon