Graham Greene (actor)

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Graham Greene

Greene in 1998
Born (1952-06-22) June 22, 1952 (age 69)
Years active1979–present
Hilary Blackmore
(m. 1994)

Graham Greene, CM (born June 22, 1952) is a First Nations (Oneida) Canadian actor who has worked on stage, in film, and in TV productions in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Dances with Wolves (1990). Other notable films include Thunderheart (1992), Maverick (1994), Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), The Green Mile (1999), Skins (2002), Transamerica (2005), Casino Jack (2010), Winter's Tale (2014), The Shack (2017), Wind River (2017) and Shadow Wolves (2019).

Early life and career[edit]

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 man.[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.[citation needed]


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 work in films including Thunderheart, Benefit of the Doubt, and Maverick, and 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 Lambert. He hosted the reality crime documentary show Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science.

Greene 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 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. Poltergeist The Legacy: Finding Richter aired May 9, 1997. 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 convicted of murder, awaiting execution on death row in the Oscar-nominated The Green Mile (1999). He starred in the short-lived television series Wolf Lake in 2001. In 2002 and 2004, he co-starred in two made-for-TV films that were an attempt at launching a revival of the long-running Canadian series The Beachcombers. In 2005, he played the potential love interest of the female lead in Transamerica. He appeared as himself in a parody of the famous Lakota-brand pain reliever commercials, on CBC Television's Rick Mercer Report.[4]

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.[5]

Greene provided the pre-recorded narration for Tecumseh!, the highly acclaimed outdoor show held in Ohio, based upon the life of the illustrious Shawnee chief of that name. He portrayed Sitting Bull in a short Historica vignette.[6]

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 of "The Red Green Show" (season 5, episode 1) he was asked 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!"[7]

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 appeared as Malachi Strand in Longmire, which ran for six seasons from 2012 to 2017 on A&E and Netflix. He played Rafe McCawley in the science fiction series Defiance, which ran for three seasons from 2013 to 2015. He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2015.[8]

In 2018, Greene provided the voice of the beleaguered Native-American elder Chief Rains Fall in the western-themed video game Red Dead Redemption II.

Greene appeared in Amazon's series Goliath.

Awards and nominations[edit]

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
2000 Grammy Awards Best Spoken Word Album for Children Listen to the Storyteller Won
2004 Gemini Awards Earle Grey Award Lifetime Achievement Won
2006 Reelworld Film Festival Visionary Award Lifetime Achievement Won[9]
2016 RNCI Red Nation Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor Longmire Won


Year Title Role Notes
1979 The Great Detective Episode: "The Black Curse"
1981 Read All About It John Norton Episode: "Journey To Queenston"
1983 Running Brave Eddie Mills
1985 Revolution Ongwata
1986 Spirit Bay Pete "Baba" Green 1 episode
1986–1988 The Campbells Iroquois Chief 3 episodes
1987 Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future Cherokee Episode: "Wardogs"
Street Legal Paulo Episode: "Tango Bellarosa"
1988 9B Dan Jackson 5 episodes
1989 Powwow Highway Vietnam Vet
Where the Spirit Lives Komi's Father TV Movie
1990 Lost in the Barrens Mewasin TV Movie
Dances with Wolves Kicking Bird Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1991 L.A. Law David Wauneka Episode: "Dances with Sharks"
Clearcut Arthur
1992 Murder, She Wrote Sheriff Sam Keeyani Episode: "Night of the Coyote"
The Last of His Tribe Ishi TV Movie
Thunderheart Walter Crow Horse
Rain Without Thunder Author on History
1992–1993 Northern Exposure Leonard 5 episodes
1993 Medicine River Will TV Movie
Spirit Rider Vern TV Movie
Cooperstown Raymond Maracle TV Movie
North of 60 Rico Nez Episode: "The Art of the Deal"
Benefit of the Doubt Calhoun
The Broken Chain Peace Maker (Spirit) TV Movie
1994–1997 The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon Mr. Crabby Tree 17 episodes
1994–2006 The Red Green Show Edgar K. B. Montrose 19 episodes
1994 Camilla Hunt Weller
Lonesome Dove: The Series Red Hawk 3 episodes
Murder, She Wrote Peter Henderson Episode: "Northern Explosion"
Savage Land Skyano
Royal Canadian Air Farce "Kevin Costner", Native customs official Mentions that he will be hosting an upcoming Genie Awards episode
Genie Awards Himself (host)
Maverick Joseph
North Alaskan Dad
Huck and the King of Hearts Jim
1995 Die Hard with a Vengeance Detective Joe Lambert
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Chief Brown Bear (voice) Episode: "Snow White"
500 Nations 3 episodes
1996 The Outer Limits Chief Weapons Officer Episode: "The Light Brigade"
The Pathfinder Chingachgook TV Movie
1997 The Education of Little Tree Willow John
Wounded Nick Rollins
Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science Himself (host)
Song of Hiawatha O Kagh
The Hired Heart TV Movie
1998 Shattered Image Detective
A Stranger In Town Eddie Lester TV Movie
The Herd Andrew Bahr (voice)
1999 Grey Owl Jim Bernard
The Green Mile Arlen Bitterbuck
Misery Harbour Burly
2000 Big Wolf on Campus Ferryman 1 episode
Desire Connor
2000–2001 Cover Me Michael Nighthorse 4 episodes
2001 Lost and Delirious Joe Menzies
Christmas in the Clouds Earl
2001–2002 Wolf Lake Mr. Sherman Blackstone / Professor Joseph Duke 10 episodes
2002 Duct Tape Forever Edgar K. B. Montrose
Snow Dogs Peter Yellowbear
Skins Mogie Yellow Lodge
The New Beachcombers Colin Reid TV movie
2003 Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion Elijah Cobb 2 episodes
Coyote Waits Slick Nakai TV Movie
2004 A Thief of Time Slick Nakai TV Movie
Phil the Alien Wolf
A Beachcomber's Christmas Colin Reid TV Movie
2005 Transamerica Calvin Many Goats
Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story Ph.D. Lloyd Blackburn TV Movie
Into the West Conquering Bear Episode: "Dreams and Schemes"
Numb3rs Chief James Clearwater Episode: "Bones of Contention"
Buffalo Dreams John Blackhorse TV Movie
2006 A Lobster Tale Sheriff
2007 Luna: Spirit of the Whale Bill Louis TV Movie
All Hat Jim Burns
Just Buried Henry Sanipass
Breakfast with Scot Bud Wilson
2008 Turok: Son of Stone Lost Land Shaman, Elder #1 (voices) Video
2009 The Twilight Saga: New Moon Harry Clearwater
Tales of an Urban Indian Adam TV Movie
2010 The Wild Girl Joseph TV Movie
Casino Jack Bernie Sprague
Gunless Two Dogs Cameo
The Legend of Secret Pass Granpa (voice)
2010–2011 Being Erica Dr. Arthur 5 episodes
2012 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Harry Clearwater Credit only
2013 Chasing Shakespeare Mr. Mountain
Atlantic Rim Admiral Hadley Video
Maïna Mishte-Napeu
2013–2015 Defiance Rafe McCawley 28 episodes
2014 Winter's Tale Humpstone John
Corner Gas: The Movie Fisherman Cameo
2014–2017 Longmire Malachi Strand Recurring during Seasons 3–6
12 episodes
2015 Unnatural Buffalo
2017 Wind River Ben
The Shack Male Papa
Molly's Game Judge Dustin Foxman
2018 Riverdale Thomas Topaz Episode: "Chapter Twenty-Four: The Wrestler"
Through Black Spruce Leo
The Detour Narvin 3 episodes
Red Dead Redemption 2 Rains Fall (voice) Videogame
2019 Goliath Littlecrow 7 episodes
Shadow Wolves Nabahe
Astronaut Len
2020 A Dark Foe The Cradle
2021 Antlers Warren Stokes
American Gods Whiskey Jack 2 episodes
2022 The Last of Us Upcoming TV series [10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Graham Greene bio". Encyclopedia of World Biography. April 18, 2006.
  2. ^ Hemsworth, Wade (April 18, 2006). "The Greatest Hamiltonian". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2007.
  3. ^ Higgins, Bill (March 20, 1992). "Makers of HBO's 'Tribe' Given a Warm Reception". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Jeremy Odden (March 22, 2012), Graham Greene as Edgar Montrose references Dances With Wolves, archived from the original on November 9, 2019, retrieved January 1, 2018
  5. ^ "Wilfrid Laurier Headlines". Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  6. ^ "First Nations: Sitting Bull". Historica. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2007.
  7. ^ Jeremy Odden (September 15, 2020), Graham Greene as Edgar Montrose references Dances With Wolves, archived from the original on December 11, 2021, retrieved November 16, 2020
  8. ^ "Four Nova Scotians among Order of Canada honourees". The Chronicle-Herald. July 1, 2015. Archived from the original on July 1, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Žbanić, Jasmila [@jasmilazbanic.official] (December 9, 2021). "It was a great pleasure to work on the series The Last of Us". Retrieved December 10, 2021 – via Instagram.

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