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KJ Apa

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KJ Apa
K.J. Apa (44563642331) (cropped 2).jpg
Keneti James Fitzgerald Apa

(1997-06-17) 17 June 1997 (age 23)
Auckland, New Zealand
  • Actor
  • singer
  • musician
Years active2013–present
RelativesMichael Jones (uncle)

Keneti James Fitzgerald Apa (born 17 June 1997) is a New Zealand actor, singer, and musician. He began acting playing Kane Jenkins in the New Zealand primetime soap opera Shortland Street from 2013 to 2015. In 2017, he began starring as Archie Andrews in the CW drama series Riverdale.[1] In film, Apa has starred in A Dog's Purpose (2017), The Hate U Give (2018), and I Still Believe (2020).

Early life

Keneti James Fitzgerald Apa[2][3] was born on 17 June 1997 in Auckland,[4] the son of Tessa Callander and Keneti Apa. His father is Samoan and a matai (chief) of his village in Samoa; his mother is a European New Zealander.[3][5] He has two older sisters, and is the nephew of former rugby union player and coach Michael Jones.[6] He attended high school at King's College in Auckland before beginning his acting career.[7]


From 2013 to 2015, Apa starred as Kane Jenkins in the New Zealand prime-time soap opera Shortland Street. In 2016, Apa was cast as Archie Andrews in the CW drama series Riverdale, after a four-month worldwide talent search.[1]

In 2017, he starred as teenage Ethan Montgomery in the comedy-drama film A Dog's Purpose, which was released on the same day as Riverdale premiered on television.[8] Apa's next film role was replacing Kian Lawley in the 2018 drama film The Hate U Give.[9] Apa starred as Griffin in the Netflix film The Last Summer, which was released on 3 May 2019.[10] He also starred as singer Jeremy Camp in the biographical romantic drama film I Still Believe, which was released in March 2020.[11]

Personal life

Apa was raised in a Christian family, and has stated that he is a Christian himself, expressing on social media that "I need God [every day]."[5]

Apa was involved in a minor car accident in Vancouver in September 2017, but was uninjured when the passenger side of his car hit a light pole. The event was reportedly the result of Apa falling asleep at the wheel after a long day of shooting the previous night.[12]



Year Title Role Notes
2017 A Dog's Purpose Teenage Ethan Montgomery
2018 The Hate U Give Chris
2019 The Last Summer Griffin Hourigan
2020 I Still Believe Jeremy Camp
TBA Altar Rock Niko Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2013–2015 Shortland Street Kane Jenkins Main role
2016 The Cul de Sac Jack 6 episodes
2017–present Riverdale Archie Andrews Main role

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2017 Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series Riverdale Nominated [13]
Breakthrough Performance Riverdale Won [14]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Breakout TV Star Riverdale Nominated [15]
2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Kiss (with Camila Mendes) Riverdale Nominated [16]
People's Choice Awards Drama TV Star of 2018 Riverdale Nominated [17]
Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series Riverdale Nominated [18]
2019 People's Choice Awards Male TV Star of 2019 Riverdale Nominated [19]
Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series Riverdale Nominated [20]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Drama TV Actor Riverdale Nominated [21]


  1. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (24 February 2016). "Riverdale Finds Its Archie & Josie: KJ Apa To Topline CW Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Kiwi-Samoan actor KJ Apa scores lead US role". Suga Magazine. 6 August 2015. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b Jung, E. Alex. "Riverdale's K.J. Apa on His Dye Job, Becoming a Sex Object, and Why He Ships Archie and Betty". Vulture. New York Magazine. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Get to know KJ Apa". Television New Zealand. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b Morris, Jessica (10 November 2017). "KJ's key to success". Salvos Warcry Magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  6. ^ Gidlow, Steve (9 January 2017). "Everything's Archie for Riverdale Star KJ Apa". MediaVillage. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  7. ^ Jones, Bridget (13 November 2014). "Our little brother the Shortie star". New Idea. Yahoo! New Zealand. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (5 August 2015). "Britt Robertson, Dennis Quaid join DreamWorks' A Dog's Purpose (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  9. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (3 April 2018). "Riverdale's K.J. Apa Set For The Hate U Give As Fox 2000 Reshoots Kian Lawley Scenes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  10. ^ Osifo, Ehis. "The Trailer For Netflix's Newest Summer Romance Is Here And This Gal Is Excited". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  11. ^ Piña, Christy (14 January 2020). "K.J. Apa Encounters Love and Loss in 'I Still Believe' Trailer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  12. ^ Johnson, Scott (21 September 2017). "Riverdale Star in Late-Night Car Crash After Working 16-Hour Day". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  13. ^ McNary, Dave (2 March 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  14. ^ Staley, Brandon (29 June 2017). "Supergirl, Luke Cage, Doctor Strange Win at Annual Saturn Awards". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  15. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (13 August 2017). "Teen Choice Awards 2017: Riverdale, Fifth Harmony Shut Out Competition". Variety. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  16. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (3 May 2018). "MTV Movie & TV Awards: 'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Top Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 3 May 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  17. ^ "People's Choice Awards 2018 Winners: The Complete List". E! Online. 12 November 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  18. ^ McNary, Dave (15 March 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  19. ^ Entertainment, E!. "E! People's Choice Awards 2019". Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  20. ^ Mancuso, Vinnie (16 July 2019). "'Avengers: Endgame', 'Game of Thrones' Lead the 2019 Saturn Awards Nominations". Collider. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  21. ^ Moreau, Jordan (19 June 2019). "Avengers: Endgame, Riverdale, Aladdin Top 2019 Teen Choice Award Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 19 July 2019.

External links