Mark Hadlow

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Mark Hadlow

Hadlow in 2018
Mark Selwyn Hadlow

1957 (age 66–67)
Years active1979–present

Mark Selwyn Hadlow ONZM (born 1957) is an Australian-New Zealand actor and comedian. Hadlow is perhaps best known internationally for playing the roles of Harry in King Kong and Dori, a Dwarf, in The Hobbit series.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hadlow was born in Australia, in the New South Wales town of Walgett, the son of a New Zealand-born vicar and an Australian mother. They moved to Perth, and then spent three years in Chennai, before moving to New Zealand when Hadlow was nine years old. They lived in Wellington and Christchurch, and Hadlow attended boarding school.[2]


Mark Hadlow in "Gulls" at Downstage Theatre (1988)

Hadlow's early film appearances were in serious roles, such as in Beyond Reasonable Doubt, but he is perhaps better known in New Zealand for his comedy roles, particularly in the television sitcom Willy Nilly, and some of the voices for the 1989 Peter Jackson puppet film, Meet the Feebles (including Heidi the hippo and Robert the hedgehog). He also starred alongside New Zealand Māori comedian, Billy T James in "The Billy T James Show".

Hadlow has also released an audio CD called "Tall Tales". It consists of classic children's stories narrated and performed with a Kiwi twist.

Between films and television, Hadlow works in Christchurch's Court Theatre, where he has directed, produced, and acted in many plays. Hadlow is known for interacting with the audience whenever possible. This was made easy in the theatre's intimate, 200-seat setting, where the audience was literally next to the stage.

In 2009, Hadlow campaigned for the historic Odeon Theatre in Christchurch to be turned into an arts complex for an estimated NZ$60m.[3] The earthquake-prone building was severely damaged in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, and later in 2012, the rear of the building was demolished.[4]

While appearing in a one-man play, he met his ex-wife. They met in the audience before the start of the play because Hadlow always started off in the audience. In his wife's words, "this nice man who I didn't recognise sat next to me and we started chatting. Within minutes he knew a lot about me. Suddenly he got up and started acting in the play."

In 2021 he appeared on TV as Brian in "The Garotte and the Vinkelbraun", an episode of The Brokenwood Mysteries, Series 7 No 25.

Hadlow at HMNZS Pegasus, 2016

In addition to his acting career, Hadlow is a commissioned lieutenant commander in the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve.[5]

In the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours, Hadlow was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the arts.[6]

In 2022 he was presented with a Scroll of Honour from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand for his contribution to New Zealand entertainment.



Year Film Role
1980 Beyond Reasonable Doubt Bruce Roddick
1981 Strange Behavior Dancer at Party
1982 Battletruck Orrin
Klynham Summer Sam Finn
1983 Nate and Hayes Gun Operator
1984 Constance Errol's Friend
1988 Just Me and Mario Kevin Stiles
1989 Meet the Feebles Heidi the Hippo, Robert the Hedgehog, Barry the Bulldog (voices)
1992 Absent Without Leave Prison Corporal
1995 Bonjour Timothy Rugby's Coach
2005 King Kong Harry
2006 The Waimate Conspiracy Mr. Glue QC
2008 Last of the Living Dad
2009 No Petrol, No Diesel! Mr. Bligh
2010 The Holy Roller Wally
2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Dori
Bert (voice)
2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Dori
2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Dori
2018 Mortal Engines Orme Wreyland
2023 Darkest Light David King


  1. ^ Associated Press (21 October 2010). "Peter Jackson Announces 'Hobbit' Cast". Archived from the original on 24 October 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Mark Hadlow". NZOnScreen. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  3. ^ Gates, Charlie (22 December 2012). "Hadlow wants to turn Odeon into NoeDo". The Press. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  4. ^ Cairns, Lois (29 November 2012). "Powerless to stop heritage demolition". The Press. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  5. ^ Preece, Kate (29 November 2012). "Mark Hadlow as himself, and Dori". The Press. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2017". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 5 June 2017. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017.

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