Zahn McClarnon

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Zahn McClarnon
Born Zahn Tokiya-ku McClarnon
(1966-10-24) October 24, 1966 (age 50)
Denver, Colorado U.S.
Other names Zahn T. McClarnon
Occupation Actor
Years active 1992-present
Known for Longmire
The Son

Zahn Tokiya-ku McClarnon (born October 24, 1966) is a Native American Lakota-Irish actor, best known for his performance as Hanzee Dent in the second season of the television series Fargo, as well as his recurring role as tribal police chief Mathias in the television series Longmire.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

McClarnon was born in Denver, Colorado, the son of a Hunkpapa Lakota mother and Irish father.[3] He grew up near Browning, Montana, where his father worked in the Glacier National Park for the National Park Service.[4] He would often visit the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, where his mother grew up, and often lived with his grandparents on weekends and for longer visits. His mother lived on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. His father was relocated to Omaha, Nebraska, and the family lived in the Dundee neighborhood.[4]

McClarnon said that he grew up in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, Montana.[1] McClarnon has a fraternal twin brother. He said he his childhood was rough.[5]

In 1986, McClarnon graduated from Omaha Central High School, where he said drama teacher Peggy Stommes was a big influence.[6][4]


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, which led to local work, until McClarnon moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s.[4][7]

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.[8]

McClarnon portrayed Hanzee Dent in the second season of the TV series Fargo, where his performance was met with critical acclaim.[1][9][10] He appeared in the TV series Timeless as Native American U.S. Marshall Grant Johnson in the episode "The Murder of Jesse James".

Since 2012, McClarnon has portrayed the Cheyenne reservation Chief of Indian Tribal Police, Mathias, in Longmire, originally an A&E and later a Netflix television series.[11]

In 2017, McClarnon appeared as Toshaway in AMC Network's The Son, which is based on the 2013 Philipp Meyer book of the same name.[4][12] He had to learn the Comanche language for the role.[13]

Personal life[edit]

McClarnon has been sober since 2000.[3][14]

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

Selected filmography[edit]


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

External links[edit]