David Wenham

This article is about the actor. For the theologian, see David Wenham (theologian).
David Wenham

Wenham at the premiere of the film The Turning at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival
Born (1965-09-21) 21 September 1965
Marrickville, Sydney, Australia
Occupation Actor
Years active 1987–present
Partner(s) Kate Agnew (1994–present)

David Wenham (born 21 September 1965) is an Australian actor who has appeared in movies, television series and theatre productions. He is known in Hollywood for his roles as Faramir in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Carl in Van Helsing, Dilios in 300 and its sequel 300: Rise of an Empire and Neil Fletcher in Australia. He is also known in his native Australia for his role as Diver Dan in SeaChange.

Early life

Wenham was born in Marrickville, Sydney, the son of Kath and Bill Wenham. He has five older sisters; Helen, Anne, Carmel, Kathryn, and Maree; and one older brother, Peter. He was raised in the Roman Catholic faith and attended Christian Brothers' High School, Lewisham.[1][2]


Wenham started his career as an actor after graduating from Theatre Nepean at the University of Western Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts (Performing Arts) in 1987.[3] Wenham's television credits include several telemovies, such as his AFI award winning role in the 1996 telemovie Simone de Beauvoir's Babies; and his role as the outwardly laid back but deeply enigmatic diver Dan Della Bosca in the 1998 and 1999 seasons of the highly successful ABC television series SeaChange. His role as "Diver Dan" has made the actor something of a sex symbol, although he dislikes thinking of himself as such,[4] and he has been voted Australia's "sexiest man alive".[5] A portrait of Wenham by artist Adam Cullen won the Archibald Prize in 2000.[6][7] Wenham is signed to Storm Model Management in London.[8]

Australian films Wenham has starred in include the critically acclaimed The Boys (1998) based on the play of the same name premiered at Griffin Theatre Company and in turn based on the murder of Anita Cobby; Molokai (1999), based on the life of Father Damien; The Bank (2001); Gettin' Square (2003); Stiff (2004); The Brush Off (2004) and Three Dollars (2005). Wenham has periodically appeared in Hollywood films; he is known for playing Faramir, son of Denethor II, in New Line Cinema's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

He was also seen in Van Helsing playing Hugh Jackman's sidekick, Friar Carl. His character, Dilios, narrated and appeared in the movie 300. Minor roles of Wenham's in overseas films include in The Crocodile Hunter as a park ranger, and briefly in Moulin Rouge! as Audrey. Wenham stars in the music video for Alex Lloyd's single "Brand New Day". In 2008's Australia, he reunited with Hugh Jackman playing antagonist Neil Fletcher who seeks to acquire the ranch Jackman's character is employed with.

In both Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and 300, Wenham's character is the sole survivor returned from an ill-fated battle (the Battle at Osgiliath and the Battle of Thermopylae, respectively). He reprises his role of Dilios in the videogame 300: March to Glory for Sony PlayStation Portable, which contains a substantial amount of new dialogue.

In 2009 he again took to the stage, this time as the lead actor, Jerry Springer, in the British musical Jerry Springer: The Opera. During its 6-day run at the Sydney Opera House he played in sold-out performances alongside ARIA award winning singer Kate Miller-Heidke.

In 2010, Wenham starred as the disgraced Melbourne lawyer Andrew Fraser in the Australian TV series Killing Time. This ten-part series shows Fraser's fall from grace as he defends many Melbourne criminals during the 1980s and 1990s. It was shown on TV1 in late 2011.

Wenham plays New Zealand detective Al Parker[9] alongside Elisabeth Moss[10] in the 2013 BBC series Top of the Lake.

In 2013, Wenham returned to the stage to play the lead role of John Proctor, in the Melbourne Theatre Company's mid-year production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

In 2014, Wenham started as Patrick, in Paper Planes to released in 15 January 2015. In 2015, Wenham voiced the role Jacko a frilled-neck lizard, in Blinky Bill the Movie.

Personal life

He has two daughters, Eliza Jane and Millie, with his longtime girlfriend, Kate Agnew.[11]

Wenham read a poem by Rupert McCall at the memorial service for Steve Irwin. The poem was entitled "The Crocodiles are Crying".[12]

Wenham is a Sydney Swans supporter.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Greenkeeping Trevor
1992 Seeing Red Frank
1994 Gino Trevor
1994 Tran the Man Raymond "Tran" Moss Short film
1994 No Escape Hotel Guard No. 2
1995 Roses Are Red Brian
1996 Cosi Doug
1996 Idiot Box Bank Teller
1998 The Boys Brett Sprague
1998 Dark City Schreber's Assistant
1998 A Little Bit of Soul Dr. Richard Shorkinghorn
1999 Molokai: The Story of Father Damien Father Damien
2000 Better Than Sex Josh
2001 Russian Doll Ethan
2001 Moulin Rouge! Audrey
2001 The Bank Jim Doyle
2001 Dust Luke
2002 The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course Sam Flynn
2002 Pure Lenny
2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Faramir
2003 Gettin' Square Johnny Spitieri
2003 Basilisk Stare Dave
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Faramir
2004 Van Helsing Carl
2005 Three Dollars Eddie Harnovey
2005 The Proposition Eden Fletcher
2007 300 Dilios
2008 Married Life John O'Brien
2008 The Children of Huang Shi Barnes
2008 Australia Neil Fletcher
2009 Public Enemies Harry Pierpont
2009 Pope Joan Gerold
2010 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Digger (voice)
2010 Oranges and Sunshine Len
2014 300: Rise of an Empire Dilios
2015 Paper Planes Patrick
2015 Blinky Bill the Movie Jacko (voice)
2015 Force of Destiny Robert Filming
2016 Goldstone Johnny
2016 Lion Post-production
2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales [14] Scarfield Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1987 A Country Practice Ambulanceman 1 Episode: "Mozart Rules – Part 1"
1987 Sons and Daughters Debt Collector Episode: "#1.954"
1988 A Country Practice Scott Galbraith 2 episodes
1990 Come In Spinner Australian soldier Mini-series
1991 Police Rescue Ferret Episode: "The Cosmic Lightbeam"
1992 A Country Practice David Cornish 2 episodes
1994 Blue Heelers William Cassidy Episode: "The Folly of Youth"
1994 Escape from Jupiter Dr. Chrobak
1996 Blue Heelers Robbie Doyle Episode: "Happy Families"
1997 Return to Jupiter Dr. Ghrobak 2 episodes
1998–1999 SeaChange Dan Della Bosca 15 episodes
2004 The Brush-Off Murray Whelan Telemovie
2006 Answered by Fire Mark Waldman Two-part mini-series
2009 Deadliest Warrior Narrator Credited as "Drew Skye"
2011 Killing Time Andrew Fraser 10 episodes
2012 Dripping in Chocolate Bennett O'Mara
2013 Top of the Lake Al Parker 7 episodes
2013 Better Man Julian McMahon 4 episodes
2014 The Code Ian Bradley 6 episodes
2015 Banished Captain Arthur Phillip, 1st Governor of New South Wales
2015 Who Do You Think You Are? Himself Series 7, Episode 4
2016 Iron Fist Harold Meachum

Awards and nominations


  1. "Spittin' image". The Age. Melbourne. 5 October 2003.
  2. Fr Damien role is ‘uplifting’ – actor
  3. Mendelssohn, Joanna (13 February 2008). "Want to go to art school? Don't live in Western Sydney". Crikey. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  4. Field, Melissa (1 April 2007). "The star of David". Daily Telegraph.
  5. "David Wenham AgeOfTheRing Biography".
  6. "Biography". David Wenham appreciation site. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  7. Edmond, Martin (30 September 2014). "Declivities and eminences". Sydney Review of Books. Writing and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  8. Storm Model Management, Special Bookings
  9. "Entertainment: Top of the Lake". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  10. "Mad Woman, Bad Girl". New York Post. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  11. David Wenham – Yahoo! TV
  12. The Crocodile Hunter: A Tribute to Steve Irwin at the Internet Movie Database
  13. "Kidman heads army of Swans 'true believers'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 March 2005.
  14. http://www.vinereport.com/article/pirates.of.the.caribbean.5.movie.news.movie.going.back.to.the.roots.of.the.franchise.with.orlando.bloom.returning.as.will.turner/3112.htm
  15. 1 2 "Past Winners, Television 1986–2006" (PDF). AFI Television Awards. Australian Film Institute. 2006.
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