Zahn McClarnon is one of the very few Native American actors in Hollywood. He is of Lakota-Irish descent. His outstanding looks have earned him a number of specific roles. Having begun his acting career in 1992, McClarnon’s filmography is quite long. However, he is best known for his role as Hanzee Dent in the second season of FX black comedy–crime drama anthology TV series “Fargo” which premiered in 2014.
In the big screen, Zahn’s notable credits include Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) and Bone Tomahawk (2015).
Zahn is also known for his recurring role in A&E/Netflix television series Longmire. In recent years, he has had roles in TV shows like Frontier (2016), Timeless (2017), and The Son (2017).
Read on to discover more about Zahn McClarnon background, including his parents, twin brother, his wife and entire family as a whole.
Zahn McClarnon Bio, Twin Brother, Parents, Family
Zahn was born as Zahn Tokiya-ku McClarnon on October 24, 1966, in Denver Colorado. His middle name translates as “first one to come,” while his first name Zahn is in tribute to his great great uncle, an artist who was a Standing Rock Indian Reservation elder. Zahn has a fraternal twin brother.
His mother is Hunkpapa Lakota (one of the Native American groups) and was raised in the the Standing Rock Reservation. Zahn’s father is of Irish descent and once worked in the Glacier National Park for the National Park Service.
Zahn has once explained that he has German blood in him. “My father was an Irishman and I’ve got a little German blood in me, as well. I’m just a mutt. We’re all mutts, I think,” he told American Cowboy.
While his mother lived on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, Zahn was raised by his grandparents. Zahn has explained his childhood upbringing as a rough one. He grew up all over the northern plain states including Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, and Montana.
He attended a public school which he said made him feel left out. Early in life, Zahn became addicted to drugs and alcohol, something he believes runs in his blood as his mother and brother were also an alcoholics.
However, Zahn like his mother came clean and was officially sober in 2000, at the age of 34. Sadly, his addictions gave him a heart attack when he was 33, and as a result, he would have to live on medications for the rest of his life.
His mother is also sober and now teaches therapy in a rehabilitation clinic in Rosebud, South Dakota.
Zahn’s passion for entertainment began when he was a kid. At the age of 11, he began participating in sweat lodge ceremonies and Sun dances. During his time schooling at Omaha Central High School, Zahn was influenced by his drama teacher Peggy Stommes. He graduated from high school in 1986, at the age of 20.
As a teen, Zahn acted in one play, a local production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Chanticleer Theater in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He later revealed that the role made him fall in love with acting. “I did one play at the Chanticleer Theater in Council Bluffs, and I got hooked,” he told Omaha.com.
Shortly after high school graduation, Zahn moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s to better his acting opportunities.
In LA he began by landing small parts in TV series including; Tequila and Bonetti (1992), Baywatch (1992), In Living Color (1993), Renegade (1994), and more. He also appeared in a couple of TV movies.
Beginning from the new millennium 2000, Zahn began appearing in more feature films, among them are Skins (2002), Momentum (2003), Repo Chick (2009), Resolution (2013) and more.
Zahn got his first regular recurring role in 2012 series Longmire which ended in 2017. However, his biggest break came in Fargo. Zahn received much critical acclaim for his role as Hanzee Dent.
Speaking of the breakthrough role with Omaha, Zahn said; “ ‘Fargo’ has opened a lot of doors for me. And it was a great show to work on. Great people, the writing’s incredible. Noah (Hawley, ‘Fargo’ showrunner) is one of the best in television right now.”
The role landed him in top sites like New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Hollywood Reporter. Most importantly, it brought him more acting gigs.
For his role in AMC’s western series The Son, Zahn had to learn the Comanche language.
Zahn McClarnon Married/Wife
Since his big break with Fargo, fans have become increasingly curious to know if Zahn is married to anyone. Sadly, Zahn has never revealed that information to the media, not even on social media. At his age, many believe that he has a family but just choose to conceal them from the prying eyes of the media.