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Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, King Elessar

Aragorn Viggo Mortensen

Date of Birth: October 20 1958
Place: New York, USA
Nickname: Vig
Height: 5' 11" (1.80m)
Education: Degree in degree in Government and Spanish.
St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York 1980
Tattoos: a few (a combination of a barbed wire fence and a fist on his left shoulder, initials of himself his wife and his son intertwined and a #9 tattoo in Elvish on his shoulder)
Family: parents, Viggo and Grace Mortensen, two brothers Charles and Walter

Aragorn, StriderAragorn Aragorn Aragorn AragornKing Elessar

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With his chiseled blond good looks and intense screen presence, Viggo Mortensen has risen to the ranks as one of the most in-demand actors in late 1990s Hollywood. Born to a Danish father and American mother, he was raised in Manhattan and South America and fluently speaks Spanish and Danish as well as English. The multi-talented Mortensen (who paints, writes poetry and composes music) trained as an actor at Warren Robertson's Theatre Workshop. Soon after moving to L.A., he landed the role of the captain in a stage production of "Bent" and a small role in the 1984 CBS miniseries "George

Although the actor had been cast in small roles in both "Swing Shift" (1984) and "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1985), neither performance made the final cut. Mortensen finally made his feature acting debut as an Amish farmer (and younger brother to Alexander Godunov) in "Witness" (1985). The handsome actor was so well-cast that some failed to realize he was acting. Mortensen offered a strong turn as a rebellious inmate in Renny Harlin's "Prison" (1988) and was effective as a returning soldier in "The Reflecting Skin" (1991). Sean Penn cast him as another veteran, this time with a violent streak, in "The Indian Runner" (also 1991) while Brian De Palma gave him the part of a wheelchair-bound snitch in "Carlito's Way" (1993). Mortensen also worked in less remarkable genre fare like "Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III" (1990) and "American Yakuza" (1995).

Finally, director Tony Scott came to the rescue, hiring Mortensen to play the concerned, conflicted weapons officer in "Crimson Tide" (1995), what the actor termed "a guy with a job and a family . . . not a sociopath". After a turn as the Devil who battles Christopher Walken's angel Gabriel in "The Prophecy" (also 1995), the actor began to be considered for meatier roles. He displayed a sexy charm as one of Nicole Kidman's loyal suitors in "The Portrait of a Lady" (1996) and received respectful notices as one of the hostages in "Albino Alligator" (1997).

With his breakout performance as the poetry-quoting but brutal taskmaster training recruits in "G.I. Jane" (also 1997), Mortensen finally began to gain audience recognition and many critics felt he stole the film from his better-known co-star Demi Moore. Gaining a reputation for his intense, magnetic portrayals, the actor was cast the following year as the artist-lover of Gwyneth Paltrow in "A Perfect Murder" (and lent his own paintings to the production) before tackling the role of Sam Loomis, Marion Crane's boyfriend, in Gus Van Sant's ill-advised shot-by-shot remake of "Psycho".

In 1999 a turn in the 1969-set drama "A Walk on the Moon" cast Mortensen as  the "other man" once again, this time playing a hippie traveling salesman who brings excitement into the life of a frustrated housewife (Diane Lane). The following year he came between Sandra Bullock's recovering alcoholic and her partying boyfriend Jasper (Dominic West) as a star baseball pitcher in rehab for his substance abusing, womanizing ways. Although this spate of credits put him at risk for being typecast as a homewrecker, Mortensen followed up with a project that would remove that stigma.

He was tagged to co-star in Peter Jackson's long-awaited film adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, playing the heroic Aragorn. Mortensen's dashing good looks and commanding presence would serve him well in this leadership role, and would no doubt bring in some moviegoers who may have otherwise passed. With the hype surrounding the initial 2001 release "The Fellowship of the Ring" (followed by 2002's "The Two Towers" and 2003's "The Return of the King") kicking up a full three years earlier, one could expect to hear a lot about Mortensen for years to come.

Random facts

  • He is the ex-husband of Exene Cervenka, the singer of the punk band X.

  • Had a book of poetry printed before he was known. The title: "Ten Last Night."

  • Speaks fluent English, Spanish and Danish.

  • Father of Henry Mortensen.

  • He actually painted the large murals in his artist's studio in the film Perfect Murder, A (1998).

  • Lived in South America from age 2 to age 11.

  • Has been photographing for years, recently debuted with an exhibition at the Robert Mann Gallery in NYC. - American Photo, July/August 2000

  • Writes poetry in his spare time.

  • Is also a jazz musician - he has released three CDs so far.

  • Worked as a truck driver while living in Denmark

  • Broke a tooth while filming a fight sequence for "The Two Towers".

  • Replaced Stuart Townsend in the role of Aragorn/Strider in The Lord of the Rings, after filming began.

  • Got so into his character of Aragorn that 'The Lord Of The Rings' director Peter Jackson once addressed him as Aragorn for over half an hour, and Viggo
    didn't even realise it.

  • Was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2002

  • An accomplished horseman in his spare time, Mortensen requested that his Lord of the Rings character Aragorn be given more saddle-time than was originally scripted. He also kept his on-screen horse nearby during the entire principal photography schedule in order to ride in his off-hours and strengthen his relationship with the horse.

  • As Viggo lived in Argentina as a child, he is a fan of Argentine soccer team San Lorenzo.

  • Broke two toes during the filming of The Two Towers, in the scene where he kicks an orc helmet.

  • Owner of publishing company Perceval Press.

  • He is a New York Mets fan.

  • Visits Denmark at least 3 times a year. In 2003 he had a booksigning, an art exhibition opening and The Lord of The Rings premiere.

  • He's a Danish citizen.

  • In 1998, he was in two Alfred Hitchcock remakes. The "Dial M For Murder" remake, "A Perfect Murder", and "Psycho".

  • Purchased the horses he rode in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "Hildago" after the films were completed.

  • It is well-known that his father is Danish and his mother American, but also his grandmother was from Trondheim, Norway.

  • Worked as a translator for the Swedish hockey team during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and was at the 'miracle' game between the Soviet Union and United States.

  • While filming The Lord of The Rings Trilogy in New Zealand, he would go surfing with the other actors in their spare time. One day, he suffered an accident which left a bruise in the right side of his face. As a result, director Peter Jackson had to shoot only the left side of his face in the entire Moria sequence.

  • His name is an elaboration of the Scandinavian word 'Vig' which means war.


Alatriste (2006)
Wild Horse Preservation (2005)
History of Violence, A (2005)
Alatriste (2005)
Hidalgo (2004)
Live Freaky Die Freaky (2003) (voice)
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,
28 Days (2000)
Walk on the Moon, A (1999)
Psycho (1998)
Perfect Murder, A (1998)
Pistola de mi hermano, La (1997) .
G.I. Jane (1997)
Vanishing Point (1997) (TV)
Daylight (1996)
Portrait of a Lady, The (1996)
Albino Alligator (1996)
Passion of Darkly Noon, The (1996)
Gimlet (1995)
Prophecy, The (1995)
Black Velvet Pantsuit (1995)
Crimson Tide (1995)
American Yakuza (1995)
Crew, The (1994)
Floundering (1994)
Desert Lunch (1993)
Ewangelia wedlug Harry'ego (1993)
Young Americans, The (1993)
Carlito's Way (1993)
Ruby Cairo (1993) )
Boiling Point (1993/I)
Indian Runner, The (1991)
Once In a Blue Moon (1990) (TV)
Tripwire (1990)
Reflecting Skin, The (1990)
Young Guns II (1990)
Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
Prison (1988)
Fresh Horses (1988)
Salvation! (1987)
"Search for Tomorrow" (1951) TV Series
Purple Rose of Cairo, The (1985) (scenes deleted)
Witness (1985)
Swing Shift (1984) (scenes deleted)
"George Washington" (1984) (mini) TV Series


The Horse is Good
Mo Te Upoko-O-Te-Ika/For Wellington
Un Hueco En El Sol
Nye Falsknerier
Coincidence of Memory
Sign Language
Errant Vine
Recent Forgeries
Hole in the Sun
Ten Last Night

All letters should be sent to:
Viggo Mortensen
c/o The Rawlins Company,
3933 Patrick Henry Place,
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Contributed by                   and Elril Galia

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