Bushy-browed, New Zealand-born actor and writer Jonathan Hardy became most familiar to television audiences as the commanding voice of the Jim Henson Creature Shop muppet, Dominar Rygel XVI, the pint-sized , egocentric ruler-in-exile of a galactic empire, in TV's cult series Farscape (1999). His distinctive diction proved ideally suited to lending both humour and personality to the cantankerous, idiosyncratic 26-inch Hynerian.Jonathan was educated at St. Patrick's College and Victoria University in Wellington, and trained for acting at the New Zealand Player's Drama School. In later years, he became a force in his country's theatrical scene as artistic director of the Auckland Mercury Theatre, from 1980 to 1985. Prior to that, he had studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art on a scholarship, and subsequently spent ten years gaining valuable experience on British stages -- with the National Theatre, the Bristol Old Vic and with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon Avon. Back in the antipodes, he was especially acclaimed for his performance as Willy Loman in an Auckland Theatre Company production of "Death of a Salesman". With the same organisation, he had another winning role in "Twelve Angry Men". After moving to Australia in 1972, Jonathan was notably featured in the films The Mango Tree (1977) and Mad Max (1979), and had guest spots on popular television shows like Prisoner: Cell Block H (1979) and The Flying Doctors (1986). He also made occasional forays into screenwriting. His first, for the controversial Boer war drama Breaker Morant (1980), won him an Oscar nomination (along with Bruce Beresford and David Stevens), and an Australian Film Institute Award. In the cast of the two-act play "Breaker Morant", debuting at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne (February 1978), he played the key role of Major James Francis Thomas, who defended Morant at the infamous court martial.Jonathan was known in his profession for his work ethic and boundless energy. In fact, he soldiered on for many years after 1988, despite having undergone the trauma of heart transplant surgery. He also had a reputation for a wonderfully wicked sense of humour ...after all, he once described Rygel's most endearing traits on "Farscape" to be "biting people and farting helium"!
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination.