Zahn McClarnon
Born Zahn Tokiya-ku McClarnon
October 24, 1966 (age 54)
Denver, Colorado U.S.
Other names Zahn T. McClarnon
Occupation Actor
Years active 1992–present
Known for
  • Longmire
  • Fargo
  • The Son
  • Westworld


Zahn Tokiya-ku McClarnon is a Native American Lakota-Irish actor, best known for his performance as Hanzee Dent in the television series Fargo, as well as his recurring role as tribal police chief Mathias in Longmire and as Akecheta in the second season of Westworld.

Early life

McClarnon was born in Denver, Colorado, the son of a Hunkpapa Lakota mother and Irish father. He grew up near Browning, Montana, where his father worked in the Glacier National Park for the National Park Service. 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.

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

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


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.

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 Sundance TV series The Red Road.

From 2012 to 2017, McClarnon portrayed Mathias, the Chief of Indian Tribal Police of the Cheyenne reservation, in Longmire, originally an A&E and later a Netflix television series.

McClarnon portrayed Hanzee Dent in the second season of the TV series Fargo, where his performance received critical acclaim. He appeared in the TV series Timeless as Native American U.S. Marshall Grant Johnson in the episode “The Murder of Jesse James”. McClarnon appeared as Toshaway in AMC Network’s The Son, for which he learned the Comanche language.

McClarnon appeared as Akecheta, the leader of the Ghost Nation, in HBO’s Westworld. Although usually credited as a recurring character, McClarnon was credited as a main cast member in “Kiksuya”, the eighth episode of the second season, which focuses almost exclusively on his character’s backstory. His performance in the episode received critical acclaim, with Rotten Tomatoes stating that McClarnon delivered a “heart-wrenching, formidable performance” that elevates the episode to “one of the best of the entire series”.

In 2022 McClarnon starred as Joe Leaphorn in television series Dark Winds, based on the Leaphorn & Chee novel series by Tony Hillerman.

Personal life

McClarnon has been sober since 2000.

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. McClarnon’s middle name, Tokiya-ku, loosely translates to mean: “first one to come.”

McClarnon has three brothers.

In late 2017, McClarnon fell at his home and suffered a brain injury, requiring hospitalization. The accident caused a brief shutdown of production for Westworld.

Source: Wikipedia
Updated: July 6, 2022