Historical records matching Viggo Peter Mortensen, Jr.
About Viggo Peter Mortensen, Jr.
He is a Danish American actor, poet, musician, photographer and painter. He is best known for his roles as Aragorn in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Tom Stall in David Cronenberg's A History of Violence, and his Academy Award-nominated role as Nikolai Luzhin in Cronenberg's Eastern Promises. He also stars in the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road as "The Man".
Mortensen was born in New York City. His American mother, Grace Gamble (née Atkinson), and Danish father, Viggo Peter Mortensen, Sr., met in Norway. His maternal grandfather was from Nova Scotia, Canada and his maternal grandmother's family was from New England. Mortensen's family moved to Venezuela, Denmark, and the Argentine provinces Córdoba, Chaco and Buenos Aires, where he learned Spanish. His father managed chicken farms and ranches in Argentina. They remained there until Mortensen was eleven, when his parents divorced and his mother returned to New York. Mortensen and his father moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, and eventually went back to the United States, where Mortensen graduated from Watertown High School in Watertown, New York. After high school, he returned to Denmark and became a truck driver in Esbjerg, Denmark, before again returning to the United States to pursue an acting career. He attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, earning a bachelor's degree in Spanish. He chose that subject because he could get good grades without a lot of study, leaving him free to be in a lot of plays. At his commencement, he refused to wear an academic gown because they were made by sweatshop workers. However, after the Lord of the Rings trilogy, when he was granted an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, he did appear in the prescribed robes.
Mortensen has a son, Henry Blake Mortensen (b. 28 January, 1988), with ex-wife Exene Cervenka, singer in the punk band X. Henry and Viggo have done public father/son poetry readings together as recently as April 2006. His son also has a minor uncredited role in the extended version of The Two Towers. Mortensen is fluent in English, Danish and Spanish, and is conversant in Norwegian. He also speaks French, Italian, Catalan and Swedish reasonably well.