Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa was born 1 August 1979 in Honolulu, Hawaii and was raised in Norwalk, Iowa by his mother. He is of mixed Native Hawaiian and Caucasian descent and is an American actor and model. His Hawaiian name, Namakaeha, translates to "all knowing eyes."
In 1998 Momoa returned to Hawaii, where international designer Takeo discovered him and helped him to launch his modeling career. The following year, Momoa snagged Hawaii's "Model of the Year," and hosted the Miss Teen Hawaii contest. His career as an actor began in 1999 with his role as Jason Loane in Baywatch Hawaii and then, in 2005, as Ronon Dex in Stargate Atlantis. He also starred as Navarro in the 2004 movie, Johnson Family Vacation.
Momoa's dreadlocks were a source of consternation to the actor and to the producers of Stargate Atlantis. His active role in the series made the weight of his hair physically painful, and he cut the dreadlocks off. He was forced to wear his stunt double's wig until a custom wig could be made for him.
Momoa was in the news in 2008 when California resident Dominic Bando attacked and cut Momoa with a broken beer glass. Stitches and reconstructive surgery were required, and Los Angeles County prosecutors are filing felony assult charges against Bando.
Momoa is not married, but he has had two children by Lisa Bonet (from the Cosby Show). The first, a girl named Lola Iolani Momoa (the middle name means royal hawk), was born on July 23, 2007. A boy named Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa was born on 15 December 2008. Momoa's son is the fifth generation to carry the Namakaeha name.
Image: Jason Momoa at Wolf Pegasus One, London, 2006.