Michael Eric Hurst ONZM (born September 20, 1957) is the actor and director most famously known for portraying Iolaus on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. A near-native New Zealand performer, Hurst is married to actress Jennifer Ward-Lealand and has two sons.
Hurst also played a host of other characters across the Renaissance Pictures series. In addition to several Hercules, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Young Hercules characters, he appeared as Captain Nardo da Vinci in Jack of All Trades and Amfortas in Legend of the Seeker. He also appeared alongside Kevin Sorbo in an episode of Andromeda and in the film Bitch Slap.
In addition to acting, Hurst has screen directing credits, mostly in television, but also the features Jubilee, Treasure Island Kids 2 and 3, and Love Mussel (tv movie), and short film I'm So Lonesome, I Could Cry, which he also co-wrote. With Renaissance Pictures, he has directed two episodes of Jack of All Trades, seven episodes of Legend of the Seeker, and eight episodes of Spartacus. He was also a producer on the second season, Spartacus: Vengeance. Recently he directed two episodes of the popular tv series Ash vs Evil Dead which starred Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless, Ted Raimi, and Joel Tobeck.
His Xenaverse directorial work is as follows:
- HTLJ: "Mercenary"
- XWP: "A Day in the Life"
- Amazon High
- XWP: "A Tale of Two Muses"
Hurst has portrayed 13 different characters in 86 episodes on all three series. When he portrayed The Widow Twanky, Hurst was credited as Edith Sidebottom. Interestingly, he was uncredited for his appearance as Iolaus in "Be Deviled." In "Greece is Burning" he was credited twice, once as Edith Sidebottom (for the Widow Twanky) and then as Billy Wagstaff for his portrayal of a beggar.
- Daniel James, who portrayed a young Iolaus
- Dean O'Gorman, who also portrayed a young Iolaus
- Peter Rowley, who portrayed Charon in scenes opposite Hurst's Nigel
- Neill Duncan, who played Sordis while Hurst provided the vocals
- Paul Robert Coyle, the writer who Hurst's Coyle was loosely based on
- Mark Newnham, the creature effects actor who portrayed Dahak's final true form