Wellington-born Jonathan Hardy, who died in July 2012, was an actor for more than four decades. Along the way he was on stage in New Zealand, Australia and England, and on screen in Kiwi classic The Scarecrow and a run of Australian projects. Hardy also co-wrote Constance and Aussie classic Breaker Morant, in the process becoming the first New Zealander to be nominated for a scriptwriting Academy Award.

Thank you for all your wonderful stories, your wicked wit ... your time, advice and your friendship. Sail well, wherever your spirit takes you. Actor Lani Tupu (from a Facebook tribute), 30 July 2012

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Big in Japan

2009, As: Doctor Timpleton - Short Film



2006, Writer, As: Homeless Man - Film


Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars

2004, As: Dominar Rygel XVI - Television


Ned Kelly

2003, As: The Great Orlando - Film


Moulin Rouge!

2001, As: The Man in the Moon - Film


Camping with Camus

2000, Actor - Short Film



1999 - 2003, As: Dominar Rygel XVI, As: Various Roles - Television



2003, As: Stephen Betjeman - Television


Down Rusty Down

1997, As: Otis - Short Film



1997, As: Giles Ballard


My Entire Life

1996, As: Reverend McIntyre - Film


Twisted Tales

1996, Actor


Snowy River: The McGregor Saga

1996, As: John Archer Sr - Television


The Adventures of Skippy

1992, As: Grandad Bill, Writer


More Winners: His Master’s Ghost

1990, As: Mr Bretherton - Television



1995, As: Robert Houghton - Television



1988, Director, Writer - Film


Return to Snowy River

1988, Director’s Associate - Film


Butterfly Island

1988, Actor - Television

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1987, Producer, Writer - Television

Comedy series Porters featured an impressive cast. George Henare, Peter Bland (star of Came a Hot Friday), Bill Johnson (Under the Mountain) and Stephen Judd (Bridge to Nowhere) starred as a cynical team of hospital porters who share no love for their boss (Roy Billing). In the hope of lifting the standards of Kiwi comedy, the makers of this 80s television series imported Emmy award-winner Noam Pitlik (Barney Miller, Taxi) from the US to direct. The series made comedy from hospital romances, missing patients and union representation. Only six episodes were made. 

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Porters (Episode Five)

1987, Producer, Writer - Television

Created by actor/writer Jonathan Hardy, comedy series Porters was based around a group of porters working in a big city hospital. This episode features an early screen appearance by Rima Te Wiata (Hunt for the Wilderpeople); she guest stars as a worried nurse who calls on junior porter Peter (Stephen Judd from Bridge to Nowhere), after hearing some strange noises on the night shift. An encounter in the mortuary awaits. The episode also includes appearances by fellow porters George Henare, Peter Bland and Bill Johnson, with Roy Billing playing their long-suffering boss.  


The Lie of the Land

1987, Actor - Film


Wills and Burke

1985, As: John Macadam - Film



1985, As: Judge - Television

This was New Zealand's first big historical drama after the controversy over the cost of The Governor almost a decade earlier. Over seven episodes — set between 1895 and 1914 — it followed the life of Dunedin barrister Alf Hanlon, focussing on six of his most important cases. British actor David Gwillim played Hanlon, while Australian Robyn Nevin was cast as convicted baby murderer Minnie Dean in the first and most celebrated episode. A major critical, ratings and awards success, it immediately recouped its budget when the Minnie Dean episode spurred a big international sale.

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1984, As: Burley - Film

A young woman in colonial New Zealand (played by Jodie Foster, post-Taxi Driver pre-Oscars) flees an orphanage to find herself trapped in an arranged marriage to an older businessman (fellow US actor John Lithgow). Voyeurism, hypnotism and dodgy doctoring feature in the thriller from US director Michael Laughlin, from a screenplay by Jerzy Skolimowski. Mesmerized was made in NZ as an international co-production with RKO during the 80s tax break era. It was released in the US as My Letter to George in 1986. Laughlin also shot cult horror Dead Kids (1981) in NZ.

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Death Warmed Up

1984, As: Ranji Gandhi - Film

Pre-dating Peter Jackson's arrival (Bad Taste) by three years, New Zealand's first horror movie sees Michael Hurst making his movie debut as he fights mutants (including Bruno Lawrence) on Waiheke Island. Hurst's character is out to avenge the mad scientist who forced him to kill his parents. A grand prize-winner at a French fantasy festival (with cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky on the jury), David Blyth's splatterfest marked the first of many horrors funded by the NZ Film Commission. It was also the first local showcase of the smoothly-flowing Steadicam camera.



1984 - 1986, As: Shopkeeper - Television

Heroes followed a band trying to make it in the mid-80s music biz. Teen-orientated, the show marked a first major role for Jay Laga’aia (Star Wars), and an early gig for Michael Hurst (with blonde Billy Idol spikes). Band keyboardist John Gibson co-wrote the series music; he later became an award-winning film composer. Margaret Umbers (Shortland Street, Bridge to Nowhere) was a non-musician in the cast (with Hurst), but since has sung regularly in a jazz band. A second series follow in 1986.


Nearly No Christmas

1983, As: Mr Rich - Television



1983, As: Randolph Grieve, Writer - Film

Constance centres on a young woman who attempts to escape the staid world of 40s Auckland, by embracing glamour and passion. After meeting a photographer, her aspirations of stardom are brutally fractured. Directed by Bruce Morrison, the movie echoes the style of Hollywood melodrama, while simultaneously critiquing the dream. Donogh Rees was widely praised in the title role as a protagonist who lives in a fantasy world, with one review describing her as “New Zealand’s answer to Meryl Streep”. New York's Time Out called the film "lush and exhilarating".

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Lonely Hearts

1981, As: Bruce - Television


The Scarecrow

1981, As: Charlie Dabney - Film

Praising novel The Scarecrow, one critic argued that author Ronald Hugh Morrieson had melded genres together into “a brilliant, hallucinatory mixture distinctively his own". The movie adaptation is another unusual melding; a coming of age tale awash with comedy, nostalgia, and a touch of the gothic. Taranaki teen Ned (Jono Smith) is worried that the mysterious arrival in town (US acting legend John Carradine) has murderous designs on his sister. The masterful narration is by Martyn Sanderson. The result: the first Kiwi film to win official selection at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Under the Mountain - Maar (First Episode)

1981, As: Police Commander - Television


Breaker Morant

1980, Writer - Film


Mad Max

1979, As: Labatouche - Film


The John Sullivan Story

1979, As: Vlad


Against the Wind

1978, As: Sam Fitchett


The Mackenzie Affair

1977, As: Judge - Television

The five-part series told the story of colonial outlaw James Mackenzie: accused of rustling 1000 sheep in the high country that would  bear his name. His escapades on the lam elevated him to folk hero status. Like producer John McRae’s prior series, Hunter’s Gold, the South Pacific Television ‘prestige’ drama was made with export in mind. Adapted from James McNeish’s book, the early co-production — with Scottish TV, where the opening episode was shot — imported Caledonian lead actor James Cosmo (Braveheart, Game of Thrones) and veteran UK TV director Joan Craft.


The Devil’s Playground (Australian feature)

1976, As: Brother Arnold - Television



1986, Subject - Television

Kaleidoscope was a magazine-style arts series which ran from 30 July 1976 until 1989. Running for many years in a 90 minute format, the show tried varied approaches over its run, from an initial mix of local and international items — including live performances — to episodes which focused on a single artist or topic. In the early 80s Kaleidoscope collected three Feltex awards for Speciality Programme. Hosts over the years included initial presenter Jeremy Payne, newsreader Angela D'Audney, future Auckland music professor Heath Lees, and Warratahs fiddler Nic Brown.


The Adventures of Barry McKenzie

1973, As: Groove Courtenay - Film



1972, As: Harmar