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Vanessa Rare

Actor [Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Pu, Tamaterā, Ngāpuhi]

Vanessa Rare's first time in front of a camera was in a starring role: playing scheming solo mum Rata, in Gaylene Preston comedy hit Ruby and Rata (1990). Herald critic Peter Calder wrote that she filled "the screen with a presence one would expect of a veteran performer". Daughter of a runner and a champion ballet dancer, Rare went on to co-star in one-off drama Kahu & Maia and act in Barry Barclay's Te Rua and movie The Z-Nail Gang. She also had an extended role on Shortland Street, as poor but proud nurse Te Hana Hudson. Rare has written and directed for anthology series Mataku, and directed shorts Koa Means Joy and Pikowae.

...there are so many talented Māori out there, much more talented than me. So my message to them is, just keep on doing it, keep on dreaming — if it can happen to me it can happen to you. Vanessa Rare, in an October 1990 article on Ruby and Rata