By 2001 Russell Crowe was an international star, thanks to award-winning performances in The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind. Born in New Zealand and raised on both sides of the Tasman, the Oscar winner continues to act in feature films, and in 2014 made his movie directing debut with Aussie hit The Water Diviner. Once known as Auckland singer Russ le Roq, Crowe also sings in band The Ordinary Fear of God.
Neil Roberts discovered that he loved making television programmes while working as a parliamentary journalist. In the mid 1980s he founded independent production company Communicado, whose staff grew to more than 60. Later Roberts oversaw a period of change at Television New Zealand, during a short stint as the organisation's Television Manager. He died of cancer on 8 November 1998.
An iconoclast with a bent for experimentation, director Paul Maunder brought the mixed flavours of social realism and the arthouse to New Zealand screens in the 1960s and 70s, before shifting stages and leaving the government's National Film Unit, to concentrate on theatre. His second feature Sons for the Return Home (1979) as the first film to dramatise the experience of Pacific Islanders living in contemporary New Zealand.
Bill Ralston is the everyman of New Zealand television, a sometime political correspondent, arts and current affairs presenter, award-winning journalist and head of TVNZ news and current affairs. With fingers in many pies and always ready with a pugnacious opinion, Ralston is one out of the box.
Bob Parker did 12 years as guardian of the big red book, presenting and writing This is Your Life. Other presenting roles include Young Farmer of the Year and This is New Zealand (made in NZ for American cable television). He also appeared as a "weird dancing man" in the feature film Snakeskin. After doing time as mayor of Banks Peninsula in 2001, he began a six year stint as mayor of Christchurch in 2007.
Mike Hosking is one of Aotearoa's most polarising media figures. The longtime Newstalk ZB radio host began his television career in 1997, hosting Breakfast for six years. From 2014 he did another four as co-presenter of high profile five-nights-a-week TV show Seven Sharp, with Toni Street. The pair resigned in December 2017.
The screen career of award-winning broadcaster Linda Clark spans seven years as TVNZ’s political editor in the 90s, nine elections, and hosting several current affairs shows (Crossfire, Face the Nation, The Vote). She has also fronted RNZ’s Nine to Noon, and edited Grace magazine. In 2006 Clark retrained as a lawyer. Clark continues to be a political commentator, while working for law firm Kensington Swan.
After a stint at The NZ Herald, Susan Wood moved into television in the 1980s. There she would anchor the news and election coverage, present her own interview show (Today Live) and was one of the original hosts on Breakfast (alongside Mike Hosking). She was also the first Australian correspondent for One News. After Paul Holmes’ departure for Prime, Wood hosted prime time show Close Up for two years. In 2013 she began a stint as presenter of political show Q+A.
Barry Shaw wrote about television for more than two decades. A longtime critic for both The Auckland Star and The NZ Herald, he was on hand to note many key moments in Kiwi screen history. Shaw passed away in August 2011, at the age of 82.
Wayne Leonard has directed some of the highest-rated live events on New Zealand television. Since leaving TVNZ in the early 2000s to go freelance, he has continued to be one of the country’s premiere live directors, and helmed TV series ranging from hit panel show Game of Two Halves to My Kitchen Rules. In 2013 his coverage of the America’s Cup in San Francisco was nominated for multiple Sports Emmy awards.