Johnny Barker began acting in musicals at high school. Since then his career has balanced acting and playing music. In 2003 he starred as one of the heroes in Greg Page horror film The Locals. Four years later Barker joined Shortland Street for his second stint, winning infamy (and Qantas award nominations) after being revealed as the Ferndale Strangler. His ex-band Jester provided the opening song for TV's Being Eve.
After studying performing arts at Unitec, Toni Potter got busy in a run of stage plays. Guest parts on TV soon led to an ongoing role on police drama Interrogation (2005), before four years on Shortland Street. Potter played memorably straight-talking nurse Alice Piper: "a bit bogan, a bit loud-mouth." 2008 saw a Qantas nomination, after her character endured abduction by the Ferndale Strangler, and unexpected pregnancy.
Katherine McRae’s first acting role was as a child, in an adaptation of Katherine Mansfield story The Doll’s House. Thirteen years later, she was part of the main cast on TV's The Marching Girls, before her first movie, Send a Gorilla. After winning acclaim on stage, she became a regular on Shortland Street in 2006, then moved into screen directing — including Go Girls, Nothing Trivial, and short film Abandon Ship.
Short film Decaff (1994) marked a hyperactive and energetic screen debut for director Greg Page. In 2003 he wrote and directed his first feature, horror movie The Locals. Page continues to be a prolific director of television commercials and music videos.
Actor Hannah Marshall did four seasons on Australian TV hit Packed to the Rafters; she was nominated for a 2011 Logie Award for Most Popular New Female Talent. The ex-gymnast began acting at high school in Auckland. Later she appeared in The Amazing Extraordinary Friends, was a victim of Shortland Street's Ferndale Strangler, and showed her comic touch on Diplomatic Immunity. In 2014 she co-starred in acclaimed Aussie sci fi film The Infinite Man. After time in the United States, Marshall and partner David de Lautour returned home to create Alibi, a whodunnit whose episodes can be watched in any order.
Orewa-raised Emily Robins began acting and singing as a child. Later she juggled high school with acting on Shortland Street. Playing spoilt rich girl Claire Solomon, her character survived strip clubs and morphine, before being murdered by the Ferndale Strangler. Robins then headed for Australia to star in two seasons of The Elephant Princess, playing a musically-talented teen who learns she is princess of a magical kingdom.
Though probably best known for her seven years playing Shortland Street receptionist Yvonne Jeffries, theatre has long been Alison Quigan's second home. During 18 years as artistic director at Palmerston North's Centrepoint Theatre she acted, directed 60 plus plays, and programmed many Kiwi titles. Quigan has also written extensively for the stage, and acted in a number of memorable roles for Auckland Theatre Company.
Ben Mitchell headed from Hamilton to Auckland in 2000 and began pursuing an acting career, soon after being crowned Mr New Zealand. Following a guest role in Shortland Street in 2000, he has become a fan favourite since returning to the show in 2006 to play Doctor TK Samuel. The character later married Doctor Sarah Potts (Amanda Billing), and became head of the hospital's Emergency Department. Aside from a number of short films, Mitchell has also starred in three feature films: cross-cultural romance Love Has No Language, comedy Curry Munchers and indie drama Broken Hallelujah.
After three years as a high school teacher, Masterton-raised Amanda Billing began a decade long run on Shortland Street in 2004. Four years later her character, feisty doctor Sarah Potts, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, in an extended storyline that won praise from many real life MS sufferers. When her character passed away unexpectedly in August 2014, a tribute page attracted hundreds of positive comments. Since then Billing has presented Sensing Murder, acted in Find Me a Māori Bride and displayed her musical talents in Cabaret, The Threepenny Opera and Auckland’s Jubilation Choir.
As Shortland Street's 'Doctor Love' Chris Warner, Michael Galvin has survived four marriages, morphine addiction, an emergency tracheotomy, unexpected triplets, and being strung up by psycho Dominic Thompson. Shortland's longest-serving actor actually left the show for five years in 1996, before returning. Acclaimed for a part-singing role in Everly Brothers play Blue Sky Boys, he has also won awards for his writing, which includes fiction and 2009 play Station to Station — Galvin starred as a rabid evangelist. His screen roles include TV series Cover Story and 1997 telemovie Highwater.