South African-born Faye Smythe immigrated down under with her family aged 11. In 2005 she joined the cast of Shortland Street. Five years as nurse Tania Jeffries saw her character beat an addiction to prescription drugs, an abusive relationship and a marriage derailed by a partner who got her lesbian sister pregnant. In 2011 Smythe made her movie debut in comedy Love Birds, playing the woman who dumps Rhys Darby’s character.
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.
Christchurch-born Will Hall got his big break playing the average joe who has strange visions after an incident in a car wash, in acclaimed 2004 series Insiders Guide to Happiness. Hall went on to appear on prequel Insiders Guide to Love, then spent two years on Shortland Street, as skateboarding doctor Kip Denton. Hall also plays the baddie in Canterbury-shot movie Western Netherwood, which he helped to produce.
Renato Bartolomei played heartthrob doctor Craig Valentine in Shortland Street. After studying film and psychology in Melbourne, part Kiwi, part Australian Bartolomei worked in Australian TV, then guested as on Xena: Warrior Princess. In 2001 he joined Kiwi drama Mercy Peak as romantic interest to the main character, before segueing into a four-year stay on Shortland Street. He went on to join the cast of TV thriller The Cult.
During seven years playing Shortland Street party girl Toni Warner, Laura Hill survived miscarriage, murder attempts and romance with Chris and Guy Warner, before death from kidney failure in mid 2008. Hill, who moved to NZ aged five, is daughter of UK actor Helena Ross. At Victoria University she got first class honours in English literature; her many stage roles include starring as Jane Eyre at Dunedin's Fortune Theatre.
In 2007 Lucy Wigmore did something unusual — take over an already established role on Shortland Street. In spite of the show’s famously protective fanbase, Wigmore's portrayal of Dr Justine Jones soon became a fan favourite. Since her departure, the Toi Whaakari grad has played policewoman Lillian Armfield in Aussie drama Underbelly: Razor and taken on directing, with short films Sign Language and Stationery.
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.
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.