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.
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.
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.
Simon Bennett's extensive CV includes producing and directing episodes of long-running successes Shortland Street and Outrageous Fortune — including helming Fortune's keenly-watched final episode — and producing fantasy series Maddigan's Quest. Bennett began in theatre, and has gone on to spend time as head of drama at South Pacific Pictures, the production house behind all three shows.
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.
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 suddenly in mid 2014, a tribute page attracted hundreds of positive comments. Since then Billing has presented Sensing Murder, acted in Find Me a Māori Bride and The Bad Seed, and displayed her musical talents in Cabaret, The Threepenny Opera and Auckland’s Jubilation Choir.
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.
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.