Actor Frank Whitten first won attention in 1984, playing the enigmatic farmer in Vincent Ward's breakthrough feature Vigil. Later he was known to many for his role as the Southern Man in the Speights "onya mate" commercials, and his ongoing appearances in Outrageous Fortune, playing the manipulative grandfather to the West clan. He died in February 2011.
Wayne Tourell is a prime contender for having the longest CV of any director in local television. Tourell began as an actor and presenter. The multiple Feltex award-winner has gone on to direct documentaries (Landmarks, Moriori), drink driving campaigns, teen movie Bonjour Timothy — not to mention episodes of Mortimer’s Patch, Shortland Street, Gloss and his beloved legal drama Hanlon.
Michael Keir-Morrissey's stage CV ranges widely. On screen, starting with the policeman on 1972's An Awful Silence, he has played his share of authority figures. But it hasn't all been kings and cops: on Gloss, he was ex-husband of magazine baron Maxine Redfern; in Came a Hot Friday, he was "desperate drunk" Morrie Shapelski; and on Shortland Street (in one of two roles to date) Keir-Morrissey played a murderous surgeon.
The versatile Peter Tait has shown an extremely keen eye over which short films to act in. His CV includes memorable roles in a run of offbeat classics: from legendary horror short Kitchen Sink (playing a very strange discovery) to The Singing Trophy (as an obsessed hunter), to Alison Maclean drama Talkback (an aggressive talkback caller) and satire Mon Desir (a boring husband). Tait has also created a number of his own projects — comical cricket short Bradman, postman tale Postscript, and two low-budget features: Back River Road, which was nominated for an NZ Film Award, and ensemble movie Not Set in Stone.
Philippa Campbell debuted as a producer with 1995 tele-play Swimming Lessons, after time as an actor, stage director, script editor, and and head of the script unit at TVNZ's drama department. Campbell went on to produce the debut movies of playwrights Anthony McCarten and Toa Fraser, plus acclaimed coming of age tale Rain and comedy horror Black Sheep. In 2013 she was Emmy-nominated, as producer of TV drama Top of the Lake.
Veteran actor Bruce Allpress has played true-blue Kiwis in everything from Ronald Hugh Morrieson classic The Scarecrow to 2011 feature Rest for the Wicked. Alongside a long run of supporting roles, he scored two Feltex awards as swagman star of 80s TV series Jocko.
Elizabeth Hawthorne, ONZM, has won awards for her acting on stage and screen. Her extensive screen resume is high on fantasy and horror, including The Frighteners, Jack Be Nimble, and Hercules. In 2000 she won the NZ Film Supporting Actress award for her portrait of a Westie matriarch in movie Savage Honeymoon, followed by another award for her brassy PR woman on satirical series Spin Doctors. In Outrageous Fortune she played Ngaire Munroe, no nonsense partner to veteran criminal Ted West. She went on to appear in both seasons of local drama series Filthy Rich, and American lost at sea movie Adrift.
Dorothy McKegg’s acting and singing talent took her from Palmerston North to London, while she was still a teen. Back home, her acting career encompassed memorable screen roles in Carry Me Back, Middle Age Spread and Matrons of Honour, and theatre work at Mercury, Downstage and Circa. McKegg passed away in February 2008.
History enthusiast Paul Gittins devised award-winning show Epitaph. As well as hosting it, he directed episodes across three seasons. The series used gravestone epitaphs to explore stories from New Zealand history. Gittins also presented historical show Shipwreck, and directed one-off documentary My Kainga My Castle. As an actor, he did extended shifts in the early days of Shortland Street, playing clinic boss Michael McKenna (father of Angela Bloomfield's character Rachel). He also plays father to the hero in two films directed by Ian Mune: The End of the Golden Weather and The Whole of the Moon.
Peter Elliott has been a fixture on New Zealand television for over three decades. Award-nominated as the scheming Rex Thorne on 80s soap Gloss, he would go on to win for tele-movie Until Proven Innocent, and spend four years on Shortland Street. Elliott has also guided viewers through New Zealand's history as host and narrator of shows Explorers, Captain's Log, and Frontier of Dreams.