For much of the 90s, hospital cafe manager Lionel Skeggins (John Leigh) was Shortland Street’s beloved nice guy. He fell in and out of love with Kirsty (their true soap romance included amnesia and a plane crash) before making this exit in March 1999. Lionel had been married to Mackenzie Choat (Ingrid Park) for just a week before learning of her dodgy past; he was fleeing her at the beach when he encountered a wave. His demise made 2016 NZ Herald and Stuff lists of the show’s memorable deaths, but the body was never recovered. Is Lionel the Street’s ultimate missing person?
Murray Keane was directing; he said, 'you're in this shot, and you're not in the next one'. And there was a big woosh. And they had lifeguards there.– John Leigh describes filming his final Shortland Street scene, in his ScreenTalk interview for NZ On Screen