An actor who appeared on Shortland Street and hit American childrens' series Power Rangers has died suddenly.
Robert Tripe was 41.
Tripe played opposite street stalwart Michael Galvin as defence lawyer Lawrence Cunningham in 2012 on the top-rating soap.
The actors union, Equity New Zealand, paid tribute to Tripe saying the performance community had "lost a dear friend and colleague".
Equity New Zealand president Jennifer Ward-Lealand said Tripe was a valued member of the union who gave much of his time and energy serving as vice president.
Said Ward-Lealand: "Robbie was a terrific support to me, and we very much enjoyed travelling together to Australia for committee meetings - and pinching ourselves that we were now part of such a big union. I will miss him."
Tripe appeared on local television productions including The Strip and films including The Truth about Demons and Radio Hauraki docu-drama The 3 Mile Limit.
He also had extensive theatre credits and was nominated for best supporting actor in the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for his role as Bernard in Death of a Salesman.
He was nominated for a second time portraying Trofimov in The Cherry Orchard.
Ward-Lealand said his theatrical highlight was playing the role of Daniel in Katydid at the Bats Theatre in 2010.
Tripe was introduced to the stage at Huntley Boys' School.
He continued his passion at Wanganui Collegiate and was later accepted into the New Zealand Drama School.
Family and friends gathered for a celebration of his life at Wanganui's Royal Opera House yesterday.
Mourners were asked to give donations to the Mental Health Foundation or plant a native tree in Tripe's memory.