At just 17 Angela Dotchin won fame on Shortland Street, playing receptionist Kirsty Knight for six years from the first episode in 1992. In that time her character survived two crashes, an attempted drowning, a volatile marriage and the attentions of bad boy character Greg Feeney.
After Shorty Dotchin moved on to three Lawless tele-movies where her role as crime-fighting partner to Kevin Smith won her a TV Guide best actor award in 1999. Dotchin has also acted in satire Serial Killers, and was a Brit spy in TV adventure Jack of all Trades. Dotchin, who had a six-year relationship with Once Were Warriors star Temuera Morrison, found more success in shows such as Xena: Warrior Princesses, and the Hercules spin-off Young Hercules. After splitting with Morrison she went to Britain in 2002 and became a personal assistant in the fashion industry. Now 40, Dotchin reportedly at one stage worked for the brand Bulgari.
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Antony Starr shot to national fame playing the dual role of twins Jethro and Van West in hit comedy/drama Outrageous Fortune, which first aired in 2005. Starr, 39, began his professional acting career in the early 1990s with a small part in Shortland Street and guest roles in Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. He has also appeared in Mercy Peak, in 2001, and later PET Detectives, Serial Killers and Street Legal.
In 2005, he was named best actor at the inaugural Qantas Television Awards for his role in Outrageous Fortune and won the 2007 Air New Zealand Screen Award for best performance by an actor, among other awards. He has also appeared in feature films The World's Fastest Indian, In My Father's Den, Without a Paddle and No. 2. In 2011 Starr joined the cast of the Australian police drama Rush, and also had a role in the second series of Lowdown. Since 2013 Starr has played the lead in the hit US television series Banshee. He plays an ex-con who assumes the identity of Lucas Hood, becoming the sheriff of Banshee County.
The daughter of actor Dame Kate Harcourt and late broadcaster Peter Harcourt, Miranda Harcourt shot to national fame in the 1980s TV series Gloss as city slicker Gemma. Harcourt, whose brother Gordon Harcourt co-presents Fair Go, was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study drama-therapy at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London in 1990. On her return to New Zealand, she devised the play Verbatim with William Brandt, touring it to every prison in the country and more around the world. For seven years she was head of acting at drama school Toi Whakaari, and while there teamed up with director/playwright husband Stuart McKenzie to make the feature film For Good in 2003. She also starred in Fracture in 2004.
As well as three children, the couple have a production company and have produced several award-winning short films. Harcourt, now 52, was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002 for services to theatre and since the mid-2000s has been coaching other actors. Her work includes Sir Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, Jane Campion's Bright Star and Top of the Lake, Gaylene Preston's Home By Christmas, and Bridge to Terabithia. In 2011 she was appointed to the board of Film New Zealand.
At 17 Rene Naufahu's model girlfriend got him a gig on a music video and the next thing the Otara teenager knew, he was being asked to audition for Marlin Bay. Soon after he became one of the original cast of Shortland Street, as paramedic Sam Aleni. Naufahu, of Tongan, Samoan, German and Irish descent, gave up a promising rugby career to try his hand at acting, sticking with Shorty for four years. In 2003 he attended the Binger Institute's script development programme in Amsterdam. Two years later he co-wrote television drama The Market. Naufahu went on to win best performance by an actor in a supporting role at the Air New Zealand Screen Awards in 2006 for feature film No. 2, playing grandson Erasmus. The film won the Audience Award, for dramatic world cinema after sellout screenings at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. He returned to the director's chair in 2013 for Moa-nominated thriller The Last Saint. Last year Naufahu went back to the character that made him a household name in another stint as Sam Aleni on Shortland Street.