In keeping with the ghoulish theme of the road safety ads, David Austin plays several characters at Spookers haunted theme park in Karaka.

Spookers manager Julia Watson said his main role was that of the undertaker, but he also did stints as the horror dentist and ghostly ballroom ghoul.

"Quite a few visitors recognise him and go, 'Oh my God, that's the wheel guy,' but he just stays in character," she said.

Julie Elstone, the producer of the ads, said Austin was chosen for the role because he had "a certain look".

"He was a very sweet guy, quite normal," Elstone said. "He looks just like he does on the ad."

Austin has also played a marcher in a TV movie Life's a Riot, directed by Ian Mune, which will hit Kiwi screens this winter. And he played a one-man-band in the $40 million Sngmoo Lee movie Laundry Warrior, which starred Kate Bosworth and Geoffrey Rush and was filmed partly in Auckland.

Away from acting, Austin runs Wiza Multimedia, specialising in websites. He is an avid skateboarder and a musician in an as yet unnamed band.

Bandmate and friend Barry Doar said Austin was "very shy, very intelligent, the most thoughtful person.

"He nursed his mother for a year before she passed away and after that I asked him what he was going to do with his life. He said he wanted to sign up with an agency to do some ads."