Elizabeth McRae

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Elizabeth McRae

Born
Elizabeth Helen Kersley

(1936-08-01) 1 August 1936 (age 85)
Wellington, New Zealand
Alma mater Victoria University College
OccupationActor
Years active1955–present
Known for Shortland Street
Height1.64 m (5 ft 5 in) [1]

Elizabeth Helen McRae ONZM (née Kersley; born 1 August 1936) is a New Zealand actress, best known for her portrayal of Marjorie Brasch (née Neilson) in the television soap opera Shortland Street , and, in the last decade, as Jean Marlowe, in the internationally distributed TV series The Brokenwood Mysteries .

Contents

Biography

Born in Wellington in 1936, [2] McRae was educated at Wellington Girls' College from 1950 to 1954 and was head prefect in her final year. [3] She graduated from Victoria University College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1958, [4] and married architect Don McRae in Wellington the following year. [5] The couple's children include actress, scriptwriter and director Katherine McRae. [6]

Her first theatrical role was in Nola Millar's 1955 production of Richard II at Wellington's Unity Theatre, which also featured Tim Eliott in his acting debut. [7]

McRae made her television debut on the NZBC in the children's mini-series The Games Affair in 1974, [8] and went on to appear in many other New Zealand television programmes including Mortimer's Patch , [9] Mercy Peak , [9] Terry and the Gunrunners , [10] and Go Girls . [10] However, it is for her recurring role as receptionist-turned-MP Marjorie Brasch on the long-running New Zealand television soap opera Shortland Street that she is most well-known. [8] McRae played the role from the soap's first episode in 1992, speaking the show's first line, [11] until 1996, with further appearances in 1998, [12] 2002, [13] and on the 20th anniversary episode in 2012. [14]

McRae's film acting credits include Never Say Die (1988), An Angel at My Table (1990), 30 Days of Night (2006) and, in 2010, Rest for the Wicked, in which she played the lead role of Lillian. [1]

McRae was named best actress in a radio drama production at the 1982 Mobil New Zealand Radio Awards, [9] and was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to theatre, in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours. [15]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1982 The Scarecrow Mrs. Peacock
1985Hot TargetMrs. Harris
1987A Death in the FamilyAunty Pam
1988 Never Say Die Daisy
2000JubileeAgnes Morrison
2002All About ReinaldaMarge Brasch
2004My Father's ShoesCynthiaShort
2007 30 Days of Night Helen Munson
2008Journey to IhipaGladys MatengaShort
2011Rest for the WickedLilliam
2011Check OutEnid CartwrightShort

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1981 Mortimer's Patch Mrs. HigginsEpisode: "Fighting Johnny Fuller"
1982One of those BlightersLydia KingsbeerTV film
1984Out of TimeAugusta WilkinsonTV film
1985The Adventures of Terry TeoMr. CamperEpisode: "Terry and the Gunrunners: Part 2"
1985HanlonMrs. HornbyEpisode: "In Defence of Minnie Dean"
1987Steel RidersMs. BlakeEpisode: "Hacking"
1990 Shark in the Park MayEpisode: "The First Cut is the Deepest"
1992–1996, 1998, 2002, 2012, 2017 Shortland Street Marjorie Brasch Regular role
2002 Mercy Peak Mitzy GeersEpisode: "Fear and Loathing"
2006 Power Rangers Mystic Force White Tribunal (voice)Episodes: "Dark Wish: Parts 2 & 3"
2007 The Man Who Lost His Head MaryTV film
2009 Go Girls Mavis BoyleEpisode: "Less Than Zero"
2013 The Blue Rose BerylEpisode: "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out"
2014 Agent Anna EdithEpisode: "2.6"
2015–2019, 2021 The Brokenwood Mysteries Jean MarloweRecurring role (series 2–7)

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References

  1. 1 2 "Elizabeth McRae: actor biography" (PDF). Johnson&Laird. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  2. "Births". Auckland Star. 1 August 1936. p. 1. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  3. "Hall of Fame: Elizabeth McRae". Wellington Girls' College. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  4. "NZ university graduates: I–K" . Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  5. "Further submission on the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill". Mt Eden Planning Group. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  6. "Behind the scenes: meet the directors". Television New Zealand. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  7. Gaitanos, Sarah (2006). Nola Millar: a theatrical life. Wellington: Victoria University Press. p. 160. ISBN   978-0-86473-537-9 . Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  8. 1 2 Whittaker, Emma (9 August 2013). "Elizabeth only dotty on the job". Auckland City Harbour News. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  9. 1 2 3 "Double honour for McRaes". Scoop News. 13 December 2006. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  10. 1 2 "Elizabeth McRae". New Zealand On Screen. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  11. "Shortland Street – first episode". New Zealand On Screen. 1992. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  12. Cleave, Louisa (26 July 1998). "Marj rules out a permanent return". Sunday News. p. 27.
  13. "Nick and Waverley say I do". Dominion Post. 1 October 2002. p. 3.
  14. Hurley, Bevan (29 April 2012). "Plot twists mark soap's birthday". Herald on Sunday. p. 22.
  15. "Queen's Birthday honours list 2006". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 5 June 2006. Retrieved 4 May 2020.