Ellen Crozier

Last updated

Ellen Crozier
Ellen Crozier.jpg
Shortland Street character
Portrayed by Robyn Malcolm
Duration1994–1999
First appearance23 February 1994
Last appearance16 November 1999
Introduced byTony Holden
Classification Former; regular
Profile
OccupationNurse

Ellen Rosemary Crozier is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street , who was portrayed by Robyn Malcolm for nearly six years in the mid to late 1990s.

Contents

Creation and casting

Robyn Malcolm "won" the role of Ellen Crozier during the shows third season in 1994. [1] [2] At the time, the shows primary writers were James Griffin and Rachel Lang and Malcolm remembers the period as not only a highlight of her career, but of Shortland Street in general. [3] Malcolm retained the role for nearly 6 years. [4] Malcolm made her last appearance in November 1999. [5]

Storylines

Ellen arrived to replace Jaki (Nancy Brunning) with daughter Minnie and husband Johnny (Stelios Yiakmis). However soon after they arrived, the marriage broke up when Johnny strayed. Depressed and alone, Ellen accidentally burnt down the house with a lit cigarette. The arrival of Ellen's sister Carla didn't help when Ellen discovered her sister was a possible psychopath. Ellen dated Bernie Leach (Timothy Bartlett) but ended up returning to Johnny for a short lived affair. Ellen revealed to Minnie that she was a product of rape and she was devastated when Carla tried to murder her after being sectioned. Ellen started to date David Kearney (Peter Elliott) but Ellen misinterpreted the arrival of his wife and fled. The two reunited in Fiji where Ellen confessed she was pregnant.

The two married but the death of their baby Rose (Georgia Bishop) the following year, separated the two and they both had affairs. They finally decided to reunite but David felt obliged to stay with his girlfriend who was dying from cancer. The reconciled when David was diagnosed with a blinding disorder and the two left for an early retirement. Ellen informed Waverley Wilson (Claire Chitham) on the phone, that she and David would not be attending her marriage to David's son Fergus (Paul Ellis).

Character development

Cot death storyline

In 1996, producers decided to have Shortland Street undergo a cot death storyline and the decision was made for the character of Ellen to undergo it. Needing a suitable father character, writers paired Ellen with relatively new character, David Kearney (Peter Elliott). [6] Ellen and David had been dating for several months but the arrival of his ex-wife Isobel Kearney (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) lead to Ellen thinking the two had reconciled, causing her to flee to Fiji. In a specially shot episode in the country, David tracked her down and the two reconciled, only for Ellen to announce she was pregnant. [7] The couple decided to marry to support the child and lured their friends to the ceremony under the pretense that it was Grace Kwan's (Lyentte Forday) birthday. [8] Producers encountered a problem when developing the storyline, when they realized they had accidentally over run Ellen's pregnancy. A quick fill in story was devised where Ellen was nervous that the baby was so late. [9] In the casting of Ellen and David's child, the daughter of the show's medical adviser was chosen. [6] Having set the storyline up to unfold in 1998, crew members began to get cold feet due to the uneasiness of shooting the scene using one of their co workers own children and the fact that two of the storyliners had fallen pregnant. [6] On screen, Ellen had an unscheduled birth, giving birth to Rose Crozier-Kearney (Georgia Bishop) in her bathroom, but help arrived in the form of Caroline Buxton (Tandi Wright) just in time. [10] Due to the tenderness of the storyline, it was continuously pushed back until the stage where it was nearing the point of improbability. The plot was ultimately scheduled to air in the last possible week with the potential of cot death to occur. [6] In February 1998, Ellen was shocked to discover her baby daughter Rose, had died in her sleep. [6] [8] [10] [11] The scene was shot with the baby's actress but Malcolm was directed to quickly pick her up and then the shot was changed to a close up, to avoid any movements from the child. [6] The couple's devastation at Rose's death saw them break up and date other characters. However, over a year later they finally put Rose to rest and reconciled. [10] The storyline landed Malcolm with her first ever television acting nomination. [6] The subject of a child's death was dealt with twice more in the soap, 5 years later in the death of Te Ngakau Hudson, [11] and 10 years later with the death of Kelly Piper. [12]

Reception

The character of Ellen received a hugely favorable reception and is often looked back on by reviewers with a positive view. [2] [4] [13] [14] Ellen's pairing with David Kearney (Peter Elliott) proved to be hugely popular and by the mid nineties, the family unit based around the character was the most integral and high-profile set of characters in the soap. [10] [15] The role of Ellen was said to have made Malcolm a household name in New Zealand [16] and though entirely different than her role of Cheryl West in Outrageous Fortune , was believed to be a paving stone. [17] The show's main writers throughout the mid nineties, James Griffin and Rachel Lang (future creators of Outrageous Fortune), gave Ellen the nickname "slut in a cardigan". [3] The cot death of Ellen's daughter Rose turned out to be a widely well received storyline and is remembered as one of the most iconic to feature on the soap. [6] [10] From the cot death storyline, Malcolm went on to be nominated for "Best Actress" in the 1998 TV Guide Best on the Box Awards. [2] [4] [6] In 2000, a reviewer for The New Zealand Herald criticized the show and called for the return of Ellen, a character she actually cared about. [18] The departure of Ellen amongst several other core characters, saw a fall in the ratings for the soap and several measures were made to fix this, such as the reintroduction of Chris Warner (Michael Galvin). [19] In 2017 New Zealand Herald columnist Ricardo Simich expressed his desire for Ellen to return for the soap opera's 25th anniversary saying it would be remiss not celebrate Malcolm's success. [20] That same year stuff.co.nz journalist Fleur Mealing named Ellen as the 3rd character she most wanted to return for the show's 25th anniversary, citing the need to celebrate where Malcolm started her career. [21]

Related Research Articles

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Christopher Alexander Warner is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who has been portrayed by Michael Galvin since the show's first episode, making him the longest running original character. Galvin quit the show in 1996, but returned to the show four years later when the show underwent a revamp. In total he has been with Shortland Street for 23 of its 27 years.

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Nick Harrison

Nicholas John Harrison is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by Karl Burnett from the show's second episode in 1992 to 2005, making him the original character to stay with the show the longest in one stint. The character along with wife Waverley returned for the show's 25th anniversary that aired on 25 May 2017.

Lionel Skeggins

Lionel Skeggins is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by John Leigh. His casting on the show began in late 1993 as a guest role and ended in early 1999 as a fan favourite regular. Lionel returned for a cameo in the show's 25th Anniversary in 2017.

Waverley Harrison

Waverley Harrison was a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street. She was portrayed by Claire Chitham and was introduced as a love interest for Nick Harrison who she eventually married 8 years after her arrival to the show. The character returned along with Husband Nick for the show's 25th anniversary episode that aired on 25 May 2017.

Roimata Ngatai

Roimata Ngatai is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Shavaughn Ruakere from January 2011 to January 2014. Initially introduced as a 3-month love interest for TK Samuels, Ruakere's contract was extended to a regular role.

Carla Crozier

Carla Leach is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Elisabeth Easther from early 1995 to mid 1996. The character debuted as the sister of established character Ellen Crozier and gained notoriety as the show's first ever on screen murderer.

Caroline Buxton

Caroline Buxton is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Tandi Wright from late 1995 to early 2000.

Fergus Kearney

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Zac Smith (<i>Shortland Street</i>)

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Grace Kwan

Dr. Grace Kwan is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, portrayed by Lynette Forday from 1994 to 1997. Forday reprised the role 16 years later in 2013.

Minnie Crozier

Minnie Crozier is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Katrina Devine from her first appearance in 1994 as part of the Crozier family unit until 2001 when the character was axed as part of a large cast overhaul.

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References

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