Rangi Heremaia

Last updated
Rangi Heremaia
Rangi Heremaia.jpg
Shortland Street character
Portrayed by Blair Strang
Duration1995–2001
First appearance21 March 1995
Last appearance9 April 2001
Introduced by Gavin Strawhan
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Other namesRangi Walters
OccupationParamedic

Te Rangitahi "Rangi" Heremaia is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by Blair Strang from 1995 to 2001.

Contents

The character was renowned and iconic for his absurd and unrealistic storylines. The most famous of which was a long running incest storyline with fan favourite - Donna Heka (Stephanie Tauevihi). The two eventually discovered they were in no way related and married in an iconic wedding that aired on the show's 2000th episode. Other memorable storylines for the character include his romance with Rachel McKenna (Angela Bloomfield), his two car accidents (one of which left him paralyzed), getting stabbed twice, recovering from paraplegia and losing his girlfriend as he was about to propose. The character survived the 2001 cast overhaul only for Strang to quit the show due to a "stress related illness". The character was written off in a whodunit storyline that saw his body discovered after being missing for weeks. It was eventually revealed he was murdered by his mistress' husband.

The character and his romance with Donna proved highly favourable for fans, with his absurd storylines also being remembered as iconic. Rangi's death remains known as one of the most memorable deaths on the show.

Creation and casting

Whilst studying law, Blair Strang won the role of Rangi, who was to be a stereotypical northerner and a four-month recurring character. [1] Strang had previously auditioned unsuccessfully for 4 or 5 other roles. [2] Upon the soap's infamous revamp in 2000 that saw 14 characters written off, producers ensured fan favourite Rangi would stay. [3] However Strang's girlfriend - Katrina Devine who portrayed Minnie Crozier was deeply upset as her character had been part of the axing. [4] Strang started to clash with what he saw as poor management and decided to quit the soap shortly after the revamp. [1] His departure was blamed on a "stress related illness" by producers. [4]

Storylines

Rangi arrived to the clinic and won the job of a paramedic alongside Sam Aleni (Rene Naufahu). He started to date Rachel McKenna (Angela Bloomfield) but was traumatized by killing a man in a car crash. The arrival of his son Toka (Redmond McCarthy) and ex-girlfriend proved poor for his relationship with Rachel but the two stayed together even when Rangi had an affair with Rebecca Frost (Luisa Burgess). However, when Rangi became paralysed after a motorbike incident, the two finally split but Rachel ended up passing out drunk in her car and nearly killing the wheelchair bound Rangi. Rangi survived and resumed his romance with Rebecca after he miraculously regained his ability to walk. However, as Rangi prepared to propose, Rebecca suddenly died from a faulty heart valve. Rangi started to date fellow paramedic Donna Heka (Stephanie Tauevihi) but the romance was cut short following the revelation they were in fact siblings.

Rangi had a brief affair with Ellen Crozier (Robyn Malcolm) and was briefly accused of abusing elderly women. Rangi went into hiding and Donna helped him through the ordeal shortly before fellow paramedic Mark Shawn (Tony MacIver) was revealed as the true culprit. Rangi and Donna slept together however the two acknowledged the romance was wrong and Rangi had a brief fling with Caroline Buxton (Tandi Wright). In 1999 Rangi dated both Shivani Naran (Madeleine Sami) and Janet Maxwell (Katrina Hobbs) but as the year ended, Rangi was delighted to discover Donna was in fact a result of an affair and in no way related to him. Rangi helped clear Donna of murder. He broke up with Janet and he finally married Donna. The two decided to have children but Donna proved infertile and Rangi had to take out a loan to fund IVF. However, Rangi went missing and it was only a few days later that Rangi's body was found, he had been drowned. The police suspected suicide but Donna investigated and soon discovered Rangi had a secret double life with a woman named Adrianna (Emily Mowbray) and her husband Kim Tairoa (Patrick Kake) had murdered him when he decided to stay with Donna.

Character development

Relationship with Donna

Stephanie Tauevihi was cast as Donna Heka, a love interest for Rangi and debuted in 1997. [5] Initially the romance was meant to be straightforward but when an incestuous storyline was suggested, producers realized the large amount of content they could produce and a storyline where the happy couple would realize they are half siblings was conducted. [5] The revelation caused Rangi to begin drinking and Donna to flee town. [6] However the audience related well to the couple and when producers decided to make the two sleep again, there were no complaints from fans as were expected. [5] Due to such high audience reaction, the paternity was unraveled in 1999, setting off a cliffhanger that saw the two possibly reconcile in the new millennium. [5] [6] When Donna was accused of murder, Rangi helped her through it and the two reconciled and married on the show's 2000th episode. [6] Tauevihi enjoyed the couples marital bliss stating; "I had a huge storyline ... so it's nice to give that a bit of a flick, sit back and settle into post-marital domestic bliss. There are lots of soft, gentle moments between [Donna and Rangi] which is really nice to play out when you've been doing the angst-ridden, angry, pent-up, can't talk about it stuff." [7] However the happiness didn't last for the couple, [5] and Rangi went missing only to be discovered dead. [8] Donna discovered Rangi was cheating on her but had decided to stay with her only to be murdered by his mistress and her husband. [8]

Reception

Strang was nominated for the "Best Supporting Actor" award in the 2000 TV Guide Television Awards. [9] The character of Rangi was famous for the risky and abstract storylines he went through. [1] [4] [10] Two notable storylines included the character recovering from paraplegia and dating his suspected sister. [4] One particular storyline for the character was cut completely in that it was seen far too controversial. [11] The storyline was to see offscreen lovers - Strang and Katrina Devine's characters - Rangi and Minnie participate in an affair whilst Rangi was dating Minnie's mother - Ellen. [11] The incestuous relationship between Rangi and Donna proved to be one of the soap's most iconic storylines, with the wedding episode being singled out as one of Shortland Street's best bits. [5] [6] [12] [13] [14] [15] Rangi's death proved memorable with fans hoping the character was "doing a Tom Neilson" and would return. [8] The death remained the last death of a core cast member for 3 years. [16] The storyline that saw Rangi nearly die at the hands of a drunk Rachel, was voted by fans as one of the shows most iconic moments. [15]

Related Research Articles

Chris Warner

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.

Stephanie Ann Tauevihi is a New Zealand songwriter, singer and actress, known for her work as the fictional character, Donna Heka, in the New Zealand television series Shortland Street. She also played a Real estate Agent in one episode of short-lived NZ program Rude Awakenings. She has provided songs and vocals for New Zealand band Strawpeople

Toni Warner

Antoinette "Toni" Warner is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by Laura Hill from 2001 until 2008.

Rachel McKenna

Rachel McKenna is a fictional character from the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, played by Angela Bloomfield and who made her first appearance in early 1993. Bloomfield left the role in late 1999, before returning in early 2001 and departing in early 2003. She returned in a guest role in mid-2007 and again in a full-time role in late 2009 before departing once again in late 2016.

Harry Warner (<i>Shortland Street</i>)

Harry Warner is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who first appeared onscreen in May 2002. Being born on screen during the shows 10th anniversary, Harry has been portrayed by several child actors and by Reid Walker since 2009. In May 2017 Harry left for an exchange program in Japan.

Dominic Thompson

Dominic "Dom" Thompson is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by Shane Cortese from 2003 to 2004.

Nick Harrison Fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street

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.

Marj Brasch

Marjorie "Marj" Brasch is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street. Being part of the original cast, she was portrayed by Elizabeth McRae from the show's first season in 1992 up until 1996. She returned as a guest character in 1998, 2002, as part of the show's 20th anniversary in May 2012 and again for the show's 25th anniversary in 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.

Greg Feeney

Greg Feeney is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Tim Balme for numerous recurring stints throughout the mid to late nineties.

Ellen Crozier

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.

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.

Delphi Greenlaw

Delphine "Delphi" Greenlaw is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Anna Hutchison between 2002 and 2004.

Fergus Kearney

David Fergus Kearney is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by Paul Ellis for numerous recurring stints from 1995 to 1999 before becoming a regular character until 2001. The character returned briefly in 2002.

Donna Heka

Donna Heka is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Stephanie Tauevihi from 1997 to mid-2004 and again for a two episode stint in December 2004.

Victor Kahu

Dr. Victor Katea Kahu is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by Calvin Tuteao from late 2000 to Christmas Day 2004.

Oscar Henry

Oscar Henry is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street played by Christopher Brown from 1998 to 1999.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Whiteside, Andrew (11 April 2012). "Blair Strang: a career resurrected". NZ On Screen. NZ On Air.
  2. Hunkin, Joanna (16 December 2006). "TV soap's grand matriarch farewells Shortland Street". The New Zealand Herald . APN News & Media.
  3. Beston, Anne (25 November 2000). "Scything on 'Shortland Street' turns into massacre". The New Zealand Herald . APN News & Media.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Beston, Anne (24 February 2001). "Medical reasons force TV soap star to bow out". The New Zealand Herald . APN News & Media.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Shortland Street: The 10 best tales". The New Zealand Herald . APN News & Media. 16 May 2002.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Rangi and Donna get married". Television New Zealand . May 2004. Archived from the original on 12 April 2012.
  7. Cleave, Louisa (27 May 2000). "Stephanie Tauevihi - Happily ever after". The New Zealand Herald . APN News & Media.
  8. 1 2 3 "20 years of memorable departures (part two)". Television New Zealand . 1 April 2012. Archived from the original on 12 April 2012.
  9. "Blair Strang". NZ On Screen. NZ On Air. unspecified. Retrieved 29 July 2012.Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. Rothwell, Kimberley (19 July 2011). "TV star's secret career". stuff.co.nz . Fairfax Media.
  11. 1 2 Roberts, Sandra (28 December 1998). "Our Hot Love". Woman's Day.
  12. "Rolling in the Shortland Street aisles". The New Zealand Herald . APN News & Media. 29 August 2002.
  13. Lang, Sarah (14 July 2008). "At long last, love..." The New Zealand Herald . APN News & Media.
  14. Bennett, Cath (6 December 2009). "Mum's the word". stuff.co.nz . Fairfax Media.
  15. 1 2 Philpot, Chris (27 March 2012). "Shorty: vote for your favourite moments". stuff.co.nz . Fairfax Media.
  16. Dixon, Greg (8 November 2003). "Soapland echoes to sounds of wailing". The New Zealand Herald . APN News & Media.