The Equity Foundation is thrilled to announce that New Zealand actor, director and teacher John Callen is the recipient of the 2021 Equity New Zealand Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Ryman Healthcare.
John’s illustrious career as a theatre, television and film actor, and a director, teacher and voiceover artist spans more than 40 years. He was nominated for the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by his fellow NZ actors and recently chosen by the Equity NZ Board from an outstanding group of nominees.
“As well as his huge talent and wonderfully distinctive voice, John is loyal and active union member and an industry leader who is unfailingly generous in supporting those pursuing this profession,” says Equity NZ President Jennifer Ward-Lealand. “Over the last four decades he has been a teacher and mentor to many emerging actors in Aotearoa. Equity New Zealand is proud and delighted to recognise John’s enormous contribution to our industry.”
From The Hobbit films, Close to Home and The Rainbow Warrior, to Goodbye Pork Pie, The Luminaries and many more in between, John has brought his immense presence to a myriad of screen roles. In the theatre arena John has performed in or directed over 100 plays, most recently treading the boards at the Pop Up Globe Theatre. John’s credits as a director includes TV commercials, documentaries and many episodes of Shortland Street. John still works as a voiceover artist and has narrated more than 150 documentaries worldwide.
John says: “To receive this award as an acknowledgment of what we do as storytellers is a joy any actor would be thrilled and humbled to receive. To be in such august company is something I never expected. We must always learn from the past, plan for the future, but most importantly live in the moment. The youth of today are the keepers of culture for the generations to come.”
Ryman Healthcare, New Zealand’s largest retirement village operator, has supported the Equity Lifetime Achievement Award since its inception six years ago. Previous recipients include; Dame Kate Harcourt, Elizabeth McRae, Ken Blackburn, George Henare, Sam Neill and Ian Mune.
Ryman Chief Executive Gordon MacLeod says: “For more than 40 years John has been keeping us entertained on stage and screen. We’re delighted to be able to support this award to say thanks John – and we look forward to many more years of entertainment.”
John will be honoured at an award ceremony in Auckland in September.