Robyn Malcolm

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Robyn Malcolm

Robyn Malcolm MNZM (cropped).jpg
Malcolm in 2019
Born (1965-03-15) 15 March 1965 (age 55)
Ashburton, New Zealand
Years active1988–present
RelativesRoger Sutton (brother-in-law)

Robyn Jane Malcolm MNZM (born 15 March 1965)[1][2] is a New Zealand actress, who first gained recognition for her role as nurse Ellen Crozier on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street.

She is best known for six seasons of playing Cheryl West, matriarch to a sometimes criminal working-class family in the television series Outrageous Fortune, Kirsty Corella in the Australian television series Rake, Julie Wheeler in Upper Middle Bogan and Marina Baxter in The Code.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Malcolm was born in Ashburton, and attended Ashburton College,[4] and graduated from Toi Whakaari (New Zealand Drama School) in 1987.[5] She won an International Actors Fellowship at the Globe Theatre in London for 2003.[6]


Malcolm's first long-running television role was nurse Ellen Crozier in soap opera Shortland Street. She appeared on the show for five years and was nominated for Best Actress at the 1998 TV Guide Television Awards. She was nominated again for her lead role in television feature, Clare, based on the cervical cancer experiment at Auckland's National Women's Hospital which resulted in the Cartwright Inquiry.

In 1999, Malcolm was one of the founding members of the New Zealand Actors' Company along with Tim Balme, Katie Wolfe and Simon Bennett. The company produced and toured a number of successful stage productions throughout New Zealand.

In 2005, Malcolm took on the role of Cheryl West, matriarch of the West family, in Outrageous Fortune. Mixing comedy and drama, the show became one of the highest rating and awarded in New Zealand history. Malcolm won NZ television awards for the role including the Qantas TV Awards for Best Actress in 2005 and 2008, TV Guide Best Actress in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and Air NZ Screen Awards Best Actress in 2007

Malcolm won the Woman's Day Readers' Choice Award for Favourite New Zealand Female Personality in 2005, and New Zealand's sexiest woman at the 2007 TV Guide Best on the Box awards.[7]

Malcolm co-starred in 2010 feature film The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell, playing mother to a family obsessed with go-karting and motorsports. She has also had small roles in movies Absent Without Leave directed by John Laing, The Last Tattoo directed by John Reid, Gaylene Preston's Perfect Strangers, and Christine Jeffs' Sylvia. She had a minor role as Morwen in the second film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

In the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours, Malcolm was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to television and theatre.[8]



Title Year Role Notes
Absent Without Leave 1992 Betty
The Last Tattoo 1994 Working girl
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 2002 Morwen
Perfect Strangers 2003 Aileen
Sylvia 2003 1st woman at Ted Hughes' lecture
Boogeyman 2005 Dr. Matheson
The Lovely Bones 2009 Foreman's wife uncredited
The Hopes & Dreams of Gazza Snell 2010 Gail Snell
Burning Man 2011 Kathryn Dent
Drift 2013 Kat Kelly
Dream Baby 2015 Marianne Short film
Edith 2016 Barmaid Short film
Goodness Grows Here 2017 Trish Short film
Hostiles 2017 Minnie McGowan
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released


Title Year Role Notes
Shark in the Park 1989 Janice Guest role (1 episode)
Shark in the Park 1990–91 Janet Finn Guest role (2 episodes)
Married 1992 Maddie
Joyful & Triumphant 1993 Raewyn Television film
Shortland Street 1994–99 Ellen Crozier Main role (60 episodes)
The Tribe 1999 Ma'am Guest role (1 episode)
Clare 2000 Clare Matheson Television film
Op' Stars 2000 Narrator Television documentary
Atlantis High 2001 Violet Profusion Guest role (1 episode)
Mercy Peak 2003 Liz Guest role (2 episodes)
Intrepid Journeys 2003 Herself 1 episode
Serial Killers 2004 Pauline Lead role (7 episodes)
Outrageous Fortune 2005–10 Cheryl West Lead role (107 episodes)
bro'Town 2009 Herself 1 episode
Big Night In 2009 Herself Television special
The Jaquie Brown Diaries 2009 Herself Guest (1 episode)
Rake 2010–14 Kirsty Corella Recurring role (11 episodes)
Top of the Lake 2013 Anita Series regular (series 1; 7 episodes)
Agent Anna 2013–14 Anna Kingston Lead role (16 episodes); also executive producer
Upper Middle Bogan 2013–present Julie Wheeler Main role (24 episodes)
Charlotte: A Life Without Limbs 2014 Presenter Television documentary
The Brokenwood Mysteries 2015 Ruth Phelps Guest role (1 episode)
The Principal 2015 Sonya Guest role (1 episode)
Wanted 2016–18 Donna Walsh Guest role (6 episodes)
The Code 2016 Marina Baxter Main role (series 2; 6 episodes)
Wake in Fright 2017 Ursula Hynes miniseries
Harrow 2018 Maxine Pavich Main role (10 episodes)
The Outpost 2018–2019 Elinor Main role
Television series that have not yet been aired Denotes television series that have not yet been aired


Year Title Role Theatre
1988 The Threepenny Opera Lucy Brown Downstage Theatre
1988 The Rivers of China Various Downstage Theatre
1988 Les Liaisons dangereuses Cecile de Valonges Downstage Theatre
1988 Judy Various Downstage Theatre
1988 Jones & Jones Ida Baker Downstage Theatre
1988 Gulls Puppeteer Downstage Theatre
1989 Twelfth Night Viola BATS Theatre
1989 The Horse of Bernada Alba Martirio Downstage Theatre
1989 Othello Bianca Downstage Theatre
1989 Aunt Daisy Various Downstage Theatre
1990 Sweet Nothings Various NZ Tour
1990 Serious Money Mary Lou Baines / Various Downstage Theatre
1990 Macbeth Ross / Hecate Downstage Theatre
1990 Hamlet Ophelia BATS Theatre
1990 End of the Golden Weather Various Downstage Theatre
1990 Conquest of the South Pole La Braukman BATS Theatre
1991 Weed Raewyn Circa Theatre
1991 Via Satellite Chrissy Circa Theatre
1991 The Importance of Being Earnest Cecily Cardew Downstage Theatre
1991 Songs for Uncle Scrim Various Circa Theatre
1991 A Pack of Girls Raewyn Downstage Theatre
1993 Two Weeks with the Queen Various Circa Theatre
1993 Lettice & Lovage Miss Farmer Circa Theatre
1995 Othello Emilia Watershed Theatre
1999 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice Downstage Theatre
2000 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Maggie the Cat Downstage Theatre
2000 A Midsummer Night's Dream Titania NZ Actors Company
2001 A Way of Life Jenny NZ Actors Company
2001 A Midsummer Night's Dream Titania NZ Actors Company
2002 Middle-Age Spread Judy Auckland Theatre Company
2002 Queen Leah Kent / Caius NZ Actors Company
2005 The Duchess of Malfi Cariolla Auckland Theatre Company
2007 The Cut Susan Silo Theatre
2010 Happy Days Winnie Silo Theatre
2014 The Good Person of Szechwan Shen Teh Auckland Theatre Company

Personal life[edit]

Malcolm has two sons.[9] Her sister is married to Roger Sutton, the former CEO of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.[10]


Malcolm voiced Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand advertisements for the New Zealand general election, 2008.[11]

Malcolm has helped spearhead an actors' union campaign to negotiate standard contracts for actors in The Hobbit films. The producers refused, saying that collective bargaining would be considered price-fixing and therefore illegal under New Zealand law. The situation escalated into international calls for an actors' boycott of the films, but the boycott was called off. Several days later, the producers said they were considering moving the films to another country as they could not be guaranteed stability in New Zealand.[12] In response, the ruling National Party made several controversial changes to New Zealand's employment laws, and passed legislation explicitly controlling people working on the Hobbit movies.


  1. ^ Reid, Neil (3 January 2010). "TV star tells why she's joined Greenpeace". Sunday News. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  2. ^ Neville, Alice (21 March 2010). "TV stars' outrageous sexiness". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Collins, Simon (21 July 2009). "Celebs go toe-to-toe on smacks". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  5. ^ Hughes, Andrew; Wix, Olivia (26 November 2009). "The Job Tour: Movie and acting careers in Wellington". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  6. ^ "Artists take their talent to the world". The New Zealand Herald. 22 May 2003. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  7. ^ "Westie named NZ's sexiest woman". 15 November 2007. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  8. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2019". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 3 June 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  9. ^ Fraser, Fiona (16 August 2010). "Robyn Malcolm's double life". New Zealand Woman's Weekly. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  10. ^ Hampton, Jeff. "Unconventional lines man appointed new quake boss". TV3 News. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  11. ^ "Future focus at Green campaign launch". 5 October 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  12. ^ Paul Harper, Derek Cheng and Amelia Wade (21 October 2010). "Hobbit loss 'potential tragedy for NZ film'". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 November 2011.

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