Annie WhittleBio from 1986:


Is it Nana Mouskouri, Leeza Gibbons or merely the woman who fends off the dog in that freezer-bag commercial? No, just singer-turned-actor and television presenter Annie Whittle having a field day on TVNZ this Wednesday night.

It's all Annie from 8.30 when she hosts the second series of Then Again at 8.30 on ONE then, immediately afterwards, appears in more serious vein in the feminist thriller movie Trial Run.

A decade ago Whittle, a Christchurch based singer with hit songs such as "Tequila Sunrise", took part in a pilot show for a South Pacific Television satirical series called A Week of It, with such relative unknowns as David McPhail, Jon Gadsby, Chris McVeigh and Peter Rowley. Overnight she became known to television audiences as a comic actor of versatility, and she won the 1977 Feltex Best Actress Award for her efforts. Her Nana Mouskouri impersonation, and her sharp-tongued barmaid Charlene in the "Jeez Wayne" Gluepot Tavern sketches became part of television folklore.

Whittle left the series in the late 1970s and went to Auckland to further her career. This took her into straight acting, mainly in television drama, culminating in her starring role in Wednesday's Melanie Read 1984 feature film, Trial Run. Since then she has co-starred in the Larry Parr production of Witi Ihimaera's story The Makutu on Mrs Jones, best drama finalist at this year's Gofta Awards.

Later work included Shortland Street and Under the Mountain.