Issue date: 
Friday, 19 August 2022

It is with sadness the NZFC acknowledges the passing of respected actor, playwright and artist, Marshall Napier (22 October 1951-14 August 2022)

Born and raised in Lower Hutt, Napier’s first professional acting role was for the Downstage Theatre in Wellington in 1975. Known for his supporting performances in some of New Zealand’s most iconic films as Beyond Reasonable Doubt (1980), Goodbye Pork Pie (1981), Came A Hot Friday (1984), Footrot Flats (1986), Starlight Hotel (1987) and The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988).

Napier moved to Australia forging a career as a successful theatre, television and film actor, appearing in films Babe (1995) and The Water Horse (2007). He starred in TV series including Police Rescue (1989-1992), Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1995), Blue Heelers (1997-1999), Water Rats (1996-1999) and All Saints (1999-2001).

Napier was perhaps most loved for his portrayal of character Harry Ryan in McLeod’s Daughters, whom he played from 2001-2006, starring alongside his daughter Jessica Napier, as Becky Howard.

Napier was nominated for the 1989 Listener Film and Television Awards Best Male Performance for The Navigator and Best Male performance in a Support Role, for Starlight Hotel, the 1992 Australian Film Institute Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role - Television Drama for Police Rescue and the 2021 AFIN International Film Festival Best Australian Actor Award for Earl’s Town.

He starred on Broadway alongside Cate Blanchett in Anton Chekov’s The Present (2017), and in the award winning New Zealand feature film Bellbird (2019). Marshall Napier's final film Northspur will be released in late 2022.

Last updated: 
Friday, 19 August 2022