Issue date: 
Tuesday, 26 January 2021

The New Zealand Film Commission acknowledges the passing of actor Peter Vere-Jones ONZM.

In a long and varied career across six decades, Peter Vere-Jones’s career spanned theatre, film and television.

Peter’s film career included the lead role in Michael Black’s 1981 film Pictures, in which he played a young photographer courting controversy by exhibiting pictures of Māori being taken prisoner by colonial troops.  In the same year he had a small role in Mike Newell’s WWII-set Bad Blood.  Other film appearances include roles in John Laing’s, Dangerous Orphans, Peter Jackson’s Braindead and Paul Murphy’s Second-Hand Wedding.

While he did not appear on-screen in other Peter Jackson films, Peter’s distinctive voice gave life to Bad Taste’s Lord Crumb and several characters in Meet the Feebles.  More recently he voiced one of the spiders in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

He played numerous roles on television, including two separate roles on Shortland Street and roles in Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.  The 1989 documentary Crisis: One Man’s Fight followed him through a bowel cancer diagnosis, treatment and his eventual full recovery.

In the 2002 Queen’s Birthday Honours he was appointed to the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to writing and acting.

Peter is survived by his wife Sue and his children, Benjamin and Emma.  Our thoughts and condolences go out to them.

Image: Peter Vere-Jones in Pictures

Last updated: 
Wednesday, 27 January 2021