The Equity Foundation is thrilled to announce that Ken Blackburn ONZM is the recipient of the 2017 Equity NZ Lifetime Achievement Award Presented by Ryman Healthcare.
In an impressively wide-ranging career spanning more than 40 years Ken has worked in film, television, radio and theatre.
Ken has appeared in many of New Zealand’s most iconic TV shows including Xena: Warrior Princess, Farscape, Close To Home, Gliding On and Shortland Street. His film credits include pioneering feature Skin Deep, The Frighteners, King Kong and Rest for the Wicked. Ken’s stage credits are also extensive. In 1999 his performance as Vladimir in Waiting for Godot earned him the Best Actor award at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. In 2005 he was awarded the Queen's Birthday Honours List for Services to the Performing Arts. Ken most recently performed in Circa Theatre’s 2017 production of Three Days in the Country. As well as his successful career as an actor in New Zealand, the UK and Australia, Ken has also directed stage, film, television and radio productions. His autobiographical book Blitz Kids was published by the BBC in 1995.
Equity President Jennifer Ward-Lealand says: “I cannot think of a more worthy recipient for this award than Ken Blackburn. Since the 1970s Ken has been gracing our screens and stages, delivering countless moving and memorable performances. Ken’s name has come up time and time again during the nomination and section process for the Lifetime Achievement Award because he is such a beloved and respected member of our performer community.”
Ken was nominated by New Zealand performers and selected by the board of Equity New Zealand.
Since its inception, the Equity New Zealand Lifetime Achievement Award has been made possible with the generous support of Ryman Healthcare. Previous recipients include Elizabeth McRae and Dame Kate Harcourt.
Ryman Healthcare chief executive Gordon MacLeod said it was great to see Ken rewarded for his many years of hard work and dedication to acting. “We’re delighted to see Ken achieve this recognition. His many characters – hapless, bumbling and sometimes downright sinister - have delighted generations of New Zealanders and he has made a huge contribution to TV, film and theatre in New Zealand. Congratulations Ken!"
Ken will be honoured at an awards ceremony in Auckland in November.