Ernie Leonard

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Ernie Leonard
Born1931
Died15 July 1994
NationalityNew Zealander
OccupationTelevision presenter, producer

Ernie Leonard (1931 – 15, July 1994) was a New Zealand television presenter, wrestling commentator, and actor. He was well known to wrestling fans.

Background[edit]

Leonard was born in Marton, New Zealand in 1931. The son of an Anglican minister, he was of Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Rangitane descent.[1][2] Along with Steve Rickard, he co-hosted and commented for the wrestling show, On the Mat.[3][4] During his career, he worked with people such as producer Ngaire Fuata.[5] In 1986, he recruited Whai Ngata to start up the Māori department on Television New Zealand.[6]

Acting roles[edit]

In 1966 Leonard appeared in the film Don't Let It Get You, which was directed by John O'Shea.[7][8] At the time, Leonard was employed as the public relations officer in Rotorua.[9]

Leonard played the part of Charlie Rata, a core character in the ground-breaking TV series Pukemanu, which ran from 1971 to 1972.[10][11]

Television[edit]

Leonard secured the position of head of the Maori Programmes Department for TVNZ during the mid-1980s. He was first person to hold that position.[12]

Death[edit]

Leonard died at age 62 on 15 July 1994 following a short battle with cancer.[13]

Filmography[edit]

Titles
Title Eipisode Type Director role Year Notes #
Don't Let It Get You feature film John O'Shea 1966 [14]
Pukemanu various tv drama series Charlie Rata 1971 - 1972 [15]
On The Mat various tv wrestling show Presenter 1975 - 1981
Producer 1981 - 1984
1975 - 1984 [16]
A Big Country presents Kiwis tv documentary series Himself 1984 [17][18]
Radio Wha Waho ? tv comedy series Executive Producer 1993 [19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NZ On Screen - Ernie Leonard, Biography
  2. ^ Ngā Aho Whakaari - Chapter Two: Māori and the Screen Industry by NgāAho Whakaari
  3. ^ Radio New Zealand April 7, 2015 - Michael Cropp
  4. ^ NZ Wrestling New Zealand Wrestling History Part 5 - Dave Cameron
  5. ^ Public Broadcasting Service MA, ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS, Ngaire Fuata, Producer
  6. ^ Scoop, Monday, 4 April 2016 Poroporoaki: Whai Ngata
  7. ^ New Zealand Filmmakers, By Ian Conrich, Stuart Murray Page 62 Laurence Simmons
  8. ^ Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision - Events→ Don’t Let it Get You Archived 2 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ New Zealand Filmmakers, edited by Ian Conrich, Stuart Murray - Page 62
  10. ^ NZ On Screen - Pukemanu, Television, 1971–1972, Credits
  11. ^ New Zealand Film and Television: Institution, Industry and Cultural Change, By Trisha Dunleavy, Hester Joyce - Page 54 to 56
  12. ^ Teara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand - Story: Māori and television – whakaata, Pukemanu, 1971
  13. ^ NZ On Screen - Ernie Leonard, Biography
  14. ^ Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision - Events→ Don’t Let it Get You Archived 2 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ New Zealand Film and Television: Institution, Industry and Cultural Change, By Trisha Dunleavy, Hester Joyce - Page 54 to 56
  16. ^ Imdb - Ernie Leonard
  17. ^ BFI - Kiwis (1984)
  18. ^ Canberra Times, Apr 23 1984 - Page 1 'A Big Country goes overseas
  19. ^ BFI - Kiwis (1984)
  20. ^ NZ on Screen - Radio Wha Waho, Television, 1993