Martyn Sanderson

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Martyn Sanderson
Born(1938-02-24)24 February 1938
Westport, New Zealand
Died14 October 2009(2009-10-14) (aged 71)

Martyn Sanderson MNZM (24 February 1938 – 14 October 2009) was an actor, filmmaker and poet from New Zealand.


Sanderson was one of the founders of Downstage Theatre in 1964 in Wellington, with a vision of a small professional company performing challenging works in an intimate venue. In the 1970s, Sanderson toured with multi-media group Blerta, and worked on films with Blerta members Bruno Lawrence and director Geoff Murphy. That decade he won a New Zealand Feltex Award for playing aviator Richard Pearse in a television film of the same title, and was nominated again for playing a British general in the historical miniseries The Governor, the most expensive TV drama made in New Zealand in that decade.

Sanderson's work as a screen director included a number of shorts featuring New Zealand poets, plus the 1989 feature Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree. Based on a work by Albert Wendt, Flying Fox is about a young Samoan caught between the values of his homeland and European colonisers.

He wrote a documentary One of those Blighters on Ronald Hugh Morrieson and the screenplay for the 1986 film of Morrieson's last novel, Pallet on the Floor.

Sanderson's other screen credits include Geoff Murphy's Utu, Jane Campion's An Angel at my Table, The Scarecrow, Old Scores, The Harp in the South, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, a recurring guest role in the first two years of Shortland Street, Poor Man's Orange, Hercules episode The King of Thieves and The Rainbow Warrior.


Sanderson was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2005, "for services to literature and the theatre".[1][2][3][4]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Martyn Sanderson - Biography". Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  2. ^ "Well loved New Zealand Actor Martyn Sanderson Dies". 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  3. ^ "Well loved New Zealand Actor Martyn Sanderson Dies". 2009-10-15. Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  4. ^ "Death of Martyn Sanderson". Retrieved 2014-06-04.

External links[edit]