|Born||Meryl Danielle Cassie
2 April 1984
George, Cape Province, South Africa
|Years active||1999 - present|
Meryl Danielle Cassie (born 2 April 1984) is a South African-born New Zealand actress and singer. She has three children, a son, Rylon born in 2006 and two daughters Breeze (Born 18th October 2013) and Diaz (born 2015). She is most famous for her role as Ebony in the sci-fi series The Tribe, but has also appeared in other series, such as Revelations - The Initial Journey, Shortland Street and Hercules.
She is also a talented singer, and sung the theme song of The Tribe from season 2 to 5, including being the lead singer on Abe Messiah, an album inspired from The Tribe. Along with her sisters Megan Alatini and Monique Cassie, she formed a band called the Nubian Angels in her early teens. The band relaunched in 2007, and have made various performances for charity in co-operation with Variety, the Children's Charity, including joining them on the 2008 Variety Bash tour, and at other charity and social events.
1989-1995: Getting into acting
Meryl wanted to become an actress ever since she was 5 years old. She has trained in drama at the Young People's Theatre and Nathan Homestead. Because she wanted to get into acting as soon as possible, she got an agent at the age of 9, as she saw this as the first and best option to achieve her goal. Meryl got her first acting job in the New Zealand kids show What Now at the age of 11, where she starred as a field presenter.
1998-2003: Fame with The Tribe
In 1998, Meryl auditioned for the show that would give her both success and acting experience: The Tribe. She auditioned for the role of the character Salene, but the producers called her and told her she had received the role of Ebony, one of the antagonistic characters on the show.
In the period of 2004 to 2007, Meryl went on a hiatus, and took a break from acting and singing. She worked in a bank, helped out at her mother's hair braiding salon and gave birth to her first child, Rylon Ngarino Watt, on 16 September 2006.
In 2004, she auditioned for New Zealand Idol. She did not make it past the second round, partly because the judges thought she had too much experience to be in the contest. Various reports have stated that Cassie was very sad and actually cried on camera, saying how mean the judges were. Meryl's brother, Miguel Cassie, was going to make a TV documentary about Idol, where the rejected contestants could have a new chance. This show never saw the light of day.
2006: Karaoke High
In 2006 Meryl Cassie provided music for NZ teen series Karaoke High. Though she didn't appear on the show, she provided her singing talent for the character Miri (played by Alina Transom).
2007-2008: Relaunching music career
In 2008 Meryl appeared in the music video for P-Money's "Everything", where she was dancing on the shoulders of the lead female in the music video. She also sang an impromptu performance of the Kelly Clarkson track "A Moment Like This" at a reunion of members of The Tribe cast, which was held on 13 September 2008. She ended the year performing on stage at the Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park 2008, where she sang "What Time Is It?" with fellow New Zealand entertainers Drew Neemia, Catherine Campion, Anthony Utama, Cameron Douglas and Jodie Clarke.
2009 - present
Following on from her appearance in P-Money's music video for "Everything" in 2008, Meryl became the lead in his music video "Angels", where she plays the girlfriend of P-Money's who is being haunted by supernatural beings. January 2010 saw Meryl appear in Legend of the Seeker, in the season 2 episode "Resurrection" where she played a courtesan named Bella.
As well performing in several gigs in Auckland, Meryl Cassie also featured on the P-Money album Everything, doing vocals on the track Dance With You. The track also features PNC, Vince Harder and Mz J. Meryl joined them and P-Money in the music video for the track, it marked her third appearance in a P-Money music video.
In 2013, Meryl successfully auditioned for The X Factor, progressing to the boot camp round, but failed to make it through the following round.
- "Who's Who: Meryl Cassie". Tribeworld.com. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "2008 Variety Bash A huge success". Variety, the Children's Charity. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
- Sydney Confidential (31 May 2008). "Meryl shines for our Idol". News.com.au. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
- "Who is Who: Ebony". Tribeworld. 31 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
- "It's all about acting with Meryl Cassie". Tribeworld. 2003. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
- "Tribe II Cast Interview - Ebony (Meryl Cassie)". Tribeworld. 1999. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
- "Location Report Tribe 5 - Week 16". Tribeworld.com. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "Hundreds Brave The Elements For Elusive Shot At Stardom". Music.net.nz. 14 January 2004. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
- "The Cassies". Idol Blog. 1 February 2004. Retrieved 2008-06-10.