Shane Cortese

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Shane Cortese
Born (1968-08-13) 13 August 1968 (age 47)
Wellington, New Zealand
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Nerida Cortese (m. 2009)

Shane Cortese (born 13 August 1968) is a New Zealand actor and singer. He is perhaps best known for his role of Mac on Nothing Trivial, Loki on the Almighty Johnsons and Hayden Peters on hit show Outrageous Fortune. He was also a runner-up on Season 1 of NZ Dancing with the Stars in 2005.


Cortese started his professional career as a travel agent in Palmerston North.[1] He got involved in the amateur drama society and soon found a passion in acting. He participated in numerous plays before moving to London in 1993 to further his newfound career.[1][2] Cortese trained at London's Central School of Speech and Drama. After graduating from the Musical Theatre Course in 1993, he spent 10 years touring the UK in musicals, performing several times on London's prestigious West End. His performances won critical acclaim from UK reviewers.

Whilst visiting New Zealand in 2000, Cortese auditioned for the popular soap opera Shortland Street for the role of Geoff Greenlaw.[3] He did not receive the part and returned to England to star in the West End. He scored a major part in a production but was contacted by Shortland Street producers who announced their intention to write Cortese a character specifically for him who was to play a major part in the serial.[3] Cortese relished the opportunity and returned to New Zealand to take the part, despite being threatened by those involved in the West End play that he would never work again.[3] Cortese made his Shortland Street debut in early 2003 as the character of Dominic Thompson. The character stayed on screen for just under 2 years, before dying in one of the shows most iconic and well received storylines.[3]

On 29 April 2005 he starred on the New Zealand version of Dancing with the Stars. Partnered with dancer Nerida Lister he was named runner-up on 20 June 2005. He scored a guest starring role in fantasy series Maddigan's Quest and played the lead character, "John" opposite British actress Zöe Lucker on stage in Then Comes Love. In late 2005 after appearing on Dancing with the Stars he hosted TV3's So You Think You Can Dance. In 2006 he returned to his bad boy ways, playing Hayden Peters on Rachel Lang and James Griffin's Outrageous Fortune.[2] Cortese was pleased to have scored the title role in Burying Brian, only to discover his character was to be killed off in the first episode.[3]

Cortese is also the patron for ACTA (Auckland City Theatre Academy), a youth theatre company training students aged 5–18 in musical theatre. He appeared with the students in The North Shore Times in an article describing his involvement with the school and its students. In 2011 Cortese joined the cast of comedy-drama Nothing Trivial as the character of Mac.[4] He was nominated in the prestigious Monte-Carlo Television Festival for "Best Actor" for his role.[5] Cortese also landed the role of Loki in another of Griffin's creations, The Almighty Johnsons, a role he maintained for the show's three season run.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

In January 2006 Cortese and his Dancing with the Stars partner Nerida Lister announced they were dating,[2][8] then in 2006 New Idea magazine announced that they were expecting their first baby. In April 2007 Kees Armas Cortese was born by water birth at North Shore Hospital. The first exclusive photos of Kees were shown in New Zealand magazine New Idea a month after his birth.[9][10][11] Shane and Nerida became engaged on 26 February 2008 and later married in early 2009.[6] In 2008 Cortese was contacted by a 15-year-old girl that he discovered was his daughter from a past relationship.[6] Shane and Nerida welcomed a second son in July 2011 named Jett Patrick Cortese.[2][12]

Cortese remains close friends with his Shortland Street screen brother Michael Galvin.[2]



Title Year Role Notes
Joseph 2000 2000 Pharaoh Television film
Inside 2004 Michael Short film


Title Year Role Notes
SCU: Serious Crash Unit 2001–present Himself Narrator
Shortland Street 2003–04 Dominic Thompson Main (series 12–13)
Dancing with the Stars 2005 Himself Contestant
Headliners Himself Movie reviewer
Maddigan's Quest 2006 Timon's Father Guest (1 episode): "Hillfolk"
Outrageous Fortune 2006–10 Hayden Peters Recurring (55 episodes, series 2–6)
So You Think You Can Dance 2006 Himself Presenter
Burying Brian 2008 Brian Welch Main
The Jaquie Brown Diaries Himself Guest (1 episode): "Brown Sweat"
Intrepid Journeys Himself Guest (1 episode)
Legend of the Seeker 2009 Morwyn Guest (1 episode): "Marked"
The Almighty Johnsons 2011–13 Colin Gundersen (Loki) Recurring (13 episodes)
Nothing Trivial 2011–14 Mac Delany Main
Brown Bruthaz 2011 Victor Benton Main
SPCA Rescue Himself Narrator
Cause of Death: Unknown 2013 Himself Narrator
Best Bits Himself Guest (1 episode)
20/20 Himself 1 episode
Auckland Daze 2013–14 Himself Guest (3 episodes)
Step Dave 2015–present Eugene Russell Recurring (4 episodes)
The Brokenwood Mysteries 2015 Dennis Buchanan Guest (2 episodes)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Show Started
Dancing with the Stars (New Zealand) runner up
Season 1 (2005 with Nerida Lister)
Succeeded by
Beatrice Faumuina & Brian Jones